Elections 2016: Participants share their reflections on the STAR-Ghana Learning Events


One striking feature was the level of interaction between Grant Partners, bearers of duty and the STAR-Ghana team coupled with the in-depth appreciation by the Grant Partners of the issues being discussed, the level of passion and commitment displayed by the participants.

Another striking feature was the level of effective organization of the event and the amount of leverage given to the Grant Partners from the planning stage with the appointment of the Planning Committee that had ownership of the event. This ownership was demonstrated in the working on the communique which was presented by the Planning Committee members to the media. It demonstrated the faith STAR-Ghana had in the Grant Partners.

I learnt a number of things:

I. The role of civil society in the elections was crucial as demonstrated by the breadth of work undertaken by civil society organizations along the entire value chain of the electoral process.

II. That civil society in Ghana is passionate about its work and with the appropriate amount of support can have a huge impact on way the nation is governed in terms of how elections are conducted, results are handled and how post-election issues can be addressed.

III. That partnerships are essential and the right partnerships with other civil society organizations and stakeholders can be leveraged to make even more meaningful contributions as we stated in our key learnings as captured in our 4 3s. The need for even greater collaborations between Grant Partners was more glaring to me.

There is the need for a relationship to be developed even before the election year. This will ensure that the relationship has developed to a handholding level before the elections. In this regard, forums should be organized between the civil society and institutions like Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).

In addition to this in the election year, special meetings should be arranged with the national leaderships of the parties to facilitate collaborations between the Grant Partners and the parties at the grass roots level where many of the Grant Partners will be working.

A network of Organizers of the political parties should be formed with the Grant Partners to ensure that communication lines are clear and functioning to enable ease of access to the leadership of the political parties at the grassroots.

I recommend that an ongoing interaction should be facilitated between Grant Partners at least on an annual basis or if possible twice a year to discuss issues relating to elections instead of waiting till the next election year. As suggested during the Learning Event, discussions pertaining to peaceful and credible elections should not be left until the election year exclusively but the National Commission on Civic Education, media and civil society should engage the public on issues relating to peaceful and credible elections to ensure that the the concept of peaceful and credible elections becomes part of our national DNA.

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