STEP: PEMMO review for ECF-SADC

At the request of the Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC Countries (ECF-SADC), in 2019 EISA began managing the process of reviewing the Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation in the SADC Region (PEMMO) that had been adopted 16 years prior, to incorporate lessons learnt since then and to close gaps that had become apparent over time.

2022

Regional Workshop on the Review of EISA's benchmarks

EISA hosted a regional workshop for political parties from Great Lakes, east and Southern Africa region in order to review its “Benchmarks for enhanced political party performance for democratic governance in Africa”. The benchmarks were adopted in 2013 and were endorsed by many political parties across the continent. This workshop was an activity under Delegates came from various countries within the Southern African region including South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique and ZambiaThe Supporting Transitions and Electoral Processes (STEP) programme funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The workshop seeks to update the benchmarks, bearing in mind the emerging realities faced by political parties.

Revised ECF-EISA benchmarks for Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation (PEMMO) being drafted

May 2022

The first draft outline which was amended by the Working Group is currently being worked on for final draft. It is anticipated that the final draft will be presented to the Working Group and thereafter to the Executive Committee and validated by end of May 2022.

2021

Translation and dissemination of stakeholder consultation report

Based on the recommendation of the ECF-SADC Executive Committee (EXCO) and the formal request of the ECF-SADC Secretariat, the final stakeholder consultation report was translated into French and Portuguese. The translated versions of the report were shared among members of the ECF-SADC. EISA is now recruiting a consultant to draft the reviewed principles.

Stakeholder consultation report adopted by Working Group

Feb - Mar 2021

The September 2020 draft stakeholder consultation report was revised by the Chief of Party to incorporate two rounds of comments provided by the PEMMO Review Working Group. The final version was adopted by the Working Group during its virtual meeting held on 24 February 2021. The chairperson of the Working Group (Commissioner Ulrich Freyer, Electoral Commission of Namibia) presented the report in summary to the ECF-SADC Executive Committee (EXCO) on 11 March 2021. The EXCO approved the report paving the way for the drafting phase to commence.

A six-member working group, made up of representatives of four southern Africa EMBs (Mauritius, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe), was established to steer the PEMMO review over the next year. Terms of reference and a work plan were drafted to guide its work. The working group held its inaugural meeting on 20 August 2019 in Johannesburg.

The Chief of Party presented the PEMMO review roadmap and progress made by the working group to over 100 delegates from SADC EMBs and CSOs attending the Annual General Conference of the ECF-SADC on 24 September in Blantyre, Malawi. The theme of the conference, Enhancing the Credibility of Elections Through Observation, was conceptualised by the ECF-SADC executive committee to feed into the PEMMO review. The PEMMO review will entail stakeholder consultations and is expected to be completed in one year.

Draft stakeholder consultation report presented to SADC-ECF

Feb - Mar 2021

The September 2020 draft stakeholder consultation report was revised by the Chief of Party to incorporate two rounds of comments provided by the PEMMO review Working Group. The final version was adopted by the Working Group during its virtual meeting held on 24 February 2021. The chairperson of the Working Group (Commissioner Ulrich Freyer, Electoral Commission of Namibia) presented the report in summary to the ECF-SADC Executive Committee (EXCO) on 11 March 2021. The EXCO approved the report paving the way for the drafting phase to commence.

2020

Stakeholder consultation report considered by Working Group

30 Oct 2020

Following consultations held with electoral stakeholders earlier in the year, EISA compiled a report on the feedback received. The ECF and EISA stakeholders consulted, mainly through an online questionnaire, gave an indication of the strengths and weaknesses of PEMMO. They also provided a solid basis for improving PEMMO to remain relevant in the contemporary electoral context and for defining best practices in elections management, monitoring and observation for southern Africa and the rest of the continent.

The report primarily aimed at providing guidance to the Working Group in redrafting the principles. The Chief of Party submitted the draft report to the Working Group in September for comments. The report was also discussed at the virtual meeting of the Working Group held on 30 October. The Chief of Party began revising the report to incorporate comments provided by members of the Working Group.

Data collection instruments and stakeholder consultation

31 Jan 2020

Three data collection instruments were developed by the PEMMO Review Working Group to be used during broad consultations with ECF-SADC and EISA stakeholders throughout the continent. These were a questionnaire, an interview schedule and a focus group discussion guide. The instruments were tested and refined and will be used to gather data on improving PEMMO. The questionnaire, which was on Survey Monkey, was completed online. Interviews and focus group discussions will be conducted alongside other upcoming EISA and ECF-SADC activities in which the targeted stakeholders will be present.

A list of ECF-SADC stakeholders to be consulted was also compiled. EISA conducted a focus group discussion with Malagasy electoral stakeholders on 31 January 2020 in Antananarivo. Three CSOs and the electoral commission attended, but they were not familiar with PEMMO and had not used the principles. Therefore, the ongoing PEMMO review consultations will not only seek to gather substantive input but also gauge awareness of PEMMO.