InnovElections is the tool drafted and copyrighted by ECES in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, in order to continue delivering electoral assistance activities 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 affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Officially launched on 15 December 2020 as part of the announcement by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of its "Partnership with Africa" policy document, the InnovElections project was developed in collaboration with the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa (SSSA) and implemented with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
InnovElections is built around the following three main areas:
- Optimise the COVID-19 confinement by enhancing the potential of electoral stakeholders;
- Boost youth and women’s roles and participation in the management of elections;
- Enhance electoral stakeholders’ leadership, conflict and quality management capacities.
The project provides an effective response to the challenges posed by the pandemic through three main tools:
- Live webinars and Zoom classes delivered remotely on every steps of the electoral cycle as per the subject mentioned above;
- ECES copyrighted trainings on Leadership and Conflict Management for Electoral Stakeholders (LEAD) and on Leadership and Quality Management for Electoral Stakeholders (LEAD-Q); and
- 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.
Divided into two main phases, InnovElections will target 11 African countries and several regional organisations.
Phase I: National Level
The selected countries have been identified as priorities for the Italian Cooperation in Africa:
- Burkina Faso
- South Sudan
Phase II: Regional Level
The selected African regional and sub-regional organisations and secretariats of networks of Electoral Management Bodies in Africa include:
- The Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD)
- The ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC), RESAO in French and Portuguese)
- The Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC countries (ECF-SADC)
- The Election Observation and Assistance Unit of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
- The Election Observation and Assistance of the East African Community (EAC)
Phase III: Partnership with the African Union
The new course of action of phase 3 of Innov Elections will allow to deliver activities that are thought to be in continuity with the existing ones. It also represents Italy's initial contribution to the Pro-Electoral Integrity project in support to improving Electoral Integrity in Africa via the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the African Union Commission". A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ECES and the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the African Union has been signed in April 2021.
Phase 3 of the project, will allow to follow up to the requests of several African counter counterparts (regional and sub-regional organizations, states and independent electoral commissions), that lately have expressed their interest and requested to follow about 250 modules of the programme. The approval of phase 3 of Innov Elections will allow these requests to be executed and, eventually, further expanded. Moreover, there are also other African States, which have not yet expressed their interest, but that could be invited and involved in this new phase of the project.
For more information on the InnovElections project, watch the launch video here
The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation's strategic document "Partnership with Africa" is available here (Italian)
Please visit our official website for the project: https://www.innov-elections.eu/