In collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission and other missions, KAIPTC has been delivering the Election Observation Training (EOT) for Election Observers in West Africa for the past seven (7) years. With hundreds benefiting from the training over the period, it was time to look back and assess the impact of the course and its value to beneficiaries. With funding support from Norway, an assessment team from the Centre conducted an impact study with relevant institutions, bodies and alumni in Ghana, Benin and Nigeria. These countries were selected based on the high number of trained participants. The overall objective of the study was to assess the impact of past EOT courses. It also sought to understand the changing trends in election processes in the African context to inform the review of the EOT course. The study further aimed at ensuring that the EOT course content continues to remain relevant and aligned with regional policy priorities. Finally, the study aims at improving the delivery of the course by using the results, outcomes and recommendations received from beneficiaries.
The impact team held interviews and focus group discussions with various institutions and stakeholders. In Ghana, the team engaged the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD), Electoral Commission of Ghana, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), KAIPTC Election Observation Training (EOT) course Alumni and non-EOT Alumni Election Observers.
In Benin, the team held interactions with the following institutions; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Réseau pour l’Intégration des Femmes des ONG et Associations Africaines (RIFONGA), Social Watch, WANEP – Benin, Commission électorale nationale autonome (CENA), Constitutional Court, a minority political party and KAIPTC EOT Alumni.
Finally, alumni from Nigeria who work for the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPS), the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPRC), the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEG), the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) and Affiliate as well as KAIPTC EOT Alumni participated in the study. One Alumni said, “the EOT course has helped me and other Officers from my department conduct ourselves professionally when performing election duties”. Another mentioned that, “I personally educate people on how to prevent electoral violence.”
The EOT course seeks to ensure an increase in the contribution of experts to the ECOWAS efforts in preventing election-related conflict/violence and to help deepen democracy in the region.
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