Guinea: Support Political and Electoral Processes
Project Title: “Support Political and Electoral Processes”
Period of Performance: October 1, 2013 – March, 31 2015
Guinea held a legislative election on September 28, 2013, after six years of delays attributable to a variety of factors, including a military coup d’état. This election, despite being preceded by a series of violent demonstrations, was conducted peacefully, and was widely considered a positive step in Guinea’s democratic transition. Challenges persist, however, that must be addressed prior to the presidential election that is currently scheduled to take place in 2015. The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) continues to struggle to demonstrate the institutional and operational capacity necessary to administer elections in a credible and transparent manner and the promotion of electoral reform is further inhibited by a generally weak understanding among citizens of democratic principles, electoral processes, and decentralization.
IFES Technical Assistance
Under this project, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) seeks to increase public understanding of and participation in free and fair electoral processes. To this end, IFES has focused on empowering CENI staff to monitor and evaluate their overall performance through:
- A Legislative Elections Evaluation Workshop designed to capitalize on lessons learned through the legislative elections
- Technical assistance focusing on human resources, local electoral operations, and the CENI Transparency Department and Call Center
- Support to the CENI’s Research and Documentation Center
- An Electoral Reform Assessment intended to highlight areas for strengthening the legal framework for elections in Guinea
Further, IFES has and will continue to support civil society organizations in their efforts to reach out to grassroots communities to foster greater civic engagement. This support is being provided through:
- Support to the seven Civic and Electoral Education Centers (CECEs), which were established by IFES to provide discussion space and civic education materials to Guinean citizens
- Citizen outreach via Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs), youth and women’s groups
- Citizens’ Dialogue Platforms, which are intended to promote dialogue among governmental actors and between electoral and governmental officials and their constituents.
Prior to implementing this current project, IFES served as a partner in the five-year Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) II program, entitled “Transparent and Credible Legislative Elections in Guinea with Increased Woman Participation,” which ended in 2013. Throughout the duration of this project, IFES provided technical assistance to the CENI, trained CENI regional bodies, and mobilized campaigns aiming to raise awareness of the electoral process. In addition to these activities, IFES also implemented a 14-month project that began in 2012 under European Union funding, and which sought to increase communication between all electoral actors and stakeholders. Most recently, IFES was awarded funding by the U.S. Department of State to lead two projects aimed at leveraging the CECEs to organize meetings with civil society representatives, unions, socio-professional organizations, media outlets, and religious leaders in order to disseminate information regarding the Ebola virus.