EISA DRC (2004-2011): Chronological overview

2009

In response to the challenge of working in the DRC to ensure long-term stability EISA introduced innovative programmes, working in 11 provinces. In particular, during 2009, EISA facilitated workshops on accountable governance and anti-corruption with the public service and civil society organisations as well as the introduction of the Social Dialogue programme which provides a platform for citizens and elected leaders to table and share their concerns, needs and seek joint solutions. This has placed EISA at the forefront in the drive for transparent and accountable governance Although it is more challenging in-between elections to appreciate the quality of the interaction with and the confidence between political parties and citizens represented by civil society during 2009 the DRC saw the progressive "opening up" of space between political parties and civil society. This interaction facilitated by EISA contributed to the long term to establishment of a frank and permanent relationship between stakeholders.

EISA's interventions within civil society was extremely effective, as it has provided CSOs with the skills to develop anti-corruption strategies both externally and internally. Civil society has been active in monitoring corruption which it often exposes through other channels such as the Social Dialogue. While the 2005 elections were an important step for the return of peace and the consolidation of democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing about the reunification of the country that had been divided from 1998 to 2002 into three large occupation areas, each with its own administration and its way of functioning, there are still some troubled areas in the country, geographical areas under the control of certain rebel groups and rebel incursions from neighbouring countries, as a whole the country is gradually moving to consolidation. It is within this context that EISA implemented its activities in 2009, deploying staff at least once a month in all the provinces, even where there was limited infrastructure, poor state of aeroplanes, the scarcity of flights to certain destinations and difficulties relating to communication.

2010

EISA DRC continued support to local partners and beneficiaries in programmes designed to build local capacity and expertise in order to enhance their contribution to the building of democracy and accountable governance in the DRC. EISA DRC work was funded by the DFID GTF and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

On a political level, 2010 was one of the "quietest" years in the DRC since the 2006 general elections. Military unrest in the east of the country declined and overall security in the country improved. Despite this, complete stability remained elusive, and there were still incidents of militia groups causing the displacement of thousands of people. Nevertheless, the overall improvement allowed EISA to continue unhindered with the implementation of its projects and to reach the main beneficiaries targeted by its programmes. EISA DRC office supported stakeholders in:

  • Strengthening the capacity of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) to effectively fulfill its mandate by familiarising CEI officials with all aspects of the electoral process and by introducing them to the challenges inherent in the conduct of elections;
  • Strengthening the capacity of governance institutions to effectively fulfill their mandate to contribute in the promotion of good governance;
  • Facilitating interactions between the elected representatives and the population;
  • Putting in place mechanisms dealing with conflict prevention, resolution and management; and
  • Strengthening the capacity of the CSOs to be in the forefront of the fight against corruption and demands for more transparency.

In implementing these activities EISA /DRC was able to meet its strategic goals and objectives.

2011

2011 was a politically challenging year as the DRC conducted its second, very controversial, multiparty elections: police brutality characterised the pre-election phase and, following the election results, riots and demonstrations took place by the main political parties challenging the results of the presidential and parliamentary elections. Within this challenging environment, EISA implemented four projects:

  1. Promoting Accountable, Transparent and Responsive Governance, funded by DFID's Transparency Governance Fund;
  2. Deepening Democracy Peace and Governance in the Post Election DRC;
  3. Enhancing the Credibility and Participation in the Electoral Process, funded by SIDA; and
  4. Conflict Mediation for the Presidential Elections in North and South Kivu, funded by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).

EISA was able to support stakeholders in a range of interventions including strengthening civil society to enable them to conduct lobbying actions and initiate electoral reforms in the Electoral Act which was passed in July 2011, ensuring effective involvement of CSOs in the observation of the elections to guarantee the freeness and the fairness of the elections and strengthening capacities and deployment of CSOs of North and South Kivu to contribute to a peaceful electoral process. While a governance programme requires a long-term commitment before a visible impact is felt, EISA DRC made a notable impact in the short-term in promoting accountable governance and made inroads in laying the groundwork for CSOs to engage constructively in developing effective anti-corruption strategies.