The aim of IED’s Electoral Processes and Institutions of Democracy Program is to contribute towards strengthening of electoral administration, management and support electoral reforms in Kenya and the region. Through this programme, IED seeks to examine the dynamics of the electoral cycle to support sustainable democratic change by assisting in democratic reform, and influencing policies.
Through this programme, IED participates, observes, and monitors all aspects of the electoral process including drafting of electoral bills, the review, and delimitation of electoral boundaries, registration of voters, nomination of candidates, electoral campaigns, polling and post-polling processes. The objective of observing and monitoring the electoral process is to enhance the credibility and integrity of the electoral process and environment. Indeed, monitoring and observing the electoral process and environment is significant to IED as it is the cornerstone of the democratization process
PROGRAMME GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
- To Strengthen democratic processes in institutions of governance and representation such as the Election Management Bodies (EMBs), Political Party Election boards, the Senate and the National Assembly, and the County Assemblies.
- Strengthen the capacity of electoral institutions to enhance the management of Political parties in Kenya.
The programme strategies include;
- Supporting the IEBC and political systems administer credible and transparent, electoral processes that citizens find legitimate.
- Supporting strengthened effective, Inclusive and accountable governance.
- Working with Political parties to enhance networking and compliance with the respective laws and the Constitution of Kenya.
Strengthening Democratic Governance and Accountability in Kenya
Through this programme, IED will monitor and observe all by-elections arising from the 2013 general elections during the project intervention period. This will entail building and sustaining partnerships and networks both at the national and local levels. IED played a key role in the formation of the Elections Observation Group (ELOG) and provided leadership and technical support in election observation exercises during the 2010 constitutional referendum and the 4th March 2013 general elections. Furthermore, IED pioneered the use of the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT), a scientific system for election-day observation that verifies the quality of the process and the validity of the elections results announced by the Electoral Management Body (EMB).
IED’s mandate in the ELOG platform is to strengthen and support the coalition’s work, and therefore during the observation exercise IED will be the focal point and engage all ELOG member organizations to ensure their effective participation.
IED will also work with the network of ELOG monitors and observers drawn from the strengths of its partner organizations and networks. We will also collaborate with IEBC for accreditation and acquire relevant documents necessary for official observation. During the post-by election periods, we will advocate for the adoption and implementation of our recommendations by relevant stakeholders for informed electoral policy and reform.
IED has a long history in monitoring and observing by-elections and other types of elections in Kenya since 1993. In this regard, as part of ELOG, IED has not only provided technical support to the coalition but has the responsibility to monitor and observe specific pre-election and post-election thematic issues.
International global survey on electoral dispute resolution
IED is in the process of conducting international comparative studies to update and enrich International IDEA’s Unified Database (http://www.idea.int/uid/), which consists of several databases targeting electoral processes. This is in an endeavour to provide high quality knowledge resources to help enhance electoral processes around the world and contribute to the consolidation of democratic institutions and practices. The database is used by academics, political and electoral decision-makers and other stakeholders.
Strengthening Democratic Electoral Processes in Kenya after the March 2013 General Elections.
This project aims at strengthening democratic electoral processes and promoting a positive electoral environment and electoral accountability and transparency in Kenya.
Through this proposed project, IED intends to undertake a comprehensive audit of the institutional, administrative and legal frameworks that governed the 4th March 2013 General Elections to identify gaps and other inconsistencies that may exist to improve the administrative conduct of Kenyan elections in future. This project aims to promote citizens’ confidence and trust in the electoral process, and will enable IED to consolidate its capacity, performance and the overall positive impact in supporting continuous improvement of electoral processes in Kenya.
Monitoring of the by-elections in Makueni and Siaya Counties; Matungulu and Kibwezi West Constituencies
This project was aimed at monitoring the electoral environment and observing the upcoming Gubernatorial and Parliamentary by-elections for Makueni and Siaya Counties; Matungulu and Kibwezi west Constituencies arising from the 2013 General Elections in Kenya. The by-elections wereas a result of petitions which had been launched after the 2013 March General elections results. According to Article 104 (4) of the Constitution of Kenya, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) shall hold the by-elections within 90 days of the occurrence of such vacancy.
The monitoring and observation was done in collaboration with the Election Observation Group (ELOG) and it provided us with an opportunity to determine the freeness of the by-elections. Thus, this project contributed towards the promotion of competitive, free and fair political participation and the consolidation of credible electoral process, including electoral administration and management in Kenya.
The ACE Electoral knowledge Network Project
IED is the Eastern Africa regional resource centre and hub for the ACE electoral knowledge network project. IED is also an Associate Member of the ACE electoral knowledge network. In order to deliver on the ACE project work, IED mainstreamed ACE in its 2008-2013 Strategic Plan. This was meant to customize and consolidate ACE as a tool for realising other aims of the organisation and, to entrench ACE in the overall institutional strategy.
IED has continued to consolidate, upload and disseminate important regional electoral materials and information (currently in English) on to the ACE website. The materials and information are accessed and utilized by electoral practitioners and election managers, researchers and scholars in the region and worldwide. What is significant about IED’s contribution is the fact that the materials and information were translated into Kiswahili language since Kiswahili language is widely used and understood by most ofthe citizens within the East and Central Africa region. The idea of customizing ACE materials and information in Kiswahili language was also underpinned by the recognition that Kiswahili is rapidly emerging as a dominant and mandatory language for many of the countries in the Eastern Africa region.
Capacity Building of Local Organizations
In order to promote meaningful and credible observation of elections and referenda in Kenya and the region, IED in 2012 implemented a project aimed at consolidating the capacity of local civil society and community-based organizations in elections observation. The project targeted the following 12 Counties in Kenya: Tharaka Nithi, Nyeri, Nandi, Kakamega, Kwale, Kisii, Kilifi, Kisumu and Marsabit, Isiolo, Murang’a and Homabay.
In implementing this project, IED adopted a strategy that entailed identifying, vetting and mobilizing local civil society and community-based organizations in the 10 Counties and conducting workshops to strengthen their capacity in monitoring and observation of elections. The goal of the trainings was to build the capacity of the organisations in order to enable them engage in election observation and monitoring and also introduce them to the use of modern technology-based observation methodology such as the Parallel Vote Tabulation to safeguard the integrity of the election results.
Strengthening the institutional and legal framework for elections in Kenya
The focus of IED’s work over the years has been to strengthen the institutional and legal framework for elections in Kenya. This includes the promotion and consolidation of reforms in the electoral sector. In the year 2012, IED not only worked towards supporting the consolidation of new electoral laws but also focused on safeguarding the progressive electoral related provisions under the Constitution and new electoral laws that had just been enacted pursuant to the implementation of the Constitution.
Study tour and exchange visit to Mozambique on Political Campaign Financing matters
Together with other members of the Coalition for Accountable Political Financing (CAPF), IED supported the finalization and enactment of key election laws in preparation for the 2013 general elections. Key amongst these was the Campaign Financing Bill 2012. IED, as a member of CAPF, was part of the delegation that undertook a study tour and exchange visit to Maputo, Mozambique in order to understand political campaign financing matters. This was part of the effort to build IED’s knowledge and that of political parties and other key stakeholders such as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) on best practices and standards on political campaign financing issues.
The study tour, which was undertaken in collaboration with the Centre for Multi-party Democracy (CMD-Kenya), interacted with Mozambican political parties, the Mozambique National Elections Commission, political activists, civil society and experts in political campaign financing issues from Africa and other parts of the world.
Supporting the work of the Kenyan Parliament
As part of the effort to strengthen institutions that can anchor the delivery of good elections, IED has over the years focused on working with the Kenyan Parliament. This is part of the broader work which IED undertakes under the Parliamentary Initiative Network (PIN), which is a coalition that brings together like minded civil society organizations in Kenya with strategic programmes touching on the work of Parliament.
In 2012, IED together with other PIN members focused on the development of Standing Orders for the Senate in conformity with the Constitution.
Observation of Mock Elections and By-Elections Held In Kenya
Even though mock elections, as a concept in elections management piloting, are a universal practice, it is a relatively new concept in Kenya. The IEBC introduced it in Kenya to serve as a useful source of lessons that can inform elections management in view of the complex nature of the general elections that were expected under the new Constitution. The new elections in essence demanded adequate and comprehensive planning and huge logistical arrangements. The IEBC therefore conducted mock elections in Malindi and Kajiado North Constituencies on 24th March 2012 in order to inform their planning and logistics for the 2013 general elections.
As is our practice, IED participated in the observation of the mock elections. This was done alongside the ELOG secretariat and it was done primarily to:
- Make recommendations for strengthening the IEBC’s preparedness and delivery of the next general elections
- Provide an opportunity to build strong working relationship with the IEBC
- Provide knowledge and information which would be useful in streamlining the joint ELOG observation plan for the next general elections
- To enhance visibility for IED and ELOG.
Consolidation of Global Platform and Tools on Election Observation and Monitoring
Part of IED’s long-term desire is to support the consolidation of global platform for the work of elections monitoring and observation. Accordingly therefore, IED has been part of the global community of elections activists that were behind the establishment of the Global Network of Domestic Elections Monitors (GNDEM). GNDEM is a global platform which as at April 2012 had over 165 members including regional networks and individual non-partisan election monitoring organizations spanning over 70 countries on five continents. It is a platform which enables members to meet the challenges for achieving genuinely democratic elections and to further the common aspirations of representative, responsive, transparent, democratic governance. GNDEM seeks to advance the methodologies for systematic, fact-based election monitoring and to advance the capacities of regional networks and non-partisan election monitoring organizations through sharing of knowledge, experiences, best practices and interactive communications.
Strengthen the capacity of the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties
Recognizing that political parties are indispensable in order to make democracy work and deliver, IED took the approach of working with the Registrar of Political Parties in order to strengthen the political parties regime in Kenya. In this respect IED sought to support knowledge acquisition and capacity development of the office of the Registrar of Political Parties through guided exchange visits sand study tours. In 2012 exchange visits and study tours were undertaken with the Federal Electoral Institute of Mexico and Elections Canada which have a reputation as beacons in best practices in the management, administration and regulation of political parties. Through the study tours the Registrar of Political Parties and key members of that office were able to interact with experts and real time experience in the management, administration and regulation of political parties.
The objectives of the study tours were to support the Office of the Registrar of Political parties in Kenya in capacity strengthening through sensitization, learning and adoption of model systems, structures and best practises in management, administration and regulation of political parties and thereby resulting in increased management and execution of the mandate of the office of the Registrar of Political Parties.
Strengthening the capacity of the Judiciary on Electoral Disputes Resolution
In 2012, IED together with other partners worked with the Judiciary Training Institute and the Judiciary Working Committee on Preparations for the Elections to develop a curriculum, manual and training materials for the Judges, Magistrates and other Judiciary staff on Electoral disputes resolution. In this respect, IED participated in the various technical training workshops for the Judiciary that supported the preparations of the Judiciary for its role in delivering electoral justice (determining electoral related disputes and petitions emerging from the 2013 general elections).