Activity 3.1

Establishment of strategy, organisational structures and necessary functions:


In close collaboration with the ESN SA partner organisations, the Project will develop strategy documents and organisational maps and dedicated plans and budgets that will guide the work of the Observatory. The documents will identify areas of mutual interest where member CSOs will benefit from exchanging experiences and lessons learned. The Project will organise a series of distant meetings whereby network member organisations will meet, discuss and finalise necessary documents for the establishment of the Observatory.

Activity 3.2


Advisory support to network development and partnerships:


At country level, the Project will provide advisory support to ESN SA member organisation to promote their networks and relations with other NGOs as well as key electoral stakeholders. At the regional level, the Project will map networks and organisations that are working in the field of elections-related violence and conflict with the overall objective of enhanced south-south collaboration in this particular field. At country level, the Observatory will have a focal person in each target country, who would then be affiliated to an ESN member. The focal person will be responsible for data collection in each country, which will be fed into a central database. The Observatory would meet annually at regional level and multiple phone conferences will be organised to give to focal persons an opportunity for information exchange.

Activity 3.3


Development of website for the ESN SA and the Observatory:


To promote, communication and visibility of the ESN SA as well as the Observatory, the Project will support the establishment of the ESN SA website. The website will provide an overview of the ESN SA member organisations and profiles as well as an up-to-date overview of activities being carried out by the network in the respective countries. A specific area will be dedicated to those activities carried out by the Observatory. Notably, the development will be based on a user friendly web content management system (CMS) that allows for authoring, collaboration and administration by users with little knowledge of web programming to create and manage the website. A content management guidebook will be produced and distributed to member organisations that will further ensure that the website will be continuously updated after the end of the Project. The Website will host the eLearning course (Activity 4.7) as well as the knowledge sharing platform (Activity 6.4). Sustainability is ensured as the website will be maintaned and updated after the end of the Project.

Activity 3.4


Development of the Observatory knowledge sharing platform:


The knowledge sharing platform will be developed in the context of the above-mentioned ESN SA website space for the Observatory. The platform will have three functions. First, it will provide a space where CSOs working in the field of ERV can interact, ask each other questions, raise issues, distribute information etc. Second, it will provide ESN SA members with easy access to data collected and research materials produced by (or relevant to) the work that the CSO community is carrying out in the field of ERV. All Project-related research materials will available here. Third, the platform will provide a database of regional experts in the electoral processes and conflict prevention fields. The entries will record the specific field of expertise as well as list of accredited BRIDGE and LEAD facilitators that can be contacted for the conduct of new rounds of these workshops and/or other training events. 

Activity 4.1


Data collection and case study development:


A number of research and networking activities will be conducted. These activities will flow from the work of the Observatory and would be implemented under the supervison of the Project. Gathering of data at the country level will feed into the Observatory’s resource bank and provide a solid background for research and studies undertaken in the context of the Project (see Activity 4.2). Data collection will be of both quantitative and qualitative nature. It will be organised in a semi-structured manner to allow for comparative analysis of lessons learned while at the same time reflect the different circumstances and socio-political contexts of the different countries involved. The Observatory will engage national researchers familiar with electoral processes and conflict dimensions in ther respective countries to carry out focus group interviews, surveys etc. All research activities will be closely monitored by and feed into the resource bank of the Observatory on ERV, who will also monitoring the data gathering process and ensure timely reaching of milestones and deliverables vis-à-vis the research framework. In addition to feeding into the Project broader research, the data will provide a solid ground for CSOs to engage in evidence-based advocacy.

Activity 4.2


Development, publication and distribution of Handbook, papers and case studies:


Based on the above mentioned research, the Project will support the development of a Handbook on Elections-Related Violence in the SADC. The handbook will serve as a solid reference tool for CSOs that are (or intend to become) engaged in the field of promoting peaceful electoral and democratisation processes more generally. Whilst the exact structure and content of the Handbook will be developed based on the capacity assessment exercise which will establish research needs and priorities (see project component 1), it could tentatively include the following themes: i) a general introduction to ERV (i.e. definition, timing, perpetrators, victims, motives, methods, extent, context and effects); ii) the SADC experience of ERV “state of the art” situation including cross-country comparison; iii) strategies for preventing ERV focused on CSO engagement; iv) presentation of case studies from the work carried out by CSOs in the region and their lessons learned (i.e. the use of conflict management panels, working with parties and codes of conduct, early warning systems, etc.); v) conclusion and recommendations. In addition to the Handbook, at least two policy papers will be developed taking a regional approach in addition to 14 case studies representing each of the Project’s target countries. The Handbook will be translated into French to accommodate the French-speaking target country organisations. The publications will be made available in hard and soft copies to ensure appropriate distribution to relevant actors within and outside the region.

Activity 4.3


Preparation of the Democracy Toolkit and advisory support to ESN SA for strategic implementation of the Political Safari:


The Elections and Conflict Management (ECM) Team will be responsible for the development of the Democracy Toolkit. The toolkit will be available in English, French and Portuguese. The team will also provide advisory support to CSOs that are implementing the Political Safari aiming to educate women, youth and marginalised groups in democracy building and promote an understanding of electoral processes as key to prevent conflicts.

Activity 4.4


Organisation of regional conference and agreeing on a Joint Action Plan:


A regional conference will be organised to gather CSOs working in the field of peaceful electoral processes in the SADC region (including countries that are not yet taking part in the ESN SA). It will for the first time present to the ESN SA member organisations and broader public comprehensive documentation of the nature of SADC election related conflict, the numbers of incidents, the types of conflict and responses. This information will be invaluable for stakeholders within the region but will also provide a comprehensive picture of the nature of elections-related violence to a global audience. The conference will also provide a platform for the sharing of lessons learned, agreement of a common strategy and provide a forum for discussing the Handbook to be produced in the context of the Project. The ECM team will be responsible for drafting the Joint Action Plan in advance of the conference. The Joint Action Plan will be discussed and agreed upon during the conference days. Finally, the conference will create visibility for the Network.