EISA organised a press conference on behalf of Mission d'Observation Electorale (MOE)-SYMOCEL on 11 September 2017 at the Memling Hotel in Kinshasa to put forward its proposals for an electoral calendar, a draft of which was transmitted to the CENI on 8 September. The press conference was attended by more than 100 delegates, including politicians and CENI representatives.
Among the recommendations made by MOE-SYMOCEL was that the CENI publish the electoral calendar as soon as possible, giving a clear and detailed timeline of current and future operations in order to remove the uncertainties surrounding the holding of elections and to end the institutional legitimacy crisis that had existed in the DRC since December 2016. The memorandum also raised the issues of extending the vote to Congolese abroad and of electronic voting, with MOE-SYMOCEL proposing that the CENI maintain the status quo in relation to external voting and to evaluate thoroughly the political, economic and technical risks and implications as well as contingency measures related to any changes to the current process. Since this press conference the CENI has announced that elections will take place on 23 December 2018.
July and August 2017
EISA organised workshops on 26 and 27 July in Kinshasa and 8 and 9 August in Lubumbashi on project management, monitoring and evaluation. Participants were familiarised with the key terminology; integrating monitoring and evaluation into project design, planning and implementation; using common monitoring and evaluation approaches and tools; developing a logical framework and theory of change; how the monitoring and evaluation process unfolds at different stages of the project cycle and using monitoring and evaluation in the development of the project results report. This was the first time the CSOs had undergone such training and they are now equipped to use it in their own proposals and also in monitoring the delivery of their programmes.
March to August 2017
On 2 and 3 March 2017 EISA held a workshop for analysts of the SYMOCEL Media Monitoring Unit (MMU) on database management and analysis. The five analysts, three men and two women, were introduced to the skills and tools necessary to manage data professionally, to understand the challenges of data processing in monitoring the media and to acquire analysis techniques for this process. The training included developing qualitative indicators that can map out relevant trends to ensure consistent interpretation of data. A further workshop was conducted for the MMU from 23 to 25 May to strengthen the understanding, evaluation and analysis of political pluralism, the processing of information and gender sensitivity in the media during the electoral period. Analysists were satisfied with the themes covered and also voiced a need to hold regular technical assessment sessions in order to make any adjustments necessary to conform with political and electoral developments as they unfold. To ensure the sustainability of the training EISA organised a retreat for the same analysts in Matadi from 26 to 28 July to review the reports produced to date. A report was produced and disseminated in August 2017.
March and April 2017
Twenty-two participants from SYMOCEL attended a workshop on developing a strategic plan for SYMOCEL. The workshop was conducted in two phases. The first phase, on 29 to 31 March, was aimed at preparing the strategic framework; the second, on 27 and 28 April, focused on the theory of change and the finalisation of SYMOCEL's five-year strategic plan. At the conclusion of this knowledge-exchange workshop SYMOCEL developed a strategic plan which includes the institute's values and mission. Participants were to define prerequisites for SYMOCEL to achieve its mission to promote democratic elections in DRC.