EISA's political parties programme, conducted by its Governance Institutions and Political Processes (GIPPS) department, aims to contribute to an open, inclusive, and democratic political system. Interventions are located in three thematic areas of work that advance EISA's engagement with political parties:
- Applied research, information and data gathering to identity the needs of, and key challenges, facing political parties as well as to inform subsequent EISA programme interventions and materials development for capacity building.
- Capacity building and training support to political parties, especially with regard to the participation of women and youth.
- Academic research, analysis and publishing; as well as hosts public events, to engage in public debate and shape the policy and academic discourse on democratisation, democratic governance, democratic political systems and political parties specifically.
This work is conducted throughout the organisation, including EISA's Field Offices:
- Political party publications document political party work in journals, research reports, books, newsletters, conference reports and symposium proceedings.
- Political parties capacity building activities are done by EISA with the objective of strengthening governance processes and representative institutions so as to entrench participatory democracy in Africa.
- Coalition building analysis is done by EISA from a comparative perspective in order to guard against political opportunism and to ensure that initial steps towards democracy, through power-sharing arrangements are fair.
Benchmarks for enhanced political party performance
The Benchmarks for enhanced political party performance for democratic governance in Africa, adopted during the 5th Annual EISA continental symposium held in November 2010 with governing and opposition political parties from 15 countries across the African continent, was further refined in 2011 through a consultative process involving political parties from a further six countries across the African continent. Consultations with the parties ensured an inclusive process that lent a greater sense of credibility and legitimacy as well as ownership of the benchmarks by the political parties themselves.
Political party work is funded by an array of donors through the budgets of the various field offices, and are acknowledged there. In addition, mention should be made of the following donor funding support: