The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is preparing for series of elections in 2015 – 2016. The active and legitimate participation of citizens in any election contributes to enhancing the integrity of the process. A continual strengthening of election-related civil society organisations (CSO) help to sustains and improves standards for credible election. The Carter Center organised, with the financial support of the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida), the first ever BRIDGE CSO Train the Facilitator (TtF) course in the DRC from March 16 – 28, 2015 for a total of 26 participants comprising 25 core team members of la Commission Episcopale Justice et Paix (CEJP), and 2 members of the Carter Center’s Democratic Election Standards Programme in the DRC.There were 11 female and 15 male participants.
The trained members from CEJP will be engaged in designing and implementing the National Observation Programme for the CEJP throughout the 2015-2016 period of the country’s election cycles and also undertake a continual training of 600 long term observers and 30,000 short term observers. The 2 members from the Carter Center’s DRC Democratic Election Standards (DES) programme are key to the implementation of the capacity-strengthening project, which is part of the Center’s technical assistance.
The Carter Center’s overarching goal in the DRC is to strengthen the organizational and technical capacities of CSOs to achieve policy and practice reform in areas including human rights protection and electoral transparency, through training, research and networking. The Center has adopted BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Election) as one of the tool to achieve its goals to support CSOs in the country.
The CSOs under the umbrella of CJEP who participated in the training were Armée de Salut (C.S.J.P), CAUSE RURALE, CDJP – Kinshasa, CEJP/CENCO, CERN/CENCO, CJP – UEIC Ligue des Electeurs (LE). Facilitators exchanged valuable information, experiences and practices with participants as they created the positive environment for sharpening their skills. The training was facilitated by Edna Koskey of the Carter Center Kinshasa Office, Corneille Nangaa and Roger Bupiri both of the Commission Electorale National Independante of the DRC, with Theophilus Dowetin, Elections Consultant who led the facilitation team.