Southern Africa Development Community Election Support Network (SADC-ESN)
SADC-ESN is a network of fifteen election-based organisations in Southern Africa that recognise the inextricable link between elections as the foundation of any functional democracy, and the centrality of the observance of Human Rights in the conduct of the electoral cycle; particularly given the record of Human rights abuses in the region.
The Network seeks to coordinate the efforts of election observation by domestic observer groups in the SADC region, as well as enhance the channels of communication between regional domestic observer groups with a focus on the conduct of elections according to International Human Rights Standards, and the dissemination of information to the wider public. The SADC ESN aims to build the capacity of individual members and the establishment of regional best practices, through mutual reinforcement and dialogue. It is envisioned that the SADC ESN will form a unified lobby for electoral reform with particular emphasis on the domestication of international instruments on Human Rights and lobbying, advocating for the signing and ratification of the African Charter on Elections and Democracy.
LEAD Training Workshops in the DRC
In the framework for the “Preventing Electoral Violence in the SADC” (PEV-SADC) project, the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), with project partners Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) and SADC-ESN held three training workshops on Leadership and Conflict Management Training for Electoral Stakeholders (LEAD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The participants are primarily organisations from the civil society focused on electoral observation, namely RENOSEC, ROC and REGED.
The innovative LEAD training was developed by ECES and the Leadership Beyond Boundaries, an initiative of the Center for Creative Leadership. The training aims to develop capacities in the crossroads between leadership and conflict management by building on the specific experiences, knowledge and exchanges among the electoral stakeholders participating in the training.
The aim of the LEAD training methodology is to strengthen the management and leadership capacities of electoral administrators and stakeholders as well as to improve their conflict management skills, while at the same time providing them with the resources and skills to replicate this training and thus guarantee the sustainability of the project. LEAD is a flexible learning tool that is customised according to the specific context and target group of participants in question and uses interactive adult education techniques focused on the practical solution to real challenges faced by electoral stakeholders.
Since one of the objectives of the LEAD training is to have a mixed participant group, the training included members from the Central Electoral Commission (CENI-DRC) and representatives of the security forces, the media and the justice sector. This heterogenic participant group is thought to be particularly valuable when sharing self-experienced examples relating to leadership and management of conflicts.
The project’s Deputy Director and Electoral Conflict Management Advisor, Mathieu Mérino is one of the facilitators alongside Corneille Nangaa Yobeluo, a longstanding partner of ECES. The LEAD training was held in three different locations in the DRC, namely Kinshasa (26 – 31 August 2013), Lubumbashi (2 – 6 September 2013) and Bukavu (9 – 13 September 2013).
During the training workshops, a comprehensive study of all issues related to leadership and conflict management was approached in various interactive ways including: case studies on triggers of conflict during the electoral cycle (Kenya and Guinea Conakry), the screening and discussion of the film "An African Election" directed by Jarreth Merz depicting the elections in Ghana, in-depth analysis of election observation methods through case studies from Zimbabwe and DRC, familiarisation with organizational and project based the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis as well as various other interactive thematic seminars and exercises. The first training carried out in Kinshasa during the week of August 26 to 31 was very successful and reflected positively on the progress of the training. The LEAD training programme will be delivered to the beneficiary countries in the project.
Read more about the PEV-SADC project on the project page!
MESN Preliminary Statement on the Conduct of the 2014 Tripartite Elections
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre. While voting is still underway at 45 polling stations, the process has concluded for the vast majority of the country. Given concerns following the late opening of polling stations yesterday, the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) believes that it is critical to share systematic nationwide information on the conduct of the polls. These elections belong to the Malawian people, but most voters will have seen the process at only one polling station. To make an informed decision about whether these elections meet the expectations of the Malawian people they need systematic nationwide information on the conduct of the process – both the challenges as well as what went well.This is not MESN’s final statement on the 2014 Tripartite Elections. We continue to observe the process through its conclusion. Following the announcement of official results by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), MESN will issue a statement on the accuracy of the official results for the presidential election. MESN will, as appropriate, issue additional statements as well as a final report on the entire 2014 Tripartite Election process.