EISA Madagascar: Legislature-CSO social dialogue

Civil Society - Parliament Engagement

2016: Social dialogue between MPs and CSOs

June 2016

A social dialogue between MPs and Civil Society Organizations was held by EISA in Tolagnaro, a city on the southeast coast of Madagascar, on 20 June 20 2016. The aim of the workshop was to create a space for dialogue between MPs and local CSOs, in order to strengthen citizen participation and promote MPs accountability, all with a view to good governance.

Civil Society - Parliament EngagementCivil Society - Parliament Engagement

The first part of the event consisted of a knowledge updating on the representative role of MPs and the relationship between MPs and CSOs in the democratic process and the parliamentary work.

Discussions on topics related to local issues selected by CSOs, were held in the afternoon. The general topic was "good governance". At the end of the workshop, a partnership agreement between CSOs and MPs was signed, in order to perpetuate the dialogue.

The social dialogue is in line with the series of social dialogues that was held by EISA in DRC in the past, as well as the meeting between MPs and CSOs in Toamasina that was organized by EISA Madagascar on December 2015. The innovation of June 20 workshop was the signature of the partnership agreement.


CSOs voter education supported

Malagasy CSOs were equipped with the skills necessary to inform and educate the electorate using voter sensitisation materials developed by EISA in partnership with the CENI-T. Besides training, documents produced in support of CSOs provided voters with information in French and Malagasy on how, where and when to register, as well as how to check the voter lists and ensure they have been duly included. All voter information and education materials produced by EISA for the CSOs were vetted by the CENI-T to ensure accuracy and consistency.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between EISA and 10 CSOs which were tasked with conducting the campaign. During the campaign:

  • 166 voter information and education agents were mobilized
  • 1000 voter sensitisation handbooks (500 in French and 500 in Malagasy) providing information and guidelines on how to implement voter outreach activities at the grassroots level, were produced and distributed to CSOs representatives in all the 22 regions of Madagascar
  • 352 voter awareness and sensitization stands were set up and 66 caravans were dispatched
  • 145 banners, 7086 posters, 7084 leaflets, 2200 bookmarks with voter education slogans and 5000 T-shirts were used
Capacity of CSOs to effectively observe the electoral process enhanced

EISA, within the framework of a joint project with the European Center for Electoral Support (ECES) and Electoral Reform International Services (ERIS), provided technical assistance to two CSO platforms, namely Mahitsy Fijery (or Direct Observation) and Socle (Citizen's monitoring and observation for the transparency of the elections) in planning, coordination and deployment of non-partisan citizen observers during the October and December elections. Through this support the two platforms deployed 1600 observers and 2500 observers respectively. Both platforms issued statements and declarations through which they provided their assessment of the conduct of the electoral process.

This assistance was given in line with EISA's strategy to enhance the capacities of CSOs to observe the electoral process throughout the entire electoral cycle starting with selected observable pre-electoral activities such as voter registration.


CSOs capacity to effectively observe the electoral process enhanced

Leading up to the forth coming elections and in support of contributing to a peaceful election, EISA conducted a workshop to build the capacity of local citizen observation stakeholders and provided them with exposure to international best practices and principles of international electoral observation. Training was conducted in Antananarivo from 19 to 21 September 2012 with 72 participants, including 45 women and 27 men. The workshop excited a great deal of interest and was attended by high level participants drawn from the CENIT, representatives of the Ministry of Home affairs, the President's Office, Members of Parliament, members of the VMLF (the women's network that EISA assisted in establishing) both at the national and regional level office, members of civil society, members of political parties and journalists.

Further to this, EISA responded to a request from CSOs involved in citizen observation for support in citizen observation mission planning and coordination. A workshop was held on 23 November 2012 on issues pertaining to electoral codes of conduct for non-partisan observers. 15 CSOs involved in citizen observation activities sent 28 representatives to this workshop, including 13 women. Through the workshop participants were familiarised with the role codes of conduct play in safeguarding the integrity, the non-partisanship character and credibility of election observation. CSOs at the workshop agreed upon and adopted a common code of conduct for all CSOs willing to share the same methodology in observing the upcoming general elections in Madagascar. The workshops also enabled CSOs to develop a common deployment plan for a nationwide citizen observer mission, which will include observers drawn from a wide range of CSOs and be able to observe all phases of the electoral process.


CSO's engagement in civic and voter education strengthened

Working closely with three local civil society organisations, namely Acces Zon'olombelona, Andrimaso FFKM and Komity Mpanaramaso ny Fifidianana Comité National d'Observation des Elections (KMF/CNOE), EISA and our partners developed a civic and voter education manual. Using the cascade approach EISA and our partners trained 44 participants in a train the trainer course on how to use the manual as well as facilitation skills. These facilitators conducted workshops in six regions, including Bongolava, Melaky, Analanjorofo, Farafangana and Diana. Participants were extremely responsive and highlighted that they had not previously been exposed to the material contained in this course. An added benefit was the experience and exposure that the 44 facilitators gained by conducting workshops and the opportunity to practice their skills.

Civil Society - Parliament Engagement

2008: Civil Society - Parliament Engagement

In Antananrivo, on 1-2 September 2008, EISA's held a two day workshop with national civil society organisations (CSOs) in Antananarivo on 1 and 2 September 2008 on the theme: Civil Society - Parliament Relations. 30 national CSO participants are expected to attend the workshop which will provide them with knowledge on how they can contribute to participatory democracy through interacting with their parliament. Topics covered were:

  • Civil society participation and parliament in perspective
  • Influencing policy and law making
  • Understanding advocacy and lobbying
  • Budgeting and finances for civil society

On 5 November 2008 a parliamentarian's workshop was held in Antananarivo, as well as a dialogue between parliamentarians and civil society organisations on 6 November. The workshop focused on the core functions of a parliamentarian i.e. oversight, legislation and representation. The policy dialogue brought together the 30 parliamentarians attending the workshop and representatives of national CSOs with a view to putting in place mechanisms for improved Parliament civil society engagement.