The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa opened an office in Lusaka in Zambia, to support local partners in contributing to the credibility and integrity of the 2016 electoral process in Zambia.
EISA worked with five local organisations to carry out voter and civic education and the deployment of election monitors in a co-ordinated and synchronised way. However, EISA more particularly focused on the training of 9000 local monitors (Zambian legislation uses the term “monitor” rather than “observer” for local observers).
With the support of the British Council Zambia Accountability Project (ZAP), EISA worked in partnership with Caritas, the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP), the Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACC0RD), Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) and the Young African Youth Leadership Initiative (YALI).
Civic and voter education on the referendum and elections intensified as voting day drew closer. The five project partners mainly used bulk text messages, radio programmes, radio and TV advertisements, community meetings and posters to reach millions of Zambians. Over 400 political candidates also received targeted messages urging them to desist from electoral malpractices and corruption
The constituency-level trainers who had been trained in the previous period trained over 9,000 monitors countrywide. The monitors were then accredited by the electoral commission and monitored the elections on 11 August 2016. FODEP deployed 5,022 monitors and SACCORD 4,035 monitors. These monitors were deployed in polling stations and collation centres in all 156 constituencies. The two organisations provided the monitors with checklists, forms, T-shirts and allowances to undertake their task. They also set up data centres at their secretariats to capture data from the election monitors. YALI also deployed 25 roving monitors in five provinces and to the national results centre.
Following pre-election monitoring of the campaigns, SACCORD, one of the partners supported by EISA, produced an early warning analysis and violence index as well as a report on the administration of the Public Order Act. These reports were widely disseminated to electoral stakeholders to promote peaceful elections. Through 19 conflict management meetings attended by 890 youth leaders from various political parties, YALI promoted political tolerance and peaceful electioneering.
EISA conducted an internal evaluation of the project to measure success and draw lessons. The two-day evaluation was qualitative and data was collected through focus group discussions with all five sub-grantees. As a result of the above, a concept note for a post-election governance project was produced.
There has been slow submission of election-day reports of monitors by constituency and provincial coordinators to the Lusaka offices of SACCORD and FODEP. This has slowed down capturing of monitors' data, data analysis and production of the final election reports. It should be noted however, that at the time of this report approximately 90% of the polling day data had been submitted from the constituencies.