EPP: Support to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

EISA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ECOWAS in 2016 to implement programme work in support of our vision. By supporting ECOWAS EISA seeks to contribute to improving its election observation in an effort to promote credible democratic elections in the region, as mandated by the Protocol A/SP1/12/01 on Democracy and Good Governance Supplementary to the Protocol relating to the Mechanism For Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security, as well as relevant international and regional election benchmarks for the conduct and monitoring of elections.

EISA's support to ECOWAS has focused on capacity building for long term observer (LTO) and for Election Management Bodies (EMBs) as well as for core team experts (CTE).

2019 CTE & LTO methodology review

Training of CTE

3-5 Dec 2019

EISA conducted a pilot training for ECOWAS CTE in Dakar on 3-5 December 2019. The workshop gathered participants drawn from national Civil Society Organizations and Election Management Bodies of the sub-region.

The workshop comprised 3 modules, namely:

  • Role of the core team in ECOWAS' LTO methodology (including 5 sessions).
  • Developing data collection and analysis tools (including 5 sessions).
  • EOM reporting: statements and final report (including 6 sessions).
LTO methodology review workshop

Sep 2019

The EPP Head of Department attended the ECOWAS LTO methodology review workshop in Senegal Dakar on 16-20 September 2019. ECOWAS acknowledged support received from EISA and have expressed interest in having EISA develop a training curriculum for in-country briefing of LTOs as part of standardising its training of observers. EISA was also requested to review and update the ECOWAS LTO handbook.

2018 Post-election follow-up mission

As part of its support for ECOWAS's cycle-based election assessment methodology, EISA provided technical support for the implementation of a pilot post-election follow-up mission (PEFuM) deployed by the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions in Guinea Conakry from 7-13 June 2018. The deployment of the PEFuM constitutes the final aspect of the implementation of the election assessment methodology. EISA was instrumental in the development and adoption of this broader methodology for election assessment in 2015.

An EISA expert was deployed to support the ECOWAS PEFuM in Guinea, where the mission sought to track the implementation of the EOM's recommendations and identify possible areas of support to enable Guinea Conakry to implement the recommendations. This methodology provides a platform for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of ECOWAS engagement in its member states throughout the electoral cycle to ensure early responses to challenges identified in the process.

2017 Support review & LTOs

Cycle-based election assessment

EISA contributed to the refinement of ECOWAS's cycle-based election assessment methodology by presenting the concept at the biannual meeting of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) held in Cotonou, Benin, on 29 March 2018.

The methodology was adopted and piloted in Sierra Leone, where ECONEC deployed its first needs assessment mission from 10 to 14 July 2017, supported by an EISA expert who provided technical support.

The NAM identified areas of short-term intervention to support the Sierra Leone National Electoral Commission ahead of the elections and undertook advocacy visits to government institutions involved in the electoral process. The deployment of the NAM was welcomed by the Sierra Leonean authorities and the ECOWAS Commission as a timely contribution to early warning about technical electoral issues in the region.

2017 Rwanda Presidential Elections technical team
EISA support assessment review

As part of the 2017 programme review process, the EPP Head of Department, Senior Programme Office and the Monitoring and Evaluation Senior Programme Officer, with members of the Electoral Assistance Division of ECOWAS to review EISA's technical support provided in 2017 and to agree on activities which ECOWAS would require assistance with in 2018. EISA received overall positive feedback from ECOWAS. Through a futuristic planning approach and in view of the interventions requiring EISA support, this activity will enable EISA to further contribute to strengthening the capacity of ECOWAS to assess and support electoral processes in the region.

EISA Regional Representative to ECCAS Florent Kabongo Musakayi presents his letter of accreditation to the Secretary General of ECCAS
ECOWAS LTO guidelines and methodology workshop

13-15 August 2017

In a joint effort by the ECOWAS Commission and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), a workshop on ECOWAS Long-Term Election Observation Guidelines was conducted to than 20 regional experts in political affairs, gender, the media, civil society and development issues, underwent intensive training in Accra, Ghana on Sunday 13 August 2017, to deepen their knowledge on ECOWAS Long-Term Election Observation Guidelines and methodology.

Technical Support to ECOWAS EOM to Liberia

18-19 Sep 2017

EISA provided technical support to the ECOWAS EOM deployed in Liberia through the deployment of a team of two experts who facilitated a two-day in-county briefing and orientation of 14 ECOWAS LTOs from 18 to 19 September 2017 in Monrovia. The EISA team also developed context-specific checklists for use by LTOs and STOs, which aided in the collection and analysis of observation data during the elections.

2016 Consultative meetings with the Electoral Assistance Division

26 Apr & 20 May 2016

EISA held two consultative meetings with the Electoral Assistance Division of ECOWAS on 26 April and 20 May 2016. These meetings accorded EISA an opportunity to have a formal discussion with ECOWAS about priority areas of support required and the challenges encountered by the Division in its work. EISA's support is mainly required in the area of long term observation strengthening and in capacity building for Election Management Bodies in the region.

Prior to the meetings, EISA submitted a draft MoU at the request of the Division which it sent on to and has been approved by its legal department and is awaiting the Chairperson's signature. The MoU is an important milestone in EISA's future interventions in the West African region.

2015 LTO methodology

While EISA did not have a formal agreement with ECOWAS, the importance of the institute's work had been recognised in the course of its continued interaction with the REC in the field. EISA was invited to participate in the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) annual meeting and the ECOWAS Long Term Observer (LTO) methodology review workshop held from 22 to 24 July 2015 in Cape Verde. EISA contributed to crafting the LTO methodology and also had an opportunity to introduce ECOWAS to its support programme for RECs and the AU. The ECOWAS Electoral Assistance Division requested EISA to facilitate a briefing programme for ECOWAS LTOs deployed to the transition elections in Burkina Faso from 17 to 19 November 2015 in Ouagadougou. This briefing was the first of its kind for ECOWAS and through it EISA contributed to professionalising ECOWAS' election assessment by preparing its LTOs for field work.