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CEPPS in The Gambia

CEPPS has been in The Gambia since 2017 strengthening and consolidating the country’s democratic transition through more participatory, transparent, and accountable government processes and elections.
CEPPS Overarching Goals:

CEPPS works with members of the National Assembly, executive branch, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to enhance inclusive constitutional and electoral reform processes, government transparency and accountability, and overall responsiveness to citizens.

CEPPS Approach:

CEPPS uses a multifaceted approach to support the constitutional and electoral reform by working with government and electoral stakeholders, and Gambian civil society and constituents.

CEPPS assesses citizens’ priorities through qualitative and quantitative public opinion research and partners with CSOs to raise awareness among citizens about the constitutional review process. CEPPS works on the supply side to build the capacity of the National Assembly and political parties on constitutionalism and to review and develop strategies to enact a citizen-focused draft constitution.

CEPPS also convenes key stakeholders from the IEC, civil society, Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), government ministries, and National Assembly to discuss electoral reforms, as well as to provide technical assistance to the IEC in promoting inclusive democratic governance and electoral integrity prior to the country’s landmark 2021 presidential elections.

CEPPS Key Achievements in the Gambia:

CEPPS provides technical assistance to key stakeholders in The Gambia’s constitutional review process to ensure that the draft 2020 constitution reflects citizens’ priorities and concerns through:

  • The release of a nationwide public opinion survey which revealed overwhelming support and priorities calls for a new constitution. Survey data is now being used by key stakeholders in the constitutional review process, namely political parties, the National Assembly, and civil society, to ensure that the constitution submitted for referendum reflects citizens’ priorities for a new democratic Gambia;
  • Convening National Assembly members, civil society, political parties, and traditionally marginalized groups to debate and gain consensus on different, and sometimes contentious, suggested provisions of the draft and how to enhance citizen involvement in the constitutional review process; and
  • Financial and technical assistance to three Gambian CSOs to increase citizen involvement in, and raise awareness about, the draft constitution ahead of a potential referendum. Activities designed to raise awareness include radio shows, direct community engagement, youth and women dialogues, social media campaigns, and the distribution of civic education materials.

CEPPS provides targeted direct technical assistance to the electoral commission to strengthen its capacity to deliver free, fair, and transparent elections in The Gambia by:

  • Following the Gambia’s historic 2016 presidential transition, CEPPS conducted an analysis of the 2017 legislative elections focused on the country’s legal and regulatory framework, vote counting, certification of results and electoral dispute resolution to guide legal and electoral reform recommendations;
  • Building off this electoral analysis, CEPPS supports the election commission to finalize electoral and legislative reforms, provides training for capacity building, and supports the IEC in its development and finalization of strategic and operational plans and
  • Supporting the finalization of a strategic plan (2020-2024) covering the current election cycle and reviewed and provided recommendations for the draft 2020 Constitution.
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