In preparing for the forthcoming 2013 elections EISA commenced its work in supporting the National Independent Electoral Commission for the Transition's (CENIT) efforts in putting in place mechanisms to manage election related conflict. Consultative meetings were held with the CENIT and local Civil Society Oranisations, laying the groundwork for the selection of trainers and the identification of conflict mediators. EISA designed and developed conflict management training materials to be distributed to trainers and future panellists. These include participants' handbooks and check lists for the mediation exercise. For the activity, EISA Madagascar is building on the EISA election Conflict Management Panel model introduced in other countries, such as Burundi, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, and South Africa. These panels would become operational in 2013.
A voter education curriculum was developed in consultation with a local civil society network, the Komity Mpanaramaso ny Fifidianana/Comité National d'Observation des Elections (KMF/CNOE) whereafter core trainers were provided with the skills to facilitate train the trainer programmes in their own regions. In order to ensure maximum outreach, EISA supported the cascade model of training in 23 districts of seven regions of Madagascar. With the skills and support provided by EISA, 16 CSO trainers ran workshops in their different regions attended by 295 participants, including 156 men and 139 women.. Through this cascade approach local capacity was strengthened, and the participants' facilitation skills and confidence in conducting voter education workshops was improved.
In addition, EISA signed a funding agreement with the EU Delegation in Madagascar in support of civil society's involvement in voter information and education for the voter registration process. Consultative meetings with participating CSOs were organised in December 2012 to ensure that all participating CSOs have a common understanding of the project which is being implemented under EISA's guidance and would be ready to roll out in 2013.
EISA developed a manual, Formation des délégués de partis politiques et des candidats: Manuel de formateur, for trainers to conduct party agent poll watching workshops.
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.
Working closely with three local civil society organisations, namely Acces Zon'olombelona, Andrimaso FFKM and Komity Mpanaramaso ny Fifidianana Comité National d'Observation des Elections (KMF/CNOE), EISA and our partners developed a civic and voter education manual. Using the cascade approach EISA and our partners trained 44 participants in a train the trainer course on how to use the manual as well as facilitation skills. These facilitators conducted workshops in six regions, including Bongolava, Melaky, Analanjorofo, Farafangana and Diana. Participants were extremely responsive and highlighted that they had not previously been exposed to the material contained in this course. An added benefit was the experience and exposure that the 44 facilitators gained by conducting workshops and the opportunity to practice their skills.
Although elections were delayed in Madagascar during 2011, EISA used the opportunity provided by the local government elections in South Africa to organise a study tour for members of the National Electoral Commission (CENI), political parties and CSOs to South Africa to gain first hand exposure to see how Party Liaison Comitttees work as well as the EISA/IEC Conflict Management Panel structures function in practice. The study tour, which took place from 13 to 20 May, included three officials of the CENI, including the president of the CENI, two political party representatives and three CSO representatives. The delegation also observed polling day in the Gauteng province and held meetings with South African political parties, the South African Civil Society Election Coalition, the Municipal Demarcation Board and the IEC. The Malagasy delegation also established networks with the EMBs of Burundi, Zimbabwe and Mexico which were also in South Africa at the time.
Upon returning to Madagascar, EISA Madagascar convened a half day debriefing workshop which brought together the study tour participants, additional representatives from the participants' institutions, UN agencies, international NGOs, embassies and the media. The participants shared their experiences and reflected on the challenges facing the electoral process in Madagascar.
22 May 2008, Hotel Le Colbert, Antananarivo: Workshop Report
This workshop was a follow up to the work undertaken by the teams sent to observe the elections in the country in December 2006 and September 2007 (see Madagascar: National Assembly 23 September 2007 EOM Report [PDF] and Madagascar: Presidential 3 December 2006 EOM Report/Madagascar: Presidentielles 3 Decembre 2006 [PDF]). The overall goal of the workshop was to unravel the election management challenges facing Madagascar and propose appropriate reform measures. The specific objectives were to:
The workshop addressed the following topics:
The event gathered 50 participants drawn from a list of various stakeholders including political parties, civil society organizations, election authorities, government officials at the central and local levels, MPs (House of Assembly and Senate), the Judiciary, the media, the donor community and development agencies, academia and traditional leadership.