EISA Madagascar: Citizen observation


Capacity of CSOs to effectively observe the electoral process enhanced

EISA, within the framework of a joint project with the European Center for Electoral Support (ECES) and Electoral Reform International Services (ERIS), provided technical assistance to two CSO platforms, namely Mahitsy Fijery (or Direct Observation) and Socle (Citizen's monitoring and observation for the transparency of the elections) in planning, coordination and deployment of non-partisan citizen observers during the October and December elections. Through this support the two platforms deployed 1600 observers and 2500 observers respectively. Both platforms issued statements and declarations through which they provided their assessment of the conduct of the electoral process.

This assistance was given in line with EISA's strategy to enhance the capacities of CSOs to observe the electoral process throughout the entire electoral cycle starting with selected observable pre-electoral activities such as voter registration.


CSOs capacity to effectively observe the electoral process enhanced

Leading up to the forth coming elections and in support of contributing to a peaceful election, EISA conducted a workshop to build the capacity of local citizen observation stakeholders and provided them with exposure to international best practices and principles of international electoral observation. Training was conducted in Antananarivo from 19 to 21 September 2012 with 72 participants, including 45 women and 27 men. The workshop excited a great deal of interest and was attended by high level participants drawn from the CENIT, representatives of the Ministry of Home affairs, the President's Office, Members of Parliament, members of the VMLF (the women's network that EISA assisted in establishing) both at the national and regional level office, members of civil society, members of political parties and journalists.

Further to this, EISA responded to a request from CSOs involved in citizen observation for support in citizen observation mission planning and coordination. A workshop was held on 23 November 2012 on issues pertaining to electoral codes of conduct for non-partisan observers. 15 CSOs involved in citizen observation activities sent 28 representatives to this workshop, including 13 women. Through the workshop participants were familiarised with the role codes of conduct play in safeguarding the integrity, the non-partisanship character and credibility of election observation. CSOs at the workshop agreed upon and adopted a common code of conduct for all CSOs willing to share the same methodology in observing the upcoming general elections in Madagascar. The workshops also enabled CSOs to develop a common deployment plan for a nationwide citizen observer mission, which will include observers drawn from a wide range of CSOs and be able to observe all phases of the electoral process.

Election Observers capacity enhanced

EISA's Elections and Political Processes, as part of it's support for civil society electoral initiatives, organized a series of training of election observers in a number of African states that were inclusive of Madagascar, Kenya, Mozambique, Chad, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The training was aimed at preparing a pool of observers who may be called upon to participate in future observer missions (EOMs) during elections.

The workshops were attended by representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) and political parties. Over 300 observers in total were trained in the workshops that took place in these countries. The aim of involving all of the mentioned individual groups is to further improve the structure of elections, and to enhance election education in African countries and its citizens.


Workshop for CSOs
Workshop on the recruitment and training of observers

May & Nov 2009

Between May and November 2009, EISA's Elections and Political Processes, as part of it's support for civil society electoral initiatives, held two workshops for CSOs. The workshops were conducted by EISA, as a member of a joint partnership between International IDEA and other partners of the Network for Enhanced Electoral and Democratic Support (NEEDS) III project. The project is aimed at training civil society actors from selected countries which are beneficiaries of the European Union (EU) electoral assistance.

The training focused on consolidating election observation methodology in line with international and regional standards and to improve civil society observers' capabilities through the development of a common approach in the recruitment and training of observers. The first training took place in May 2009 in Randburg, South Africa, and was conducted for representatives of CSOs involved in citizen observation in their respective countries from Sudan, Kenya, Mozambique, Burundi, Ghana, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe, Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Liberia, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. The second training was held in Dakar, Senegal, in November 2009 and was conducted for 23 representatives of CSOs from Madagascar, Central African Republic, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Congo (Republic), Côte d'Ivoire, DRC, Gabon, Niger, Senegal and Togo.


Civic traning and election observation by CSOs in the SADC

EPP has contributed to enhancing the capacity of civil society organisations in the region to plan and conduct election-related activities such as civic and voter education and election observation. Each of the networks that EPP has worked with was able to develop good quality training manuals for civic and voter education and/or for election observation.

They were also able to plan, assemble and deploy professionally sound domestic election observation missions. These organisations have become bolder in their approach to election monitoring and their increasingly effective participation in election reform debates. All those domestic civil society organisations which directly benefited from rinciples for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation in the SADC Region (PEMMO) training have used it in designing their election observation checklists as well as training their observers. This has led to a great deal of incorporation of PEMMO principles into the actual work of domestic observer groups. Indeed, the signs are that most of the election stakeholders in the region are aware of the principles and some have started to incorporate it into manuals, training materials and assessment tools. A wave of electoral reforms will hopefully close the circle by ensuring that the benchmarks set in PEMMO influence new laws positively.