UNDP and Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone train CSO’s to support civic and voter education activities
April 11, 2023
Representatives of five Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) recently engaged to support the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (ECSL), to promote electoral awareness for enhancing participation of first-time voters, women, youth, and persons with disabilities in the 2023 elections have attended a two-day training workshop in Freetown.
The workshop was conducted by ECSL as part of the “Fostering Peaceful, Credible and Inclusive Elections in 2022-2023 in Sierra Leone” project funded by Irish Aid, EU, Canada, Iceland, and UNDP.
The CSOs are to assist the ECSL in promoting awareness for first-time voters, women and youth groups and persons with disabilities on the rights, and responsibilities of voters in the electoral process, electoral procedures, and legal frameworks, and on the electoral systems including the new proportional representation system that would be used to conduct the 2023 elections. The workshop was therefore to ensure there was a shared understanding of the processes for civic and voter education for the upcoming elections.
Speaking at the training workshop, the Director of the Electoral Education Department, Mr. Momoh Kanneh was expectant that the CSOs will assist the ECSL to conduct massive civic and voter education. Voter education was identified as one of the issues by election observes in the last general elections hence the renewed commitment of the ECSL to deploy for robust awareness of the voters.
He said, “the CSO’s coming on board will add a lot of value to the electoral process. With you being part of the process, we can achieve a lot and reach every part of Sierra Leone.”
He entreated the CSOs to use inclusive communication channels to ensure no voter is left behind in their awareness raising.
UNDP’s Gender and Inclusion Specialist for the Elections Project, Ilemobola Ademola-Adelehin encouraged the CSOs to use their platforms and expertise to provide information to the electorates at the community and districts levels to help them better understand the electoral systems, process, procedures, and rules.
The five partner CSO’s include the Campaign for Good Governance (CGG); West Africa Youth Network for Peace Education and Economic Development –Sierra Leone (WAYNPEED-SL); Advocacy Movement Network-(AMNet); Movement Towards Peace and Development Agency-Sierra Leone (MoPADA-SL) MoPaDa; and SEND – Sierra Leone. The CSOs will work in the Western, Northwest, North, South, and East region respectively.
About the UNDP Election project
The “Fostering Peaceful, Credible and Inclusive Elections in Sierra Leone 2022- 2023” project, implemented by UNDP, supports the election management bodies, various national institutions in the preparation for peaceful, credible, and inclusive 2023 elections and to expand the space for a greater engagement of electoral stakeholders. It also focuses on supporting programmes for raising electoral awareness, creating conditions for promoting information integrity in the electoral process as well as promoting the inclusion of women, youths, and people with disability in the electoral process.