Result area 1. Production and Dissemination of base-line data, some with policy relevance
This result area is oriented towards both knowledge-production and dissemination. Production pertains to establishing a number of base-line data that the project identified as either partially or completely missing around election conflicts. Data will be used to populate log frame, monitoring and evaluation framework but also to inform training curriculums with real data from the Ethiopian context. The knowledge production will use the data harvesting methodology, Electoral Political Economy Analysis (EPEA) that is a continuous information gathering tool that in this proposal will be used to a priori gather a base-line, identified by the gaps of existing information on prevalence of ERV in Ethiopia. Dissemination of knowledge refers to the packaging of data into reports, case studies and work shop materials. Taken together this result area will fill information gaps and equip electoral stakeholders with information pertinent to carry out election conflict prevention work. This result area is also closely linked to the projects monitoring methodology and base-line data that is the bench mark against which the project will compare impact.
Result area 2. Establish an NSA-Coalition and capacitating the coalition, and a wider span of NSAa, in Election Observation
This result area will focus on establishing an NSA-coalition across the main four levels of CSOs linked to their access and outreach potential, ranging from grassroots to national level. The NSA operating at the national or regional level with a more vertical outreach potential (political elite, international community etc.) have as much to win to network and join forces with grassroots organisations that with more horizontal structures. The coalition will be facilitated by an intense coalition-building workshop for per-identified NSA groups and disseminate knowledge of the prevalence of election conflict and some of the existing, and future response mechanisms available but also about the advantages to form a larger platform of NSA to operate out of. This result area will thus foster a more tightly knit network of NSA to untap their full potential, to promote inclusivity and a coordinated voice as well as utilize and pool the joint resources of NSA’s to make a more meaningful contribution to election conflict prevention in view of the 2020 elections and beyond.
Result area 3. Skills enhancement in leadership and conflict management, media monitoring and journalist capacity building essentially but not only for the NSA coalition.
Skills enhancement is a necessary prerequisite for electoral stakeholders in Ethiopia to level up work around election conflict prevention and management. Developing skills pertains to pairing knowledge i.e. able to analyze a specific electoral conflict with a deepened understanding of driver, cause and consequence with skills i.e. the ability to formulate and implement a response that is likely to contribute to the resolution of an emerging conflict, or prevent an electoral conflict to set root, are key components of electoral conflict prevention strategies. This result area will see both a substantive quantitative approach (number of electoral stakeholders trained – NSA, media, judiciary) with a qualitative approach (the utility of the enhanced skills “on-the-job”). The result area will thus generate an extensive pool of capacitated electoral stakeholders in election conflict prevention.
Result area 4. NSA-led election conflict prevention, mitigation and management activities spanning from grassroots conflict coordinators to an informal, flexible mediation group of elders.
Alliances between electoral stakeholders from various professional confines are essential to expand on the platform that the NSA network constitutes and level up by associating with other electoral stakeholders that possesses other outreach potential, leverage, skills and knowledge. This result area will provide for forums where electoral stakeholders from various competences can exchange and engage in peer learning activities around central subjects for election conflict prevention such as the legal aspects and electoral security. NSA’s are likely to benefit from building alliances with the electoral administrator, political parties, the media and security structures. In fact, alliances between some stakeholders are more sensitive, often between political parties and the electoral management body, unless a robust and coordinated forum can be placed at the disposal of the various stakeholders to bring variety and water out suspicions of political alliances. This result area will focus specifically on building alliances between NSA’s and other electoral stakeholders via multi-stakeholder forums.
Result area 5. Capitalising on existing early warning structures and capacitate with electoral conflict prevention capacities, while establishing a distinct election conflict early warning, led by the NSA-coalition, by merging into what already exists and fill the gaps
This result area will map already existing early warning mechanisms and support the coordination and communication of connecting these to provincial “conflict mediation panels”. Establish links and forum for exchange in conflict mapping and establish an early warning mechanism that departs from NSA’s and individuals trained in the LEAD methodology and will seek to tap into already ongoing initiatives along these lines. Information is meant to flow from the provincial conflict mediation panels (grassroots level), and the peace infrastructures facilitated by the project. Combined, the information and nation-wide infrastructures will be used as an Early Warning network meant to feed into the monitoring and reporting on the escalation of potential violent conflict and flashpoint areas. The ERV early warning mechanisms foresee a rudimentary situation room that essentially is the project itself although a specific activity and defined space will be set up described in the next result area.
Result area 6. Election Situation room
This result area will put in place an Election Situation Room as part of the early warning and rapid response mechanism for an immediate resolution of diverging views with risk for conflict escalation in real space and time. The ESR, as part of the early warning and rapid response mechanism, means in practical terms that on E-day, NSA’s, representatives of the electoral administration, security forces and other relevant stakeholders involved in election conflict prevention (Ministry of Peace etc.) form part of a central unit where the alerts/incident reports come in from the ground all over Ethiopia to be able to be informed in real time on events on the ground with the potential of impacting the electoral process negatively. Apart from having representatives physically sitting in the situation room, close collaborations should be set up in the pre-election period (alliance-building) through bilateral meetings, but also sharing of reports and preparation via skills enhancement and dissemination of knowledge.
Result area 7. Civic and voter education outreach and NSA-led dialogue with traditional structures exploring the role of youth in pro-peace messaging.
Most result areas are inwards-looking in terms of capacitating, supporting and fostering relationships between defined stakeholder groups. This result area will have an outwards-looking focus namely to the general population of Ethiopia by disseminating, engaging and involve a wider set of individuals in pro-peace messages. The project, via the combined resources generated through each result area, will craft peace messages to be packaged in a variety of ways depending on the province and the conflict situation (history, demography and risk of election conflict and violence). The outreach is thought to generate and incite a public debate that can be captured and capitalized on by NSA’s active at the grassroots level. There is potential for NSA to form a wide set of activities around the outreach campaign such as election round table debates, radio shows or filmed street interviews.