EISA facilitates the production of Let's talk elections dialogue sessions in the run up to the 2020/21 elections with Somali electoral stakeholders. These include the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC), civil society organisations (CSOs), political parties and the media.
Each session has focused on topics such as the impact of COVID on elections, challenges facing the 2020/2021 election, internally displaced people and refugees the participation of youth and women, and engaging stakeholders in the electoral process. Other areas to be covered in the future include the legal framework for elections, voter registration, voter education and information, funding of political parties and elections campaigns, and managing election conflict.
The series' sessions are aired on Somali TV, radio channels and social media.
Five episodes of the series "Let's Talk Elections" were conducted in five electoral cities under the theme: "Peaceful elections and managing challenges that come with election quotas". The cities were Baidoa- Southwest State, Kismayo - Jubbaland State, Jowhar - Hirshabelle State, Dhursamareb and Galckayo both in Galmudug State. All episodes were aired on Somali tv, radio, and social platforms. The programmes sought to improve citizen access to information about the electoral process which allowed Somalis in the diaspora to be actively engaged through the use of social media platforms.
At least 12 episodes of "Let's Talk Elections" were conducted during the reporting period. EISA reached five regions. They aimed at informing and educating the Somali citizens on peaceful and inclusive election participation. The themes covered were amongst others: The role of religious leaders in preventing the current political situation in Somalia, the role of youth and women in averting/preventing the current political situation in Somalia, the inclusion of people with disabilities in the election, strategies in ensuring 30% of women's quota, stakeholder's readiness for the 2020/2021 elections etc. All episodes were aired on Somali national TVs, Federal TVs, radios, and social platforms. This format of this activity improves EISA's profile and extend the reach of this series. Even the Somalis from the diaspora are also actively engaged through the use of social media platforms. See Citizen observation..
EISA continued to inform and educate citizens on electoral participation. EISA reached two Federal Members States, namely Puntland and Banadire Administration Region (Mogadishu). Four episodes of Let's Talk Elections were conducted during September, just days before the agreed Electoral Code. The themes covered were: Are political parties ready for the 2020-2021 elections?; Barriers and solutions to increase youth and women's political participation; Electoral stakeholders and their roles in the election: and Public debate on the proposed electoral models and possible roles that can be played by political stakeholders including the NIEC.
All episodes were aired on Somali TV, radio, and social platforms. The format of this activity continued to raise EISA's profile and extend the reach of this series. Somalis from the diaspora are also actively engaged through the use of social media platforms.
2-4 & 15-16 July 2020
EISA, in partnership with Center for Research and Human Development (CRHD), produced sessions in Mogadishu and Dhusamareeb (Galmudug State) on 2-4 and 15-16 July respectively. In Galmudug, the debate took place as a side event to Somalia Federal Government (FGS) and Federal Members States (FMS) historical gathering to discuss the upcoming elections.
Participants included academics, political parties' representatives, media, civil society, representatives of federal member states and federal parliaments. They addressed the challenges facing the 2020/2021 election in Somalia.
All sessions were aired on radio, Somali TV, and social platforms.
EISA, in partnership with Center for Research and Human Development (CRHD), produced an session of the series "Let's Talk Elections" on the impact of COVID-19 on 2020-2021 election.
The dialogue was attended by high profile guests and speakers from the Office of the President, Office of the Prime Minister, representatives from the lower and upper houses of parliament, Deputy Minister of Health and the Electoral Commission.
The event was broadcast on national and private media in Somalia, including social media platforms.
This was followerd by a campaign under the label "Sensitisation and awareness campaign to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020/2021 Somalia elections" on 29-30 June 2020.
In support to the 2020/2021 elections in Somalia, EISA, together with the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) hosted a debate on Enhancing participation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Refugees in elections. The event was held on the 29th November 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. The debate took place as a side event at the 6th Annual Continental Forum of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) on enhancing IDPs participation in elections hosted by the African Union in Nairobi from the 28-29 November 2019.
The event provided a platform for the NIEC, academia and other practitioners to engage with theoretical and practical aspects on the inclusion of IDPs and refugees in the upcoming 2020/2021 Somalia elections. The debate was broadcast on Somali TV and radio channels as well as social media.
12 Nov 2019
EISA held the second dialogue session under the title Youth and Women's Participation in the Electoral Process in Southwest state. Women and youth came in numbers to discuss issues affecting their role in the electoral processes. They also discussed possible solutions that can enhance youth and women participation ahead of the 2020/2021 one-person, one-vote elections.
Participants engaged with the panellists from the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC). This session was attended by community influencers such as Elders and religious leaders.
In preparation for the 2020/2021 one-person, one-vote elections in Somalia, EISA re-introduced its series titled "Let's Talk Elections" to provide a platform for electoral stakeholders to engage. The series is conducted in all Federal Member States (FMSs) and Banadir Regional Administration (Mogadishu).
EISA plans to continue this series to talk about electoral issues in Somalia and will conduct these dialogues in all FMSs and Banadir Regional Administration (Mogadishu).
On Thursday, 3rd October 2019, EISA held the first in a series of open discussions under the title Engaging Stakeholders in the 2020/2021 Electoral process in Mogadishu.
Discussions were lively and many of those present were women and youth. They highlighted the important opportunity to discuss issues affecting the preparations for the 2020/2021 electoral processes.