Publication | Report/Paper

Training National Election Observer Trainers: Report on Referendum and Post-Referendum Experiences, August 1992


The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) was contracted by the Madagascar mission of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to refine and facilitate the training of trainers program for Malagasy elections observers. Participating in the training were members of a variety of national non-governmental organizations seeking to become involved with elections observation, civic education, and Madagascar's democratic transition in general. A four-member IFES team travelled to Madagascar in August 1992. This was the second IFES mission to Madagascar, following an assessment mission in February 1992.

The team arrived in Madagascar, prepared to focus on one objective as outlined in the PIOIT issued by USAID/Madagascar in April 1992: the training of elections monitors and poll observers at the national, regional, and provincial levels in the procedures and methodologies of poll monitoring and elections observation.

  The Malagasy are southern hemisphere pioneers in the creation of a functional role for election observers in their changing political system. International and national elections experts felt that problems existed in the observation format that could benefit from the technical input of international consultants.  The IFES team, and the Foundation in its entirety, welcomed the opportunity to work with, to contribute to, and to learn from the Madagascar experience. This report summarizes the team's activities and observations from July 23 to September 9, 1992. Appendix D. features a report on the IFES follow-up mission conducted January 5-25, 1993.

During its five weeks in country, the team met with groups involved in elections monitoring; led two major training sessions in the capital, Antananarivo; organized a dozen smaller sessions in the provinces; observed the observers during the one day of voting in the constitutional referendum; and produced an election observer training manual and a standardized observation form, in both French and in Malgache.

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