As of October 2021, ECES has already obtained 12 copyrights, which include a wide range of tools and methodologies aimed at supporting the implementation of its copyrighted ''A European Response to Electoral Cycle Support - EURECS'' strategy.
These innovative copyrights are a testimony to the leading-edge work of ECES across the globe, and to its commitment to continuous improvement to further contribute to democratic and electoral processes worldwide.
ECES has co-developed a methodology on “Peace Mediation for Electoral Processes” which is the first practical contribution to guide mediation and electoral support actors on opportunities and risks to support-, fund-, or conduct peace mediation in electoral processes.
The methodology is based on concrete cases of peace mediation in electoral processes to draw lessons of common risks and windows of opportunities for conflict settlement around the electoral cycle. It thereby fills an important gap by offering concrete guidance when attempting to mediate – or support peace mediation efforts in electoral processes or crises that arise or escalate due to flawed elections.
The methodology unpacks peace mediation opportunities and risks in electoral processes in unprecedented detail. It uses the electoral cycle, and each of its phases; common electoral systems and legal frameworks to look at potential entry points – and challenges to avoid for peace mediation efforts. The methodology also looks at the electoral and mediation vocabulary and suggest ways to render the language of electoral and mediation actors more conflict sensitive.
Our methodology can be structured as a training curriculum and offered as personal coaching or to a larger group. The Peace mediation in Electoral Processes methodology is a lens that can be applied to any context in order to offer more concrete and practical guidance to see – and cease opportunities for timely conflict settlement – and stay clear of common pitfalls within both mediation and electoral support. As such, the methodology is well suited to complement conflict analysis.
In September 2021, ECES has copyrighted its own database: The Roster Database for Electoral Assistance Experts.
The Roster and the related application were established taking into account the accumulation of 25 years of knowledge, experience and professional networks of the ECES’ founder in different institutions and international organisations implementing electoral assistance and election observation (EU, UN, OSCE) coupled with the 11 years of experience in the promotion electoral and democratic strengthening of ECES.
It includes 1500 specialized CVs of Project Directors, Project Coordinators, Finance and Operations Managers, Accountants, Procurement experts for the management of EU/EU member states funded projects and area experts specialised in all steps of an electoral process such as: electoral leadership; legal framework; electoral operations; prevention of electoral conflicts; media monitoring; institutional communication; electoral budgeting; voter registration; delimitation of boundaries; face to face and distance capacity
One of the most important added value is ECES' capacity to rapidly mobilise highly qualified expertise through its Roster’s app. The procedure for the mobilisation of expertise is mostly based on the consultation of this app, exchanges with donors and beneficiaries and the establishment of a Human Resource Plan particularized for each project, that is submitted for approval before the start of the activities.
In April 2021 ECES launched and copyrighted the application “Electoral Translator”. This is a tool that translates electoral terms in English, French, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and Arabic. The six Ethiopian official languages (Amharic, English, Afar, Oromo, Somali and Tigrinya) will also be included.
The general aim is to provide the international audience with the opportunity to understand and master the very specific language used in the field of democracy and elections, within the broader objective of making electoral processes around the world more inclusive and sustainable.
This application, which translates electoral terms in different languages, has been developed by ECES with its technical partner of Democracy Essentials for the use of the different electoral stakeholders, which are beneficiaries of their electoral support projects around the world.
The Electoral Translator serves all electoral stakeholders. including: electoral management bodies, competing political parties and candidates, media and journalists, civil society organisations dealing with election observation and voter education, security forces and institutions dealing with electoral dispute resolutions.
In May 2020, in light of the global coronavirus pandemic, ECES launched and copyrighted INNOV-ELECTIONS, a hybrid approach to training delivery based on the comparative experience of ECES experts and partners in the field, further enhancing the contextualisation of the training programmes to the local realities.
INNOV-ELECTIONS is built around the following three main areas:
1. Optimise the COVID-19 confinement by enhancing the potential of electoral stakeholders;
2. Enhance young and women’s roles and participation in the management of elections;
3. Enhance electoral stakeholders’ leadership, conflict and quality management capacities.
It provides an effective response to the challenges brought by the pandemic through three main tools:
1. Live webinars and WebEx classes delivered remotely on every steps of the electoral cycle as per the subject mentioned above;
2. ECES copyrighted trainings on Leadership and Conflict Management for Electoral Stakeholders (LEAD) and on Leadership and Quality Management for Electoral Stakeholders (LEAD-Q); and
3. Through a partnership with the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies (SSSA), the Online Master in Election and Public Administration (MEPA) or some of its individual 19 modules
These tools are supplemented by close contextualised online capacitation to the beneficiaries to ensure the maximum possible benefit within the beneficiaries’ different contexts.
The “Leadership and Quality Management Skills for Electoral Administrators” is a capacity development methodology (LEAD-Q)" which is the result of lessons learnt over the last 10 years of ECES in assisting electoral administrators.
The LEAD-Q is developed from the already ECES copyrighted training methodology, namely the LEAD (Leadership and Conflict Management Skills for electoral Stakeholders).
LEAD-Q is original because it prescribes a set of rules, routines and procedures developed to address common weaknesses within electoral administrations targeting a quality management in their electoral processes. If these rules, routines and procedures are applied, it will inevitably lead to greater internal effective performance but more, increased transparency.
It is a project's stakeholder mapping activity with the potential to monitor lurking localised conflicts or external threats from border areas and more around the electoral and political scenario of a given country.
The ESTA is a constant security mapping that seeks to engage on non-committal terms with the “supply side” of the security sector, including various institutional actors.
A unique copyright of ECES, the “ECES Communication and Visibility (C&V) Guidelines” are the final product of a lengthy and wide ranging consultation across our foundation, completed by colleagues with long and varied experience in all aspects of communications.
Visibility is a bedrock element of most policies the European Union and EU Member States, which are our main donors, agrees on and contracts to organisations like ECES to implement.
ECES C&V Guidelines are drafted for our personnel but also to be shared with our donors, beneficiaries of our projects and other electoral stakeholders to indicate the importance ECES attach to this issue also to fully respect contractual conditions with our donors.
These guidelines offer a 360-degree picture of the current landscape. They cover everything from audience understanding to social media analytics, taking better pictures to writing better words, banner design to logo design, copyright to search engine optimisation. And much, much more.
Copyrighted by ECES, the integrated Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are used to implement ECES Quality Management System (QMS) and the EURECS strategy. The SOP encompass a practical implementation approach to electoral cycle support, informed by past experiences from ECES dating back to 2010.
The SOP builds on the electoral cycle approach on the recommendations of EU Observation Missions (EUOM) and indications of EU Services and Institutions in Brussels.
The ECES SOP is an integrated document that supports the Quality Manual (ECES-M-01) by providing detailed step-by-step guidance regarding the implementation of each process of the QMS required for the implementation of EURECS. It provides an ample description of processes and procedures that must be followed in order to implement the QMS and EURECS in line with ISO 9001:2015 and international standards and regulations of sound project cycle management using donor funds.
The structure of this document follows a number of identified processes, grouped and ordered under management, key operational and support. This document, particularly with reference to the key operational processes, has been designed along the lines of the project cycle, forming part of relevant reading for ECES experts, donors, evaluators and auditors and providing practical guidance to all ECES experts that will implement activities fully in line with the SOP.
Besides providing guidance on these practical steps, the SOP also includes references to all the templates and forms necessary to comply with the relevant procedures in the annex.
The PEV approach forms part of ECES already copyright protected strategy “European Response to Electoral Cycle Support (EURECS)".
The PEV approach is the broader framework of a number of activities, also copyright protected by ECES namely the training curriculum Leadership and Conflict Management for Electoral Stakeholders (LEAD) methodology and the research methodology, Electoral Political Economy Analysis (EPEA).
The Electoral Political Economy Analyses (EPEA) Methodology, copyrighted by ECES, uses the political economy analysis (PAE) methodology, which studies the interaction of political and economic processes in society, distribution of power and wealth between different groups and individuals as well as processes that create, sustain and transform those relationships over time.
The political economy analysis helps to understand what drives political behaviour, how it shapes particular policies and programs, with the special focus on:
- The interests and incentives facing different groups in society and how these generate specific policy outcomes that may encourage or hinder development.
- The role that formal institutions and informal social, political, and cultural norms play in shaping human interaction and political and economic competition.
- The impact of values and ideas, including political ideologies, religion and cultural beliefs, on political behaviour and public policy.
The EPEA analysis recognises the complexity of electoral processes and the number of factors that influence it, which go beyond election administration, free and fair competition of candidates and observance of the right to vote. The role and impact of socio-economic factors in electoral processes have been recognised in the research of electoral integrity and political stability.
The Leadership and Conflict Management Skills for Electoral Stakeholders (LEAD) course was developed by Fabio Bargiacchi, co-founder and Executive Director of ECES. He created the concept with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) after attending CCL’s “Leadership Development Program” in San Diego in August 2009, while serving as Senior Electoral Assistance Advisor of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Brussels and Coordinator of the Joint European Commission (EC)-UNDP Task Force on Electoral Assistance.
Building on his vast experience in the electoral assistance field, Fabio Bargiacchi identified the need for capacity-building training, and the added value this could provide in consolidating democratic transitions and ensuring free and transparent electoral processes.
The LEAD curriculum integrates both the concepts of leadership and conflict management, providing a solid foundation for capacity-building among the different stakeholders engaged in the electoral process. The curriculum was formulated after feedback was incorporated from several stakeholders, including representatives from the Electoral Commissions of the Economic Community of Central African States, Madagascar, Togo, Chad, Mali, along with participants of the Political Academy for Young Politicians (PYPA) and expert seminars organised by ECES and MediatEUr.
1. EURECS - A European Response to Electoral Cycle Support
ECES has crafted and copyrighted its strategy called "A European Response to Electoral Cycle Support - EURECS".
EURECS is an innovative and alternative delivery mechanism to implement electoral and democracy assistance activities that are consistent with European values and EU policies and targets the implementations of the recommendations of EU election observation missions and it is built to help prevent, mitigate and manage electoral related conflicts. EURECS is implemented via specific methodologies and tools developed and also copyrighted by ECES such as its Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), the Communication & Visibility Guidelines, the Electoral Political Economy Analyses (EPEA), the project approach to contribute Preventing Electoral Conflicts (PEV), the cascade training curriculum called "Leadership and Conflict Management Skills for Electoral Stakeholders, LEAD", and its latest copyright, LEAD-Q.