In view of the fact that political parties in Somalia were not yet registered, EISA worked with political associations based on EISA's Setting benchmarks for enhanced political party performance for democratic governance in Africa, to facilitate a workshop for 16 political associations.
Based on the success of the internal capacity trainings described above, political associations in Mogadishu identified the need to create a platform where they can engage their common understanding of how they should contribute to the development of a Political Parties' Law.
EISA facilitated the signing of a cooperation agreement which outlined how these associations can better work with one another, the government and with EISA. To this end a Political Associations Forum was established. Four sessions were held in which political associations met and discussed their views on the proposed Political Parties' Law. The data gathered during these Forum meetings were sent to the Parliamentary Committee on Political Parties to further engage with the political associations. Meetings were held with the Parliamentary Committee drafting the Political Parties' Law and the political associations that attended the EISA Political Associations Forum. The fledgling parties reported that their engagement on these issues was strengthened by having attended the EISA training and forum meetings which in turn placed them in a stronger position to engage more confidently in the process.
With political parties in Somalia not yet registered, EISA started working with political associations. Although political associations in Somalia are still in a nascent phase, they experience the same challenges as those in more stable democracies in terms of their organisational structures. Based on EISA`s "Setting Benchmarks for Political Party Performance for Democratic Governance in Africa" programme, EISA-Somalia facilitated a workshop for 16 political associations already established and more recently established, focusing on modules that defined what a political party stands for, policy-making processes, leadership and interaction with constituencies. This was the first such training session conducted in Somalia in recent years and it elicited a great deal of interest and interaction.