In March 2009, EISA opened a field office in Chad to support domestic election observation based on the weakness of the CSOs in the country's electoral process. In addition to the novelty of the working environment, principal challenges included the political instability of the country and the non-existence of similar organisations like EISA that operate in the democracy and governance field. This pioneering collaboration with local stakeholders laid the ground for a long-term strategy focused on building strong local capacities and addressing the pressing needs of a democracy.
EISA further strengthened its presence in Chad through a political party capacity building project tailored to assist in the implementation of the 13 August 2007 Political Agreement between the ruling coalition and opposition parties. The parties agreed on the need for political party development assistance in order to support the peace process and the building of democratic institutions. Chadian politicians deemed it advisable to resort to dialogue and consensus seeing as Chad was a volatile socio-political exacerbated by attempted coups and military onslaughts by a myriad of rebels groups. By assisting in the implementation of the inter-Chadian political agreement, EISA contributed to the peace building and post-conflict reconstruction efforts.
EISA deepened its work with civil society organisations in 2010 providing support to domestic election observation networks, as well as support to political parties providing capacity building programmes with the support of Department for International Development (DIFD, UK), the European Union and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the implementation of these activities was a success.
EISA assisted civil society organisations with planning, co-ordinating and deploying observer missions and also provided training for long and short-term observers countrywide. These activities contributed to building local
coalitions to facilitate the development of a common approach to election observation. EISA 's support to political parties was however developed against the backdrop of volatile post-conflict settings. In light of the legal requirements as defined in the political parties' charter, former rebel groups were allowed to transform into political parties. This provision allowed for a plethora of parties to emerge with most of these parties having little or no electoral experience. EISA's programme was was then tailored to suit the development needs of the beneficiaries with one of the short term goals being to enhance their participation in the electoral process. In order to contribute to the consolidation of democracy, EISA strengthened the organisational capacities of these political parties.
The year 2011 provided EISA with the opportunity to draw preliminary lessons from the implementation of its democracy strengthening activities in Chad, particularly assisting various stakeholders during the 13th February National Assembly and the 25th April presidential elections.p>
EISA also collaborated with civil society in designing a civic education programme and training them in facilitating civic education workshops as well as strengthening their capacity in conflict prevention, management and resolution.
Technical assistance included support to the nationwide deployment of domestic election observers and training party agents in the observation of polls. Both activities were aimed at building the capacity of local stakeholders to play a constructive role in the electoral process. An important milestone reached by EISA was the facilitation of the development and the signing of an Electoral Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates, between political parties in Chad. EISA also provided technical assistance to Members of Parliament (MPs) and parliamentary support staff as well building a platform of interaction between the National Assembly and civil society organisations (CSOs).
EISA was funded through a grant from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and African Democracy Strengthening project funded by the Department for International Development (DIFD, UK) which includes support to the Chad office.
In April 2013 EISA Chad held a focus groups discussion meeting with the CENI on lessons learned.