About Us

We are a Regional technology and capacity building hub for Southern Africa, working to facilitate the Implementation of the Election Situation Room (ESR) in countries scheduled to hold elections. An Election Situation Room (ESR) is a multi-stakeholder platform that brings together, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) with common interest to collaborate on activities related to the elections process, collect and analyze information on a real-time basis and provide evidence based information on incidences that arise so that rapid response is effected, through the ESR network of stakeholders.

Setting up an ESR invariably involves setting up both short and long term projects, during which orientation, training, procurement of equipment and monitoring of current situation relating to the elections. Simultaneously, efforts have to made to  ensure that partners can have easy access to ESR resources and materials such as training curriculum and frameworks for establishing IT platforms ahead of their due election date.

Our mandate therefore, is to support established and potential ESR partners in the SADC region, by building their capacity to implement an effective ESR and use technology as a tool to enhance the transparency and credibility of their electoral processes while at the same time, mobilizing their communities and citizens to actively participate in the respective countries’ democratic dispensation. This approach enables us to overcome a common challenge experienced in countries where the ESR model has previously been implemented, where stakeholders spend inordinate amounts of time on getting a common understanding about the ESR concept and consequently limit the amount of time spent on its actual implementation. Hence, we facilitate the transfer of knowledge and skills well in advance to enable partners implement the ESR effectively and in turn impact on the quality and effectiveness of election monitoring in a more coordinated and comprehensive manner.

Our Goal

To enhance the process of election monitoring and observation through implementation of the Election Situation Room (ESR) model, by building a community of practice individuals and institutions in Southern Africa.

What We Do

We facilitate for;

  1. Trainings on the ESR Model in its entirety
  2. Deployment of technology solutions
  3.  Initial technical set up of the ESR
  4. Technical oversight and management of local secretariats
  5. Liaison with local ESR implementing partners on the best model to suit their country’s electoral context.

Our Motivation

After more than four years of supporting the implementation of the ESR in Africa aided by Open Society Foundations in Southern, East and West Africa, it has become apparent that there are very positive aspects to implementing the ESR during elections. Among them, its capacity to bring Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) together in order to protect the electoral rights of citizens and its effectiveness in contributing to the correction of political and social dysfunctions during polling and counting, by engaging electoral management institutions in real time.

Hence, our motivation is the desire to strengthen the potential of the ESR as an Election prevention and mitigation instrument for its users, especially Civil Society Organizations. By facilitating the transfer of knowledge and skills on the ESR and ensuring that countries that are holding elections, have access to the ESR toolkit and become efficient in using and sustaining it.

Our ESR toolkit has two key components: a training curriculum on the implementation of the ESR and a softwar0 e called OpenESR for collecting and treating data. The core objective of the toolkit is to make the implementation of the ESR much easier and less costly for its users; while allowing them to refine the model by building on lessons from countries where the model has been implemented in the past.

Our Objectives

Build a community of individuals and institutions on the ESR model in the SADC Region for sustainability

Facilitate knowledge and skills transfer to electoral stakeholders and technical staff on the ESR model within the context of each host country.

Create and maintain a Knowledge platform on the ESR model that will be readily and easily accessible for the region

Assist in the setting up and deployment of the ESR

Manage deployment of the ICT component of the ESR in liaison with local partners

Provide opportunities for partners/stakeholders to test the components of the ESR Toolkit

Our Expectations

Countries in southern Africa establish a sound understanding of how to use the ESR model during elections

That stakeholders are able to appreciate the components of the toolkit and provide feedback to refine it further

Citizens actively participate in electoral processes by submitting reports of events and incidences in their communities during election period in respective host countries

That stakeholders are trained on how to use the ESR toolkit and become efficient at it

Election processes become more transparent and credible in the region

Technology is recognized and appreciated as an important and necessary component of democratic processes in the region