STEP: Citizen observation and electoral reform advocacy

2022

Regional forum on political party benchmarks

29-30 Mar 2022

A regional workshop on the review of EISA's Benchmarks for Enhanced Political Party Performance for Democratic Governance in Africa was held in Johannesburg on 29 and 30 March 2022. The benchmarks were adopted in 2013 and were endorsed by numerous political parties across the continent.

Nearly a decade later, there is a need to update the bechmarks in light of emerging realities faced by political parties. Hence, the workshop also sought to draw lessons learnt from the implementation of the benchmarks Ms. Asafika Mpako, Communications Coordinator for Afrobarometer in the Southern African region addressing delegates on her presentationas well as set the scene for the development of the upcoming revised benchmarks. The revised standards will be disseminated and implemented for further improved political party functioning.

Citizen Observation and Advocacy toolkit component developed

The digital citizen election follow-up and advocacy resource portal was developed as one of the toolkit components. While the tool is yet to go live, the tool will help guide CSOs in long-term observation of the electoral process with a focus on post-election follow-up on recommendations to be translated into electoral reforms. It also highlights good practices for long-term citizen observation and post-election advocacy for reforms.

2021

Regional forum on electoral reform advocacy

29-30 Jun 2021

A Regional forum on civil society post-election follow-ups on recommendations and electoral reform advocacy initiatives was held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, on 29 and 30 June 2021. In attendance were representatives of 17 civil society groups from 10 African countries, including two STEP focus countries, Mali, and Mozambique.

The regional lesson-learning event sought to identify and evaluate existing trends in electoral follow-ups on recommendations and advocacy initiatives; to develop best practices aimed at shaping future direction for civil society post-election follow-up initiatives; and to discuss the way forward for effective post-election follow-up initiatives led by civil society groups. Select civil society and former election management body representatives made presentations on current practices of electoral follow-ups and advocacy initiatives in Africa. Participants unanimously agreed on the value of initiatives such as the regional forum for the emergence of sound electoral follow-up approaches by civil society across African countries. A proceedings report is being finalized by an external rapporteur.

Development of Observation and Advocacy Toolkit

Apr - Jul 2021

A search categorisation option list was developed for the searchable repository of citizen observation and advocacy resources. Resources produced by EISA and other leading organisations in the field were digitased, and the design of the front-end page of the digital repository was completed. The development of the citizen observation and advocacy guide commenced. This Election Observation and Advocacy Toolkit is an online resource to guide CSOs in conducting long-term observation of the electoral process with a focus on post-election advocacy for electoral reform.

Regional forum on civil society post-election follow-ups

29-30 Jun 2021

A regional forum on civil society post-election follow-ups on observation report recommendations and of electoral reform advocacy initiatives was held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, on 29-30 June 2021. In attendance were representatives of 17 civil society groups from 10 African countries, including two STEP focus countries, Mali, and Mozambique. The regional lesson-learning event sought to identify and evaluate existing trends in electoral follow-ups; to develop best practices for civil society post-election follow-up initiatives; and to discuss the way forward for effective post-election follow-up initiatives.

Select civil society and former election management body representatives presented on current practices of electoral follow-ups and reform advocacy initiatives in Africa. Participants unanimously agreed on the value of initiatives such as the regional forum for the emergence of sound electoral follow-up approaches by civil society across African countries. A proceedings report is being finalized by an external rapporteur.

Toolkit components completed and digitised

The interactive toolbox templates and the overview section of the VCE toolkit were completed by the EPT specialist, edited, translated into French and Portuguese, and sent to a digitisation specialist. The specialist produced a first version of demo videos on how to navigate the toolkit, completed the digitization of one component of the toolkit (the virtual repository of VCE resources) and created the website for the toolkit. The website will be publically launched when the other toolkit components have been digitised.

Support to EISA Côte d'Ivoire with EOM

Jan-Mar 2021

The STEP team provided ongoing oversight and strategic, programmatic, and financial support to EISA Côte d'Ivoire in its deployment the joint EISA/Carter Center election observation mission to the country's March 2021 legislative elections. The Chief of Party provided strategic and programmatic support to the Field Office through reviewing and contributing to EOM documents and holding weekly and ad hoc meetings with the Field Office team and the Carter Center. The M&E Specialist provided performance monitoring and reporting support. The Finance Manager was involved in financial oversight, fund requests and donor reporting. The Chief of Party and Finance Manager travelled to Abidjan during the election period.

Observation and Advocacy Toolkit initiated

Dec 2020 - Mar 2021

An outline of an Election Observation and Advocacy Toolkit was formulated in December 2020 to guide the development. The Toolkit for CSOs will be an online resource on conducting long-term observation of electoral processes and on post-election advocacy for electoral reform. Between January and March 2021 relevant resources, produced in the last decade by EISA and other leading organisations in the field, were compiled. These materials will form component of the Toolkit.

2020

Participation in the Madagascar Post-Election Review Workshop

28-30 Jan 2020

EISA participated in the UNDP and CENI post-election review workshop from 28 - 30 January 2020. One of the Elections and Political Transitions (EPT) Specialists served as an international expert and co-facilitated the thematic group on voter education. The EPT Specialist, M&E Specialist and Chief of Party also used the opportunity to consult the CENI, CSOs and political parties on the impact of the STEP interventions leading to the 2018 presidential elections and to meet with USAID Madagascar. The CENI and CSOs appreciated EISA's contribution to strengthening voter education and party poll watching. The lessons from these interventions will be drawn and shared through the STEP regional activities.

2019

Compilation of EOM recommendations for post-election follow-up

Recommendations of EOMs deployed to recent elections in Madagascar, Mali and Mozambique were compiled into a matrix for each country that captured the main issues and problems identified by the EOMs and the recommendations made to various institutions to address them. This will help EISA in the next phase of this activity to support local civil society groups in tracking progress in the implementation of the recommendations in the next election cycle.

2018

Citizen observers trained in Mozambique

16 - 22 Jan

A total of 430 observers from the Observation Platform network were trained from 16-22 January to observe the by-election held on 24 January following the death of the mayor of Nampula city. In addition, STEP provided technical support to the network to carry out parallel voter tabulation (PVT). The PVT forms and mobile devices were set up from 12-22 January on EISA‘s Popola system, 54 PVT supervisors were trained on 23 January and data were collected, aggregated and verified on 24 and 25 January