The CEPPS Newsletter

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CEPPS in Ethiopia

Since 2018, CEPPS has been working in Ethiopia to strengthen democratic institutions, and processes that will advance reforms and safeguard democratic principles.
CEPPS Overarching Goals:

CEPPS seeks to build political will and institutional capacity for competitive, peaceful elections, as well as inclusive, responsive, democratic governance. To do this, CEPPS works directly with the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), civil society organizations, media, and political parties, in order to strengthen the participation of all citizens throughout their political systems, including women, youth, and other traditionally marginalized groups.  Additionally, CEPPS promotes the integrity of Ethiopian elections to peacefully and democratically select leaders; to better harness the media’s capability to promote citizens political understanding, and transparency within the electoral process, as well as to improve competitive, representative multiparty political systems. 

CEPPS Approach:

CEPPS provides technical assistance tthe NEBE to help encourage professional, effective management of elections, as well as to improve inclusiveness among all citizens, and credibility throughout Ethiopia’s elections.   

CEPPS, through technical capacity building and subawards, assists CSOs to inform citizens of the importance of electoral and democratic participation, and supports citizen-led efforts to increase the transparency of electoral processes. CEPPS provides technical and financial assistance to CSOs to conduct long-term monitoring of a pre-election period, election day, and post-election periods, including support focused on monitoring violence against women in elections (VAW-E).   

CEPPS also promotes political parties’ abilities to effectively compete in elections by improving infrastructure and developmental skills.  CEPPS often trains party poll-watchers to observe, and document irregularities that could affect individual political parties’ assessment of election day activitiesand the credibility of outcomes. 

Furthermore, CEPPS assists Ethiopian media in preparation for elections by providing conflict and gender sensitivity training to journalists through a series of mentorship, and professional engagements. 

CEPPS Key Achievements in Ethiopia:

Ethiopia’s national election board, civil society, political parties and the media are more prepared to engage in the electoral process: 

  • In December 2018, CEPPS conducted an initial rapid response assessment on the evolving situation in Ethiopia. Subsequently, USAID tasked CEPPS to begin an additional rapid response technical assistance program to support the newly reformed NEBE. Since thenCEPPS has continued providing capacity development, and technical assistance to the NEBE and relevant institutions on the country’s electoral legal framework. 
  • CEPPS assisted in the formation, and registration of the Coalition of Ethiopian Civil Society Organizations for Elections (CECOE) as the leading national coordinating body for civil society election support, and is collaborating with CECOE to develop a nationwide, multimedia campaign for voter education. 
  • CEPPS provides technical and organizational capacity support, through training and mentoring of CSOs in Addis Ababa, Amhara, Oromia, Somali, Tigray and SNNPR on topics such as strategic communications, project management, participatory democracy principles, social media engagement, as well as volunteer, and voter mobilization.  
  • CEPPS trained 73 nationally and regionally registered political parties on campaign organizational skills, and voter outreach techniques. Training sessions equipped participants with methods to increase their ability to conduct election campaigns, and to contribute to a conducive environment ahead of elections.   
  • CEPPS established a fact-checking desk aimed at monitoring all media; identifying instances of fake news and hate speechas well as developing appropriate responses for each case.  

CEPPS contributed to preparing the national election board and civil society for the 2019 Sidama Statehood Referendum 

  • CEPPS worked closely with NEBE to provide technical, and operational support for the administration, and management of the referendum.  
  • CEPPS provided technical and financial assistance to recruit, and train 147 citizen observers, and deploy 80 observers during the 2019 Sidama Statehood Referendum.  CECOE’s official report and statement on the observation findings, and assessment of the referendum, remains the only independent, credible evaluation of the exercise. 

Ethiopia’s national election board, civil society, political parties and the media are more prepared to engage in the electoral process: 

  • In December 2018, CEPPS conducted an initial rapid response assessment on the evolving situation in Ethiopia. Subsequently, USAID tasked CEPPS to begin an additional rapid response technical assistance program to support the newly reformed NEBE. Since thenCEPPS has continued providing capacity development, and technical assistance to the NEBE and relevant institutions on the country’s electoral legal framework. 
  • CEPPS assisted in the formation, and registration of the Coalition of Ethiopian Civil Society Organizations for Elections (CECOE) as the leading national coordinating body for civil society election support, and is collaborating with CECOE to develop a nationwide, multimedia campaign for voter education. 
  • CEPPS provides technical and organizational capacity support, through training and mentoring of CSOs in Addis Ababa, Amhara, Oromia, Somali, Tigray and SNNPR on topics such as strategic communications, project management, participatory democracy principles, social media engagement, as well as volunteer, and voter mobilization.  
  • CEPPS trained 73 nationally and regionally registered political parties on campaign organizational skills, and voter outreach techniques. Training sessions equipped participants with methods to increase their ability to conduct election campaigns, and to contribute to a conducive environment ahead of elections.   
  • CEPPS established a fact-checking desk aimed at monitoring all media; identifying instances of fake news and hate speechas well as developing appropriate responses for each case.  

CEPPS contributed to preparing the national election board and civil society for the 2019 Sidama Statehood Referendum 

  • CEPPS worked closely with NEBE to provide technical, and operational support for the administration, and management of the referendum.  
  • CEPPS provided technical and financial assistance to recruit, and train 147 citizen observers, and deploy 80 observers during the 2019 Sidama Statehood Referendum.  CECOE’s official report and statement on the observation findings, and assessment of the referendum, remains the only independent, credible evaluation of the exercise. 
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