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Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (ESN)

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Project synthesis

This second phase of collaboration with the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) is designed to further strengthen the SADC Elections Support Network (ESN) established to consolidate institutions and strengthen the culture of democracy in Southern Africa. The project will provide capacity-building support to ESN civil society organisations in five Southern African countries conducting elections in the period 2003 – 2005 (Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland).

The project builds on an existing regional network of NGOs working in the area of democracy and elections. The Network is co-ordinated by the 14 SADC countries. In each country an NGO is responsible for co-ordinating programmes at national level.

Strategy/Objectives

The specific objective of the project is to strengthen the watchdog role of selected civil society organisations in these countries and to support the work of the national election networks.

The capacity building programme will strengthen the NGOs in planning and developing programmes in the area of democracy and elections. The project will also support the NGOs in consolidating their national networks. Finally, it will contribute to strengthening the existing ESN network of NGOs at the SADC level, through sharing of information, the development of joint programmes and the identification of practical areas of co-operation between regional NGO partners.

The EISA project for implementing the Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation in the SADC Region (PEMMO) will directly contribute to and supplement this project. Civil society groups will use the adopted election standards and best practices systematically in the election years 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Stakeholders and Beneficiaries

EISA is dedicated to building the institutional capacity of civil society within the region to expand the knowledge and understanding amongst citizens on democratic political processes, values and principles, electoral systems and the mechanics of voting. Through building local capacity to address such needs, EISA strengthens institutions as well as civil society’s ability to hold such institutions accountable in terms of local legal procedures and general rule of law.

The SADC Elections Support Network (SADC ESN) consists of organizations working in areas ranging from Human Rights, Civic and Democracy education to church organizations engaged in elections and democracy related issues. A regional resource and advisory panel provides information about regional programmes; engaged in gender and elections, the media, election observation and monitoring and training programmes.

Activities and Expected Results

The programme focuses on election preparation and public advocacy so as to establish a culture of democracy in society in which basic freedoms and rights are respected, particularly those that support free and fair elections. Activities include democracy training, programme design with emphasis on voter education, conflict management, mediation, reconciliation, election monitoring; constitutional and legal frameworks; adaptation of the regional gender checklist; adaptation of regions’ norms and standards (s. EISA PEMMO); and media and information. Post election activities will include skill development in management and fund raising for civil society sustenance and policy analysis skills for democratic sustenance.

Partner

EISA is a non-governmental, not for profit organisation, established in 1996, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Its mission is to strengthen electoral processes, good governance, human rights and democratic values through research, capacity building, advocacy and other targeted interventions. The Institute has built an internationally recognized center for policy, research and information. It provides this service to governments, electoral commissions, political parties, civil society organisations and other institutions operating in the democracy and governance fields throughout the SADC region and beyond.

EISA initiated the establishment of the Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC countries, which consists of all the 14 electoral commissions, and the civil society SADC Electoral Support Net work (SADC ESN).

Project duration and Funding

Building on the first phase (June 2001 till October 2002) this second phase started in December 2002 and will be implemented over a duration of three years, till November 2005. The total budget amounts to USD 388’832.-. SDC funds cover the entire capacity building programme, from consultative meetings to regional evaluation.

Geographical area

The project will strengthen selected Country Co-ordinator organisations holding elections in the period 2003 – 2005, in Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland.

Contact address

The Electoral Institute of Southern Africa EISA
41 Stanley Avenue ∙ P.O. Box 740 ∙ Auckland Park 2006 ∙ Johannesburg
Phone (+2711) 482 5495 ∙ Fax (+2711) 482 6163
Email: eisa@eisa.org.zahttp://www.eisa.org.za

 

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