Strategic Electoral Observation: recommendations follow-up and electoral reform advocacy, the quantum jump
In the framework of the Support Fund for Electoral Observation (FAOE), UNDP organized a BRIDGE workshop on election observation in Mexico City, from 6 to 9 November 2018, in collaboration with the National Electoral Institute (INE), the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Electoral Offenses (FEPADE) and the Electoral Tribunal of the Judiciary Branch of the Federation (TEPJF). The workshop dealt with the topic of election observation, with a special focus on strategic planning and the promotion of actions oriented to advance election observation recommendations follow-up and electoral reforms advocacy.
The main goal of this workshop was to strengthen the capacities of domestic civil society in the field of election observation methodologies relevant to the post-electoral period, with a focus on election observation recommendations, political advocacy to promote electoral reforms and strategic planning for the post-electoral period.
The training counted with a total of 25 participants, from which 9 were men (36%) and 16 were women (64%). The workshop targeted representatives from civil society organizations part of FAOE 2018.
The international facilitation team was composed by Alessandra Rossi (accrediting facilitator and the coordinator of the Support Fund), Lluís Juan Rodríguez (accrediting facilitator and consultant in UNDP) and Gabriela Nones (TtF completed and Programme Officer Specialist in Elections from the UNDP LAC Regional Hub Centre).
The workshop was conducted over a period of 4 days, with a program that centered the reflections and discussions around the recommendations prepared by the FAOE organizations regarding the 2018 general elections, and how to define new actions based on them. During the first half day of the workshop, the BRIDGE Project was presented, as well as the agenda, and the main workshop objectives; participants also had the chance to introduce themselves and to share their expectations, and to define the workshop code of conduct.
During the second day, participants discussed the objectives of election observation and its different types, as well as the role electoral observers have over the electoral cycle. They also reflected on the principles of the election observation of democratic elections; and the subjects of electoral cycle stages and strategic planning, were introduced in the context of the efforts advanced by the CSOs participants of FAOE.
For the third day, the reflection centered on the election observation recommendations presented by the FAOE organizations and its scope, inviting participants to analyze them with the vision of following up its advances: how to monitor it? how to advocate for electoral reforms? To finalize a presentation by FEPADE gave legal perspective to the electoral reform in Mexico and its institutional implications.
The fourth day started with the exchange of regional and national experiences where the active role of Civil Society led to electoral reforms; including experiences from Panama, Paraguay, Haiti and Mexico. After that, participants had the opportunity to work in groups, divided by thematic areas, to develop an action plan for election observation and monitoring over the post-electoral period, as a way to strengthen their capacity to perform that quantum jump, that will allow them to have a more strategic approach to election observation, where their efforts continue throughout the electoral cycle, and where planning and advocating for electoral reforms is at the core of their actions.