Ahead of the forthcoming presidential election in Madagascar, EISA conducted a ToT on poll watching for representatives of all 36 candidates, five of whom are women. Although the training initially targeted 20 participants drawn from political parties represented in the national assembly, it was decided to include all the presidential candidates to avoid anyone feeling excluded. Of the 36 participants 44% were women and 22% youth. The training took place from 19 - 21 September 2018 in Antananarivo.
Given the success of the training and special request from the CENI and beneficiaries, the training was extended to the five other provinces (Toamasina, Toliara, Fianarantsoa, Antsiranana and Mahajanga) under the SIDA support project. This allowed EISA to train 179 party agents (49 women) across the country. The training alternated plenary sessions and simulations to allow participants to better understand the subtleties of party agents in polling stations. The trainings were conducted in French and Malagasy and covered topics such as training and deploying party agents, voting, closing and counting procedures, selection criteria for party agents and monitoring compilation of votes.
EISA successfully concluded a series of provincial train the trainers workshops on poll-watching.
Funded by SIDA, under the EISA Africa Democracy Strengthening (ADS) Programme the six workshops aimed to equip representatives of candidates to the 27 May legislative elections in monitoring the polling day and covered key elements of electoral legislation, election day procedure as well as electoral disputes.
During their opening and closing speeches, the CENI's chairperson and vice-president welcomed this initiative and underlined its contribution to the transparency and inclusivity of the electoral process.
Of the 810 candidates in the legislative elections 422 benefitted from the workshops.
EISA focused on building the capacity of political parties to strengthen their internal structures, in particular to be more internally democratic and inclusive, as well as to promotegreater inclusivity of women.
This was effective during a first workshop held in July attended by 12 political parties in Antananarivo, a second workshop in Toamasina in August attended by 10 political parties and a third in Mahajanga in September with 15 political parties.
EISA monitors the promotion of gender equality in political parties by contacting each political party leader who has designated a focal point. Monthly contact are made with the focal point to monitor progress such as the number of women having positions in political parties as well as measures being introduced to promote gender promotion in the party.