PEV copyright provides a two-phase approach to Prevent and manage Election-related conflict and Violence.

 

The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) has developed a unique two-pronged approach to Prevent and manage Election-related conflict and Violence (PEV), which forms part of ECES already copyright protected strategy “European Response to Electoral Cycle Support (EURECS)” .

The PEV approach is composed by several ECES copyrighted activities, fitted into two phases:

  • Preventative phase: It entails understanding the rules of the game in a certain electoral context via the EPEA, identify key electoral stakeholders that hold potential to assist in election conflict prevention, and capacitate them using the LEAD curriculum. This preventative phase is about establishing a level of readiness amongst national and grassroots actors and assist, coordinate and advise on a robust response to electoral conflicts by tackling its root causes.
  • Management phase: This second phase focuses on intervening to manage an already erupted electoral conflict. This is done by utilising the platform of electoral stakeholders that was established under phase one. It also entails triggering interventions amongst the national and grassroots actors to employ conflict management and mediation & dialogue skills in electoral contexts. The second phase must always be documented as case studies to draw lessons on interventions and see how to use the lessons learned in other situations, contexts and elections. As such, the PEV approach also serves as: i) systematic data gathering on election conflict prevention: causes and effects and, ii) case studies that is fed into the LEAD curriculum taught to other electoral stakeholders as a real life sample of election conflict prevention at work.

The uniqueness of the PEV approach also lies in the sequencing of phases one and two. The phases can and should overlap for achieving the best impact.

The PEV approach should be employed all around the electoral cycle and focuses on preventing root cases to electoral conflicts that can arise from within the electoral cycle i.e. internal. This approach requires partnerships and close collaboration with the competent body mandated to administer elections in the country, referred to as the electoral management body (EMB). The preventative stage equally focuses on preventing root causes that are external to the electoral cycle itself, with that we refer to as a conflict that has its origin in other socio-economic factors but plays out in the electoral space, and impact negatively on electoral events or targeting electoral stakeholders.

The PEV approach has been developed by ECES via lessons learned from having implemented more than 90 projects to assist aspects of or entire electoral processes, whereby amongst those, three EU-funded projects had a clear-cut election conflict prevention aim allowing ECES to refine and crystalise the approach into a defined strategy applicable to all elections and contexts. These projects employing the PEV approach are (were): PEV-SACD (Preventing Election Related Violence and Potential Violence in the Sothern African Development Communities – SADC region) 2013 - 2016, PEV-RSA (Project to Prevent, Mitigate and Manage Election Related Conflict and Potential Violence in South Africa) 2018 – 2020 and, PEV-Ethiopia (Project to Prevent, Mitigate and Manage Election Related Conflict and Potential Violence in Ethiopia) 2019 – 2021.