Project Synopsis

SAPES Trust Institutional support

This proposal requests institutional support for the Southern African Political Economy Series (SAPES) Trust a regional think-tank headquartered in Harare. SAPES was established in 1987 as a project of the African Association of Political Science (AAPS) to nurture social science research, policy dialogue and policy development. Since 2010, SAPES has had a particular focus on Zimbabwe through its Policy Dialogue Forum -- one of the few spaces that cut across the political divide.

Democratization of Angola Electoral Systems

OSISA-Angola seeks to support the research study of four critical areas that will influence future elections in Angola. The evidence from the studies will inform advocacy by civil society and political parties on a range of electoral reform needed to position Angola to have a democratic and inclusive elections. The window of opportunity that OSISA-Angola is targeting is the next local elections to be happening in 2015 whose date has not been announced and the general elections which will take place in 2017.

Sensitizing and strengthening the capacity of Area Development Committees (ADC) & Village Development Committees (VDCs)

Local government elections in Malawi were first held in 2000 and the term of office expired in 2005. Since then there have been no councillors resulting in a vacuum that has deprived local Malawians leadership at the lowest sphere of governance. The 2014 elections will include council elections which were crippled and weakened in the previous electoral cycle due to lack of apprehension of the laws and operations of local structures by the ordinary citizenry.

ELECTIONS WITH INTEGRITY: Dialogue Platform on Electoral Processes

As Mozambique prepares for local government elections in November 2013 and Presidential and parliamentary elections in 2014 it still faces major problems around electoral violence, accusations across party lines of fraudulent practices, politicization of public institutions, threats of boycott, and accusations of bias in the management of electoral processes. In the past, this problem has resulted in elections characterised by high levels of voter apathy and citizen mistrust on the credibility of the electoral processes.

Constructive Engagement on the Implementation of the NGO Act.

In 2005 the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Government introduced a regulatory mechanism for non- governmental organisations through an NGO bill passed hastily without thorough consultation. The NGO Act included provisions that require mandatory registration, vests more powers in the governmental regulatory body with provisions of severe criminal sanctions on civil society. The implementation of this Act comes at the backdrop of an already weakened civil society due to massive exodus of key personnel and actors into government.

Capacity Building Project for the National Independent Electoral Commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo

Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are a priority for the Electoral Commissions Forum of the Southern African Development Community (ECF SADC) because the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections are only the second democratic elections since the signing of the Sun City accords in 2002.

Given the post-conflict challenges facing the DRC at the time, without the assistance of the international community, the first democratic elections would have unsuccessfully organised.

Strengthening CSOs and Individual Human Rights Defenders in Zambia

The three phase approach to human rights work taken by the African Women Millennium Initiative in Zambia (AWOMIZ) involves, first, engaging in regional, and international, human rights systems by submitting relevant periodic reports, and attending sessions.

The second phase involves lobbying the Zambian government to ratify relevant human rights instruments and pushing for the implementation of these instruments.

Advocacy on the SADC Tribunal

The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Tribunal is an international court that reinforces SADC and national law, as well as relevant international human rights instruments, and is accessible only after domestic remedies have been exhausted.

The Tribunal holds states, and SADC, accountable for their actions, thereby empowering citizens. It inspires confidence that investment in the region will be protected against any infringements.

Evaluation of the SADC PF’s Election Observation Programme and Election Standards

The Southern African Development Community’s Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) has observed elections in SADC countries since 1999.

In all 25 elections observed to date, reports outlining key observations and challenges in those elections have been published, as well as presented to various election stakeholders after the election.

The SADC PF also organises regional training workshops, on elections and democracy, with a view to deepening parliamentarians’ knowledge of the electoral cycle and its link to democracy.

Institutional Support and Campaign for Access to Information Legislation

Accessible information is vital for citizens to make informed decisions and participate meaningfully in all matters of national interest.

The right for citizens to access public information exists in the Malawian Constitution; Malawi is also a signatory to various United Nations’ charters regarding the access to information as a primary right. Malawi’s media environment should thus be conducive to accessing information.

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