Activity cluster 1. Capacity Reinforcement

Specific objective 1: Enhance leadership and conflict management capacities among key players such as the coordinators and volunteers of the provincial conflict mediation panels


This cluster aims to raise the capacities, profiles and performance of province-level electoral conflict mediation panels. Together the nine provincial panels constitute a national structure for preventing, mitigating and managing potential conflict on the ground and in real time. The panels have the potential to play a larger role before, during and after elections due to their centrality between the electorate and the electoral commission.


To achieve this result, the project will revise and update the current recruitement plan used for the conflict mediation panels, with the objective to systematise the hiring and management of provincial conflict mediation structures. The project will then implement the plan, recruiting nine provincial conflict mediation coordinators, one for each province. The project will also implement a LEAD Training of Trainers (ToT) for the nine provincial coordinators, as well as a "master pool" of additional LEAD trainers established at central level for provincial dissemination. Finally, there will also be LEAD Cascade Training, in which a wide spectrum of South African society will receive LEAD and conflict mediation training. 


Specific objective 2: Revive existing peace infrastructures and connect its work to the province conflict mediation panels by providing secretariat services i.e. coordination, inclusion in capacity building, institutional support


This cluster aims to sensitise and engage a wider audience in national call for peace and tolerance via a nation-wide sensitisation and outreach campaign for awareness-raising of election related violence and conflict. By mapping already existing knowledge of early warning mechanisms, the project can create a central repository on ERV before, during, and after the election. Moreover, a comprehensive handbook on the conflict mediation panels and their interplay with electoral stakeholders will be developed. The sensitisation campaign will culminate with “A Political Safari: An African Adventure in Democracy Building” : An outreach campaign initiative developed and inspired by the award-winning film “An African Election” produced and directed by Jarreth Merz together with ECES. "A Political Safari" is a mobile-cinema voter education outreach campaign that will be implemented in close collaboration with the conflict mediation panels, CSOs, youth wings and women’s organisations, compelling communities to engage in promoting democracy and peaceful electoral processes. This mobile cinema provides an unprecedented tool for inspiring and educating stakeholders and electorates in how a well-implemented electoral process can bring about peaceful change of power and democratic continuity where the result could have been an open conflict. 


Specific objective 3: Support regional/international peer exchange meant to bridge the IEC with EMBs in other countries in order to share best practices pertaining to conflict prevention and management


This cluster aims to ensure that the South African experience, and the provincial conflict management model unique not only in the region but also internationally, is shared both within the country with key institutions and in the extension, with other countries; and in return, establish closer collaboration frameworks with South African Institutions and learn best practices from other Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) in the region/internationally. Along with national conferences and workshops involving key institutions and stakeholders in the South African election, the project will have two regional conferences in which the conflict mediation panel handbook will be distributed and discussed with EMBs from Southern Africa. These conferences will also serve as a chance for the Commissions to share experiences and lessons learned with each other.