EISA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EAC in 2010 to implement programme work in support of our vision. By supporting the EAC, EISA seeks to contribute to improving its election observation in an effort to promote credible democratic elections in the region, as mandated by EAC Principles for Election Observation and Evaluation, as well as other relevant international and regional election benchmarks for the conduct and monitoring of elections.
EISA's support to EOMs cut across the planning phase to the completion of the EOM reports. Since signing a MoU EISA has trained and briefed election observation missions (EOMs) to EAC countries ahead of the elections. Training is aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of both long term (LTOs) and short term (STOs). Facilitating training for election observers includes capacity development for the effective management and co-ordination of EOMs.
EISA's profile as a leading institution and technical partner of the EAC was further strengthened by the EAC's requested for support technical support to the EAC conference secretariat during the 6th conference on good governance that was held in Arusha from 10-11 October 2017.
Through support to EAC EOMs deployed in Kenya and Rwanda, EISA contributed to credible and professional assessment of these elections. Teams comprised of two EISA experts were deployed to the EAC missions in Kenya and Rwanda. The teams facilitated observer trainings and drafting of the missions' assessment. Additionally, the EAC successfully exported the Popola system to its server and deployed the system during these elections with the support of the EISA teams.
EISA supported the EAC EOMs in Burundi and Tanzania. Under tense political circumstances the institute participated in high-level meetings and in the mediation process between the government of Burundi and opposition political parties. EISA provided technical assistance to the EAC EOM deployed in Tanzania for the 2015 general election. The mission presented its preliminary findings, conclusions and recommendations at a press conference in Dar es Salaam on 27 October 2015.
To encourage and foster peer-learning initiatives, EISA hosted a delegation from the EAC Secretariat and the EAC Electoral Commissions Forum as part of the EISA EOM deployed to the October 2014 elections in Mozambique. This collaboration was geared towards promoting experience sharing and lesson learning for election practitioners outside of the East African sub-region.
An EISA staff was attached to the joint EAC-COMESA-IGAD observer mission deployed to the 4 March 2013 general elections in Kenya and provided technical assistance to the joint mission that was comprised of 78 members. The Kenyan mission was the third in which EISA supported the EAC under the framework of the MoU between the two organisations and the second under the consortium of RECs.
Prior to the Kenyan joint EOM, EISA's technical assistance was also solicited during the EAC pre-election assessment mission in November 2012 and the Planning Meeting for the three RECs in February. Overall, EISA's support contributed to improved professional conduct of the joint EOM. EISA was able to assist the Mission in appropriating lessons-learnt from the first joint EOM conducted in Uganda in 2011. Even so, there were still new challenges that emerged during the mission, mostly germane to the nature of the mission itself.
EISA subsequently supported the EAC's initiative of conducting a post-election observation review workshop held in June 2013 in Moshi, Tanzania by developing a guiding framework for lesson-learning.
The East African Community (EAC) and EISA renewed their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 10 December 2013 in Nairobi. This MoU which lasts for another three years is premised on the recognition of the valuable cooperation that the two institutions have had in previous years, particularly in the area of election observation and support to the EAC Electoral Commissions Forum. The MoU seeks to solidify gains made thus far and broaden to other areas where the EAC can be instrumental in entrenching democratic governance in the EAC member states. This includes promoting the ratification and domestication of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, electoral conflict management and electoral research, among others.
To encourage and foster peer-learning initiatives, EISA hosted a delegation from the EAC Secretariat and the EAC Electoral Commissions Forum as part of the EISA EOM deployed to the 2011 Lesotho elections. This collaboration was geared towards promoting experience sharing and lesson learning for election practitioners outside of the East African sub-region.
A workshop for the EAC Electoral Commissions' Forum was facilitated by EISA from 11 to 12 June 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. The aim of the workshop was to promote peer-learning among the East African EMBs and explore mechanisms for strengthening the collaborative initiatives of the EMBs' forum. It was attended by approximately 35 participants composed of senior election officials drawn from the five EAC member states.
The workshop provided a platform for the EMBs in the region to share election management experiences and harness best practices while seeking to strengthen their relations. Participants benefitted from EISA's expertise in elections on the continent of Africa, and from sister organisations like the SADC Electoral Commission's Forum.
In November 2012, EISA participated in the East African elections expert meeting convened by the EAC in collaboration with the UNDP in Nairobi. The objective of the meeting was to appraise and adopt the EAC Principles for Election Observation and Evaluation. This instrument for election observation was the first of its kind in the sub-region. EISA provided expert input into the draft document that contributed to its refinement and adoption by the expert group meeting. It was subsequently adopted by the Ministerial Council of the EAC and was used for the first time by the EAC Observation Mission to the 4 March 2013 elections in Kenya.
Support to the EAC Pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the EAC and EISA in 2010, and within the purview of the latter's engagement with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in order to strengthen their capacities to contribute to democratic elections and governance in Africa, EISA provided technical assistance to the joint EOM of EAC with Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) EOM to the 18 February 2011 general elections in Uganda.
The assistance entailed training seventy election observers and providing advisory services to the joint mission secretariat. Through EISA's assistance, the joint observer mission was exposed to international best practices in election observation and the deployment of EOMs. This was exemplified by the high quality of the statements and reports produced by the joint observer mission.
The joint observer mission was regarded as successful and similar initiatives were encouraged in the future, given that it was the first kind of engagement for the three organisations. It was also the first time that EISA supported a consortium of inter-governmental bodies in election observation.
EISA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EAC in September to provide support for election observation. As a result, EISA provided technical assistance to the EAC election observation mission to the 2010 General Elections in Tanzania held on 31 October 2010. More specifically, EISA conducted training in election observation and briefings for EAC observers, while assisting the co-ordination team of the EAC mission in Tanzania.