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WAWEO Training Narrative Report- Monrovia (Oct, 2011)

WAWEO Training Narrative Report- Monrovia (Oct, 2011)

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ELECTIONS OBSERVATION TRAINING

ORGANISED FOR

WEST AFRICAN WOMEN'S ELECTIONS OBSERVATION TEAM (WAWEO) 8-9 OCTOBER 2011 Palm Spring Hotel, Monrovia-Liberia

ELECTIONS OBSERVATION TRAINING REPORT
Introduction Women in Africa are increasingly making their presence felt in the political arena. Despite this progress, the number of women actively and visibly engaged in politics remains low in most African countries mainly due to prevailing societal belief that politics is a male domain. 2011 and 2012 present new opportunities for women in West Africa with eight countries scheduled to hold parliamentary and presidential elections. In view of this, the delegates at the 2nd Annual West African Women Policy Forum conveyed by WIPSEN-Africa and WACSI under the theme: “Our Politics is NOW: Moving Beyond the Rhetoric of Women’s Political Participation” called for the formation of a West African Women Elections Observation Team (WAWEO) consisting of two representatives from each of the fifteen ECOWAS member States. They represent women within the civil Society, Electoral Commissions and non-governmental organizations and government. WAWEO is a women-oriented, women-focused and womendriven Elections Observation Mission established to monitor, serve, protect and promote the broader interest of women from all sectors during the forthcoming elections in West Africa including parliamentary, presidential and (general) elections. It is envisioned that the WAWEO team of women observers be deployed to complement the work of the ECOWAS Elections

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Observer Mission in every general election across the sub-region. Women observers with gender expertise are better placed than male observers to understand how electoral procedures affect women’s participation in elections and the need to protect women’s interests, promote women’s participation in politics. Hence, there is a great need to train women elections observation team, representatives from across West Africa on election observation techniques. Section 1 of this report presents the opening ceremony; Section 2 summarizes the training and discussions held and finally Section 3 provides main recommendations arising from the training.

SECTION 1: OPENING CEREMONY

The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) in partnership with the Women, Peace and Security Network (WIPSEN-Africa) and IBIS-Liberia organized a two-day Elections Observation training from 8-9 October 2011, in Palm Spring Hotel, Monrovia-Liberia. The training aimed at equipping the WAWEO team with requisite elections observation skills, techniques and procedures in preparation for electoral processes in the sub-region in order to play effectively their role of elections observers. It also aimed at strengthening the knowledge of women of electoral processes and advocating for more gender sensitive election plans in West Africa by documenting and disseminating lessons from the observation of elections in all the targeted countries. The training, initially scheduled for 30 participants, was held for only 7 participants due to resource constraints. Participants were from Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The opening ceremony was chaired by Ms. Eunice Roberts, Facilitator of the training and Ms Rosalind Alp-Hanson, Country Director of IBIS- Liberia. IBIS is a non-profit, Danish nongovernmental organization that works at global, national and local levels to support equal access to education, influence and resources for both men and women through advocacy in Africa and Latin America. Ms Eunice Roberts welcomed participants to this august training defying all odds and outlined the rationale behind the establishment of the West African Women Elections Observation Team (WAWEO) and the objectives of the Elections Observation training. Ms Pearl Atsou-Dzini, Executive Assistant of WACSI, representing the Institute also welcomed participants and expressed the Executive Director’s best wishes for the training. Ms Rosalind Alp-Hanson in turn expressed her appreciation and excitement for this initiative, which she
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believes has a great future. She stated that this marks the first time IBIS is partnering with a women organization. She reassured the team of her support and that of IBIS to this laudable project as it is important and necessary that women are involved in elections observation. It is an important step for all women globally for taking the stand to observe. She thanked the organizers for the opportunity given IBIS to be part of this initiative. She reiterated IBIS’s commitment to support elections observation of WAWEO in any way they can and wherever IBIS has a country representative in West Africa. Ms. Rosalind Alp-Hanson wished the team a fruitful training and seized the opportunity to introduce the Communication Officer, Ms Rikke Bruntse-Dahl and Program Development Advisor of IBIS-Liberia, Ms. Kadja Christensen. The Country Representative of UN WOMEN, Ms. Derex-Briggs attended the opening ceremony and showed solidarity and support to WAWEO team. She encouraged members of the WAWEO team and wished them a successful training. WIPSEN-Africa, WACSI’s partner in this initiative and in charge of deployment was represented by Ms. Blanche Selmah.

BRIEFING FOR ELECTIONS OBSERVERS As the National Elections Commission of Liberia (NEC) was holding a briefing session for all international observers, the WAWEO team was conveyed to the NEC secretariat. The briefing aimed at providing international observers with detailed information about the overall preparations towards the 2011 general elections in Liberia. After welcoming all observers, the executive Director of NEC, Hon. John Langley, gave an overview of the 2011 elections which started with the registration of voters, a referendum to agree on certain decisions regarding the number of years of stay in Liberia before qualifying as presidential candidature. The Field Coordinator, Mr. Lamin Lighe then gave updates from the field. He informed observers on the arrival of elections materials, the logistics and security put in place to ensure transparency and fairness of the elections. He also informed observers on the number of magistrates, districts and polling stations and how many NEC staff will be deployed in every polling station. Observers were asked to introduce themselves upon arrival to the presiding officer of each polling station. The next person to intervene was the IT specialist of NEC who highlighted the new technology which will be used to tally and count votes. He assured of the safety of the link and made some demonstration to observers. Participants were given the chance to ask questions which were
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mostly answered to their satisfaction, except one question relating to how people with disability are catered for during electoral processes, especially the visually impaired. As regards this particular question, NEC explained that during the 2005 elections, arrangements were made for tactile ballots but since it was not used, no provision has been made for the 2011 general elections. Voters with visual impairment are advised to get assistance from their relatives; this hinders the secrecy of one’s vote.

WAWEO members at the briefing session at NEC

Other International observers at NEC

SECTION 2: REPORT ON TRAINING AND DISCUSSIONS The two-day training focused on six (6) major topics, namely: Meaning and types of election observation The purpose and importance of elections observation What to observe during elections observation Code of conduct for election observation Election observation procedure Election Day observation and report writing

The methodology used by the facilitator throughout the training was interactive and participatory based on Information, Communication Technology (ICT), PowerPoint presentations and some explanations were written on flip charts to help participants follow on the discussions. Practical exercises were carried out to deepen participants’ knowledge and understanding of elections observation. They were also encouraged to give their views on questions and share what is done in their respective countries.

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2-1: Meaning and types of election observation Participants were taken through a series of definitions of key words in elections observation. What is election? Why do we say that an election is a process? Elections are a celebration of fundamental human rights and more specifically civil and political rights. A genuine election is a political competition that takes place in an environment characterized by confidence, transparency and accountability that provides voters with an informed choice between distinct political alternatives. Election observation therefore contributes to the overall promotion and protection of these rights. We say that Election is a process because there are so many elements that take place before the Election Day itself. There is demarcation of electoral boundaries, registration of voters, nomination of candidates, campaigning, conduct of the election, counting of votes, declaration of results and resolution of conflicts that arise before, during and after the conduct of the election. In different settings or countries, electoral processes are handled by special institutions or organizations known as the Elections Management Body (EMB). However, EMBs have different names in different countries. For example, in Sierra Leone, it is the National Electoral Commission; in Liberia, they call them National Elections Commission; in Ghana, it is the Electoral Commission of Ghana; in Gambia and in Benin, it is the Independent Electoral Commission and in Nigeria, it is the Independent National Electoral Commission. EMBs may have different names, different composition and their members may not all be appointed by the Government but they perform the same task as to ensuring the good conduct of elections. The most important point to note here is the need for observers to make informed judgments about elections. Any pronouncements made about the election must be borne out by facts and not mere assumptions. There is also the need to use Election language correctly in interpreting the facts (free and fair, irregularity, fraud, rigging, etc.).

Knowing that Election is a process and Election observation enhances accountability and transparency thereby boosting both domestic and international confidence in the process. What are the types of elections observation? There are two types of elections observation, the Long Term Observation and the Short Term Observation. A long-term observation refers to Election observation that covers the entire
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process or the major activities of an election whereas the short-term election observation covers only aspects of the election, usually towards the tail end of the process. Most of the time, short term observers arrive late and leave early. Long term observation helps to track the overall election process, the adequacy and timeliness of electoral preparations. It helps to detect fraudulent activities at early stages that could affect the eventual outcome of the election, abuse of incumbency and monitors the behavior of electoral actors. It watches the nature of the campaign and any election-related human rights violations and the media coverage of elections. Due to the fact that long-term observation requires huge funding, more experienced observers and most observers are working people who cannot be away from their jobs for a long time and also the fact that long-term observation has not been adopted as a policy, most organization do not patronize it. Only few organizations like the European Union and the OSCE have adopted long-term election observation as a policy. Even in the case of those organizations that do not do full scale long-term observation, the trend these days is to station a few long-term observers or an advance team of observers in the host country, so that the short-term observers would be better informed about the country’s electoral preparations and the general environment. Some organizations, in order to cut down cost, use the services of domestic observers to provide long-term election observation. Among those who observe elections, one can distinguish between international observers and domestic observers. International observers are those who come from outside the country holding the elections, and domestic observers are the ones who come from the host country. For example in Ghana, there is a Coalition of Domestic Elections Observers (CODEO). During the 2008 elections, they sent out 22 000 observers in the entire country. During Election Day, party agents and journalists are sometimes considered as domestic observers. Party agents are there to gather information about voting in a particular area and inform their party about its credibility whereas journalists as the watchdog of society only observe and report to the public on the credibility of the elections process. Though they may be accredited by EMBs, their impartiality is not always assured. The importance of domestic election observation lies in the fact that it is more cost effective compared to long-term observation. It makes the civil society strong. Furthermore, domestic observers have intimate knowledge of local conditions and national peculiarities. Challenges facing domestic observers include the view that observation is primarily a lucrative business to be done for money; lack of training on the part of domestic observers. EMBs must endeavor to
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train observers. There must be a policy that ensures people are trained before accreditation, especially personnel from the Elections Management Body. As most foreign observers sometimes are better equipped for elections observation, the collaboration between national and international observers is desirable in the sense that International observers could benefit from the intimate knowledge of local conditions of domestic observers whereas Domestic observers could benefit from the credibility of findings by international observers. Election observation is an important part of the election process but Election monitoring is not less important. What is the difference between Elections Observers and Election Monitors? Observers are likened to physicians whereas Monitors are pathologists. Therefore, the monitor can take decisions and responsibilities in the course of its observation whereas the observer can only observe and cannot in any way intervene during the election process. Whenever the observer sees anything requiring intervention, she has to draw the attention of the secretariat which in turn conveys the message to the EMB of the host country. Though observers are not to intervene, they are not helpless. Their report is used whenever difficulties arise. The monitor is rather an integral part of the election administration process, s/he has the power to supervise and intervene in the administration of an election, s/he can give binding instructions to an election official in the course of his/her work and s/he requires technical competence in administration unlike the observer. It is wrong to use the terms election observation and election monitoring interchangeably. An election observer is not an election monitor: on the other hand, a monitor is much more than an observer. Unlike an observer, the monitor must know not only how an electoral activity is carried out, but also why it is done that way. Where necessary, this

understanding enables the monitor to prescribe an alternative way of carrying out a particular activity, without compromising the underlying electoral principle. The observer watches, sees, notes and reports what takes place in relation to an election and the scope of his/her work may cover the entire electoral process or some aspect at the process. As election officials, observers are required not to overstep their bounds and act like monitors.

2-2: Purpose and Importance of Elections Observation What are then the purposes and importance of election observations? Elections observation brings legitimacy to the electoral process, the elected government and wins international acceptance (foreign assistance linked to democracy). Some countries or
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organizations also sponsor groups to observe elections in order to reinforce democratic practices, to deter election-related violence, fraud and rigging, to promote adherence to human rights and boost the confidence of the opposition parties, which do not trust government and EMB. The importance of election observation cannot be overlooked as every election observation has the potential of making election managers and officials sit up to their obligations; allaying the fears and suspicions of voters and thereby engendering a high voter turnout; deterring violence, fraud and rigging; fostering transparency, fair play, and respect for human rights; enhancing the credibility of elections and the acceptance of results; legitimizing the electoral process and the elected government; enhancing the international respectability of country and government; and also deterring the abuse of incumbency and disseminating good electoral practices through competent reports. Elections observation is therefore necessary to avoid fraud and rigging. What to watch out for during elections observation? As elections systems vary from one country to another, the first thing to watch out for is the Domestic Context meaning the laws, rules, regulations, processes and procedure of the electoral system of the country where one is to observe. For example, some countries hold elections every 4 years (Ghana), others 5 years (Gambia) and few ones 7 years (Senegal). Observers need to watch out for elements that make the elections genuine as they are based on universal suffrage but also note elections procedures that are peculiar to a given country. For example, in Cape Verde, people vote with their Identity card whereas in other countries, Ghana or Nigeria, one can only vote with voters’ cards. Another important element to pay attention to in every country holding elections is the electoral system. Given that international instruments on human rights state that, if elections are to express the will of the people and give legitimacy to governments, they must be periodic, genuine, and based on universal suffrage, equal suffrage, and secrecy of the vote. Participants were introduced to universal principles, and encouraged to look out for the electoral laws of the country. Observers have to participate in any briefing organized by the host EMB and seek clarification on issues, while in country. Observers must take into due consideration both the electoral laws of the respective country and universals principles of democratic elections. The universal principles include Independence of the EMB; Freedom of expression, movement, assembly, choice;

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Respect

for

electoral

rights;

Competitiveness;

Transparency;

Fairness;

Impartiality;

Inclusiveness; Accessibility; Accountability; No corruption; No cheating.

Participants working on strategies to increase women’s participation in politics

Further to the scrutiny of electoral laws, participants reflected on how these laws promote women in politics and how easy it is for women to contest in their respective countries. In Liberia, women do not build constituencies; they don’t connect with other women in their communities. This becomes a handicap. Though it is difficult to get funding for their campaign, if women are able to build the confidence of other women, they will receive funding for their activities as mostly male candidates are supported by women. In Nigeria, political parties do not support female candidatures, no matter how competent they may be. The family status of women in politics is always threatened and this discourages women from engaging into politics. In Gambia, women are given a place in politics. The vice-president is a woman. There are about 2 women elected and 3 appointed in the National Assembly of Gambia. In Ghana, political parties do not support women. They rather use politics as a sex game. They accuse women in politics of lesbian, divorced and rogue. The negative ideas about women in politics shy women off though nothing in legislations prevent women. From the various contributions, it came out that women are legally free to participate in political activities. However, there are many socio-cultural barriers that prevent them from contesting in elections. Participants as part of their group work proposed strategies that will boost participation of women in politics as follows:  Mentoring (grooming young women interested in politics)  Help women build constituency (Meeting women in communities)  Motivational speeches (need to go with providing economic abilities)
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 Political parties must agree to cede some constituency (safe seats) to women  Prepare the mindset of women to rise above socio-cultural barriers  Build capacity on international principles to enable women know their rights  Train young women to be enterprising and innovative and learn to do things by themselves (not be dependent on men)  Customs and traditions must be changed  Set up a west African women trust fund for all individual countries  Politics being a career, employ these young graduates in political setups to enable them acquire political competences  Start with a pilot program and groom women gradually  Train girls towards politics

In brief, participants acknowledged that lots have been done to ensure women participation in politics but they remain insignificant. Older women in politics were encouraged to groom young and focused young women so they are exposed to the political arena and learn to be prepared for the tasks ahead.

Participants engaged in warm-up exercise before tackling next topic

2-3: Code of Conduct for election observation Apart from the laws of the country and the electoral systems in the host country where one is to observe, observers have to familiar with codes of conduct for election observation. The most used codes are the code of conduct of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and ODHR (Office for Democratic Institution and Human Rights) and that of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States). For example, both codes recommend that Observers maintain strict impartiality while carrying out their duties and at no time, publicly express or exhibit any bias or preference in relation to
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national authorities, political parties, candidates or with reference to any issues in contention in the election process. They both urge observers to undertake their duties in an unobtrusive manner and not interfere in the electoral process. Observers may raise questions with election officials and bring irregularities to their attention, but they must not give instruction or countermand their decisions, etc. But a thorough study of both codes reveal that the ECOWAS code of conduct looks more practical and down to earth, it brings out African realities and cautions are clearly illustrated. OSCE code is more professional and integrates the general international rules and expectation of elections. Both codes are not gender inclusive. Despite the similarities and differences, both codes complement each other. It is clear that observers need to be careful not to associate themselves with the colors or symbols of any political party in that country. For example, in Liberia, the green color is the dominant color of the ruling Unity Party and therefore an observer wearing such color on Election Day will be taken for a partisan of the ruling party. Observers must not intervene in the actual administration of an election but rather conduct themselves in a responsible manner by not showing any form of bias, but rather making judgments based on facts. Observers must remember that they do not enjoy any special immunity from offences under the laws of a given country. They must therefore abstain from making personal statements about the election to the media as they might be premature; they may contradict or prejudice the eventual official statement; or dent the credibility of the group and increase tensions or lead to actual conflict. This explains why the need for observer groups to always identify a group leader who will be the person authorized to speak on their behalf.

Facilitator writing down main concepts on flip chart

The choice of the team leader of spokesperson of the group is part of the procedures usually applied in observing elections. Procedures may vary slightly from one organization to the other, but there is much common ground among reputable observer organizations. The first step is the pre-election assessment to make on the spot evaluation in the host country, of conditions within which the election is likely to take place and find out whether conditions exist for organizing
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democratic elections. The assessment team may also be charged with other tasks, including finding from the political parties whether they are willing to receive the observers and to permit them to do their work freely and gathering accommodation, transportation, security situation, and health facilities. It is interesting to note that a pre-election assessment team is different from an advance party of the observer group. Because it is only after the pre-election assessment reports that good conditions exist for the organization of elections that observers are recruited either by nomination of members by sponsoring organization or application is sent out through advertisement or by individual invitation. After their selection, irrespective of their competence or prior experience, there will be one form or other of briefing to help observers be familiar with the electoral system to be observed or the conditions in the country where the elections will be hosted. One of the features that make WAWEO unique is the conduct of in-depth training for observers prior to deployment what most organizations don’t do. The WAWEO team was determined to work hard and bring WAWEO to the level that countries will invite them to talk to political parties just as countries invite UN missions for example. Participants acknowledged that this was a challenge to live up for.

2-4: Election observation procedures It is also interesting to note that a pre-election assessment team is different from an advance party of the observer group. The advance team is usually sent to the country of observation ahead of the main mission to make contacts with various authorities and stakeholders to brief the observer mission, to make arrangements for accommodation and transportation in and outside the capital and to gather relevant political and electoral information for the benefit of the observer mission. However when the observers have arrived in the country of observation, they have to undertake some of the important activities that usually take place including group meeting, arrival statement, accreditation, consultation, deployment, and field observation. To comply with these procedures, the WAWEO advance team issued upon their arrival in the country an arrival statement to inform the public of their arrival and mission. They also received accreditation from the National Elections Commission and held consultations with civil society organizations (WANEP-LIBERIA, OSIWA-Liberia, and STD), media organizations (Truth FM, LBC) and Women organizations (LIWOMAC, WIPNET) in order to be abreast with the preelections situation in the country.
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Advance team meeting Civil society (WANEP) Advance team meeting political parties

Advance team meeting women media organization

2-5: Election Day observation and report writing Apart from activities undertaken prior to Election Day, a key aspect of election observation consists in gathering facts about the election on Election Day. These facts relate to whether or not the election is carried out in accordance with the particular country’s own laws, rules, regulations, processes and procedures and to which extent the stakeholders behave properly in accordance with the norms associated with democratic elections. There is therefore the need for a good election observation checklist which is mainly aimed at making possible uniform observation by all members of the observers’ group, providing a firm basis for common judgment and making the basis of report writing factual and not subjective. The normal checklist used by most organizations is the A, B, and C Forms. Participants realized gender aspects are not captured in these checklists. After working in group, they proposed gender focused questions that will enable to account for the gender aspects of the election and the most gender sensitive questions were adopted and incorporated in the checklist to reflect the mandate of WAWEO observers’ team. The new checklist will be used for deployment and election observation (Appendix #). As part of documentations to be produced after Election Day observation, we have the preliminary statement, which is a general appraisal of how the election went, without much detail and the final and detailed elections observation report. The preliminary statement as the arrival statement is released to the press before the departure of the observers. Characteristics of a good election observation report include the following: Separation of performance lapses and genuine mistakes from deliberate wrongdoing; Display of a sense of proportion through careful assessment of the distribution and effect of any occurrences; Careful examination of irregularities to determine their probable overall effect on the electoral outcome; Allegations of wrongdoing is not treated as facts unless that could not be
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confirmed; Not an inventory of only things that went wrong: credit also must be given for things done well; Structured in a logical manner; Makes recommendations on institutional and procedural matters for improving future elections. The final report is a detailed account of all that happened based on responses provided in the various checklists used by observers on Election Day. The group works provided participants an opportunity to test their understanding of elections observation and make contributions to various topics according to experiences from their respective countries. Key recommendations arising from the elections observation training are summarized as follows: 1. Follow-up on IBIS’ promise to support WAWEO to observe elections in countries where IBIS has a country office 2. Produce the report of the election observations in Liberia with pictures of every stage 3. Approach UN Women and other women organizations for more support to this initiative 4. Lobby ECOWAS to support WAWEO 5. Always include training aspect in election observation, especially on domestic context and experience sharing 6. WAWEO observers trained should be encouraged and supported to train others (Domestic observers) on the ground in their respective countries 7. Lobby countries to invite WAWEO to talk to political parties and women ahead of elections 8. Design WAWEO Polo shirts, Jackets, bags, caps, etc. with the logo of WAWEO and other partners 9. Design an Identity Card (ID) with the picture, name and country of the WAWEO member wearing it 10. Advise countries to proceed with demarcation before voters’ registration. 11. Encourage women in politics to groom young ladies who want to take up political positions 12. Put in place institutions to groom ladies in politics.

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Participants recommended that though the idea of having a big WAWEO team is laudable, it is also prudent to start by sending a small number of trained observers on the ground and increase the number gradually as the team grows to its initial number (30). Participants were reminded that the task of the WAWEO team is to observe the gender aspects of the organization and conduct of elections, whether conditions were in place for women to freely express their votes without any intimidation and violence.

The closing ceremony was made up of the presentation to participants of their elections observation certificates and the allocation of polling stations for the Election Day observation. They were congratulated for taking part in the training and for accepting to be members of the West African Women Elections Observers. The WAWEO team was assigned polling stations in the three districts in the neighborhood of the Capital Monrovia, namely Montserrado, Margibi and Bomi. They received from the National Elections Commission, their accreditation package including a map of the different regions of the country, the country’s laws and regulations, the map of the earmarked electoral districts, an observer badge.

Participants with 2011 Peace Nobel Prize, Leymah Gbowee

Plenary session at the Elections Observation Training

Section 3: Participants’ Evaluation of the training session
The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) in partnership with the Women, Peace and Security Network (WIPSEN Africa) and IBIS-Liberia organized a two-day Elections Observation training from 8-9 October 2011 at Palm Spring Hotel in Monrovia-Liberia. The training was organized for the West African Women Elections Observation Team (WAWEO) and was attended by 7 participants all female from Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

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At the end of the two-day training, participants assessed the overall delivery of the training by answering a questionnaire, on the three main sessions- overall course delivery, course content and course duration. Below is a compilation of participants’ answers to questions: Session A. Overall Course Delivery

Participants were asked to rate their satisfaction of the overall delivery of the training and give reasons to support their ratings. They were asked to use 3, 2 or 1 indicating respectively Very Satisfied, Satisfied and Not Satisfied. Below is a tabular presentation of the ratings in percentages by participants. Participants were mostly satisfied with the overall delivery of the training as indicated the tabular.

Percentage Rating Participants’ outcomes

of

Areas of Assessment

Very Satisfied

Satisfied 40% 80% 40%

Not Satisfied

1. What is your overall impression of the workshop? 2. Were your objectives for this workshop met? 3. Rate your satisfaction with the Course training materials 4. Taking into account your knowledge on Elections’ observation before the training, did the workshop help to enhance your knowledge and skills in this area?

60% 20% 40%

20%

60%

20%

20%

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5. How effective was the methodology used in the workshop?

The Discussions

60%

40% 20% 20%

The Practical 60% Sessions

Participants’ responses to ratings Overall impression Participants provided their opinions on the overall training and the following answers were given to explain their ratings:       The workshop was rewarding. Its content, methods of presentation and all sessions were participatory. The time was very short The WAWEO training should be well documented and very clear with the gender focus to serve as an example, a different example The training is very important for observers The sessions were very interactive and facilitator was on top of the issues It was a good start and it was very interactive Extremely practical with more participations. Time just flew by.

Were your objectives for this workshop met?       Yes, this has been part of things that I want to be doing from time to time Yes, the instructions were clear and my memory refreshed on election observation issues My objective was to share my own experience with my sister observers Yes, partially Most definitely Because the time was too short, my objectives were not fully met

Course training materials       They were good Training materials were relevant and useful Yes, I’m satisfied Could definitely have been better I’m satisfied I developed a good sense of understanding about elections observation

Knowledge and skills acquisition Participants acknowledged the usefulness of the training compared to their level of understanding on elections observation. 17 | E l e c t i o n s O b s e r v a t i o n T r a i n i n g R e p o r t

     

The training has given me a refresher to the things I studied before Yes, it was like a refresher course to me Before participating to this training, I was a domestic observer. Now my capacity in observation is strengthened and I will help me in this area No Very much as I learnt very important things which I didn’t know before Yes, the training enhanced my skills, knowledge and gave me a sense of appreciation towards this area of election observation

Training methodology Discussions       They were very effective It provided us the opportunity to discuss our various country situations and apply our learning to the Liberia context Very good Too many points discussed were left hanging Excellent Involving

Practical sessions      It was very interactive Group work was interesting and educative Very interactive Great Relevant to practical life situation, ie those that occur worldwide most especially to Africa.

SESSION B
Course Content How effective were the training components (listed in the box below) in strengthening your Elections’ observation skills. Please tick in the box which represents your opinion: Percentage Rating Outcomes of Participants Very useful, Satisfied with Not satisfied, Am very this topic, May May not be satisfied be useful useful 100% 0% 0%

Women Elections’ Observation

1.

Principles on Democratic Elections

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2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Role of WAWEO in elections in the West 100% African sub-region The meaning of Election Observation Election Observation Monitoring What to observe How to Observe WAWEO Code of Conduct for Observers Observation Procedure and
100%

0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%

0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%

Election 100%
100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Long-term and short term observation

Write one or two sentences to describe what you learned from the workshop What I learnt from the workshop was very educative and it will boost my capability in elections observation The workshop served as a refresher of previous training programs I have received in the past on elections observation I learnt new things which can help me as a foreign observer The universal principles and code of conduct were enlightening Qualities of a good observer, importance of country context including laws I was motivated, sensitized, informed and educated about Elections observation which I did not know and understand Advice to the trainer in adapting and delivering this workshop Trainer should keep it up. She did a good job and she is worth to be commended PowerPoint presentations should be prepared on topics before the workshop and should be sent to participants’ email addresses or given as hand-outs Continue her methodology because it is very good and relaxed

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She should use more engaging lecture materials, use of reference materials, and control of participants. There were too many lists, therefore visual aids are necessary She needs more time Allocate more time because the theme is too much to be covered in a workshop of this nature Assessment of facilitator She did wonderful and the training was educative and interactive She made the workshop very interactive enabling participants who have observed elections in the past to share experiences and learn from each other She delivered to my satisfaction Her performance was satisfactory Obviously, she knows the topic. She is very patient in imparting her knowledge The facilitator’s methods of presentation were participatory, hence superb

Session C.

Course Duration

Percentage rating outcome of participants Course duration Too short 28% About Right 43% Not assessed 29%

CONCLUSION Elections observation is a very important aspect of the electoral process. It boosts confidence of all stakeholders in the election and also enhances credibility of the new government at the international level. Elections observation is necessary in any country whether it is emerging from a prolonged civil war, has experienced many years of military rule or has held two successive credible elections. After paying due attention to the laws of the country and the particularity of each country, observers must conduct themselves blamelessly and make informed judgment
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based on facts as their pronouncement may tear up a country or unify it. The government, EMB, political parties, the electorate and sponsoring organizations all benefit from the election observation to ensure that elections are well conducted and that the democratic process is on course. Observer are to observe the election process, not to supervise it, to consider all the factors that impinge on the credibility of the election process as a whole and find fact, not to find faults. Above all, election observation calls for a display of integrity and non-partisanship of all times.

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Appendix 1: Training Agenda
Workshop Agenda West African Women Election Observation Team (WAWEO) Training October 8 – 9, 2011 – Palm Spring Hotel Monrovia, Liberia DAY 1 Saturday 08/10/2011 TIME 09:00 – 10:00 10:00 – 11:30 11:30 – 13:00 13:00 – 14:30 14:30 – 15:30 15:30 – 16:30 16:30 – 16:45 17:00 – 17:30 Comments and Questions END OF DAY 1 DAY 2 Sunday 09/10/2011 TIME 09:00 –10:00 10:00 – 12:20 09:00 – 09:30 12:20 – 14:00 14:00 – 15:45 13:00 – 14:30 15:45 – 16:00 – 15:450 16:00 – 17:00 10:20 11:00 – 13:00 17:00 –17:30 13:30 – 15:30 09:30 – 10:30 17:00 ACTIVITY Code Of Conduct For Election Observation Election Observation Procedure Opening Ceremony LUNCH BREAK Introduction of the course Election Day Observation And Report Writing SNACKS Meaning and types of Election Observation Group Work Presentation of certificates/Closing Ceremony The purpose of Election Observation END OF DAY 2 RESOURCE PERSON Eunice Roberts Eunice Roberts ACTIVITY Opening Ceremony/ Introduction of the course Briefing by the National Elections Commission (NEC) Meaning and types of Election Observation LUNCH BREAK The purpose of Election Observation What to observe SNACKS Eunice Roberts Eunice Roberts “ RESOURCE PERSON Eunice Roberts Eunice Roberts Eunice Roberts

Eunice Roberts

Eunice Roberts Pearl Atsou-Dzini

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Appendix 2
Elections Observation Training for WAWEO Team 8-9 October 2011 - Palm Spring Hotel Monrovia - Liberia No Full Names 1 AZANHOUE Corine 2 Lucy PAGE 3 Derex-Briggs 4 Oby Nwankwo 5 Afia Appiah 6 Eunice Roberts Rosalind Hanson7 Alp 8 Rikke Bruntse Dahl 10 Sarjo M. Camara 11 Etweda A. Cooper 12 Pearl Atsou-Dzini 13 Barbara Bangura Organization Centre Houefa pour la promotion du Genre CEP UN-WOMEN CIRDDOC Hedge- Ghana WAWEO IBIS IBIS WAWEO WAWEO WACSI GEMS Position Jurist Executive Director Country Representative Executive Director Executive Director Consultant Country Director Communications Advisor Program Dev. Advisor Observer Observer Executive Assistant National Coordinator List of participants Country Benin Liberia Liberia Nigeria Ghana Ghana Liberia Liberia Liberia Gambia Liberia Ghana Sierra Leone Contact Number 00229 95 11 12 13 00231 0655206 00 231 511 00 88 00 234 803 313 24 94 00 233 260 439 0375 00 233 208 193 900 00 231 77 636 353 00 231 77 673 97 50 00 231 77 693 44 54 00 220 99 14 602 00 231 651 86 66 00 233 302 54 10 20 00 232 76 60 41 58 Email corineazanhoue@hotmail.com cep_liberia@yahoo.com izechuwa.derexbriggs@unwomen.org nwankwooby@yahoo.com afia.appiah@gmail.com amanua2005@yahoo.com rosalind@ibiswestafrica.com rikke@ibiswestafrica.com kadja@ibiswestafrica.com camarasarjo@yahoo.com etwedac@yahoo.com padzini@wacsi.org barbarabangura@gmail.com

9 Kadja H. Christensen IBIS

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Appendix 3:

WAWEO MEMBERS No Name 1 Eunice Roberts 2 3 4 5 Afia Appiah Oby Nwankwo Sarjo Camara Organization Electoral Commission of Ghana (Retired) HEDGE, Ghana CIRDDOC Position Consultant Executive Director Executive Director Journalist Jurist and Executive Director Coordinator Country GHANA Ghana Nigeria Gambia Benin

Gambia Media Support (GPU) Corine Azanhoue Centre Houefa pour la Mahussi promotion du Genre Barbara Bangura Women Solidarity Support Group (WSSG)

6

Sierra Leone

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