Citizens Action for Democratic Governance in Pakistan (CADGP)

May 01, 2015 – March 31, 2016

The Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability (TDEA) is implementing Citizens’ Action for Democratic Governance (CADG) through the member organizations of the Free and fair Election Network (FAFEN) from May 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 in order to sustain and strengthen its core programme activities and prepare for a longer-term future programming. This project builds on the successes of “Supporting Transparency, Accountability and Electoral Processes in Pakistan” (STAEP) programme and represents the planned core election-related programming and activities. TDEA-FAFEN, through this funding, will work to strengthen its key areas of election-related, institutional oversight and citizen demand work, knitting together its election and between-elections initiatives and building on its track record of uniquely successful electoral and democratic reform advocacy.

The project follows DFID support to the “Supporting Transparency, Accountability and Electoral Processes in Pakistan” project (2011-2014) and European Union’s Long-Term Election Observation and Oversight Project (2012-2014). Both projects were implemented by FAFEN. Learning from STEAP, the proposed action will have increased focus on more representative citizens’ groups for greater community buy-in; ensure increased participation of women and other socially marginalised section of society, and to create synergies with organizations working on similar issues. To bring the issues of governance to political mainstream, TDEA-FAFEN will further streamline and strengthen its work with political parties through increased engagement at all levels.

Between elections, it is essential to continue laying the foundation for successful administration of elections and greater public participation in electoral processes. The one-year project is designed to enable FAFEN to continue to play its role in influencing the current public and political discourse on electoral reforms on the basis of the findings of its extensive election observation of the 2013 General Election and evidence-based recommendations. In addition, a continued independent oversight of by-elections as well as electoral processes as important as registration of voters, delimitation etc. is needed to provide unbiased information and recommendations for improvements to the legislatures and the election management body. FAFEN has successfully implemented its electoral reform agenda as well as inclusion of critical election-related reforms in the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

The primary implementing partners for the project are civil society organizations including professional associations, target populations of traditionally disenfranchised citizens including youth, women and religious minorities and the poor. The project will directly involve elected representatives, government officials, political parties, religious leaders and the election administration at national, provincial and district levels. It will take into account related initiatives by other agencies to avoid duplication and build synergies.

The primary focus of the programme will be on developing new, and strengthening existing relationships between rights-holders and duty-bearers, to enable citizens’ voices to be channeled into administrative, regulatory and legislative reforms, enabling improved electoral, legislative and local governance. These approaches will deliver increased value for money for donors and more sustainable civil society voice and accountability in Pakistan.

Parliament Watch and Reforms Project

August 18, 2012 – December 17, 2014

Parliament Watch and Reforms Project (PWRP) has been designed to observe the proceedings of the Senate and the National Assembly and 13 selected Standing Committees using robust methodology and specially-designed checklists based on the Rules of Business.

Under this project, which is funded by the European Commission, TDEA-FAFEN  has hired the services of unbiased and neutral professionals who observe the interventions of the parliamentarians on the floor of the house and report back to TDEA secretariat. As soon as the filled-in checklist is received by the secretariat, report writers prepare daily factsheets to be disseminated among relevant stakeholders and upload it on FAFEN’s website (www.fafen.org) and  TDEA-FAFEN’s parliamentary information portal (www.openparliament.pk). Later, report writers draft news for FAFEN’s newspaper, Parliament Files (parliamentfiles.com).

TDEA-FAFEN’s parliamentary information portal (openparliament.pk), therefore, is a one-stop window for all parliamentary interventions carried out on the floors of all six legislatures i.e. Senate, National Assembly, Punjab Assembly, Sindh Assembly, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and Balochistan Assembly. The objective behind developing such a portal is to bridge the gap between citizens and the elected representatives.

TDEA-FAFEN, on its own initiative and with the help of its partner organizations, is also observing the proceedings of all provincial assemblies and disseminating daily factsheets to relevant stakeholders. Its data analysts skim through the parliamentary data sent by their impartial observers and after verification, place it on the portal for the use of any interested individual. It can be said that TDEA-FAFEN has all the data of National Assembly since 2008 and Senate and provincial assemblies since 2011.

Based on parliamentary information, parliamentfiles.com contains stories that are based on the information debated on the floor of the house, be it legislation, points of order, calling attention notices, resolutions etc. Besides, TDEA-FAFEN releases session reports, quarterly and annual reports, thematic reports, and selected standing committees’ reports.

TDEA-FAFEN is also releasing its monthly Urdu magazine “Aiwan-e-Aam” which provide parliamentary details in the national language. Besides, it carries the profile of a Member Parliament, detailing his interventions on the floor of the house.

Education for All – Making it Possible

November 07, 2014 – August 15, 2015

The TDEA-FAFEN is implementing the ILM IDEAS project, “Education for All – Making it Possible” in Pakistan’s four provinces, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and Gilgit-Baltistan where civil society organizations have been working on different education projects on voice and accountability. The project activities include experience sharing and showcasing events where civil society organizations have been invited to present their successful voice and accountability models that can be replicated at the national level for advocating for reforms in education sector and improve education governance in Pakistan. These showcasing events were conducted in 18 locations across Pakistan where 201 organizations participated and presented their successful education interventions under voice and accountability criteria. Of 201 organizations’ models, 11 models were shortlisted. These shortlisted models were validated by conducting Focus Group Discussions, Key Informant Interviews, Community Interviews and Group Interviews in order to assess its replicability on larger scale and to shortlist it for citizens’ campaign for nationwide showcasing event.

TDEA-FAFEN will also launch countrywide media and citizens’ advocacy campaigns for improving the state of education sector in Pakistan. The campaigns will urge the federal and provincial governments to improve the education sector governance focusing on the key issues that are central to ensuring access to quality education for children aged 5-16 in particular. The campaigns will be developed on the basis of content that highlights the successful voice and accountability interventions in the education sector by reforms advocacy organizations and implementers and aim to achieve the following results:

  1. Increase buy-in of policymakers, legislators and political leaders of education governance reforms that are critical to improving literacy,
  2. Translate political desire for improving education into political through actions,
  3. Seek to encourage a broad range of actions which may not have to be fiscal in nature for meeting Pakistan’s international as well as constitutional obligations of free education in Pakistan,

In order to project the activities taking place across the Pakistan, we have created social media accounts to facilitate citizens and civil society organizations to keep track of activities so that they can contribute in the development of media campaign.

Long Term Election Observation and Oversight in Pakistan (LTEOOP)

December 21, 2012 – June 20, 2014

TDEA-FAFEN raised the standards of citizens’ election observation in Pakistan during the General Elections process in 2013 through its project Long Term Election Observation and Oversight (LETOOP). TDEA’s nationwide methodology was based on national election laws and procedures of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Pakistan’s ratification in 2010 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the 2012 Declaration of Global Principles and Code of Conduct for Non-Partisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations.

More than 360 district and constituency long-term observers (D-LTOs and C-LTOs) monitored the pre-election preparations and political campaign nationwide, and more than 130 D-LTOs monitored the post-election environment, including resolution of election result disputes. More than 40,000 short-term observers (STOs) on Election Day in every constituency monitored procedures during the voting, ballot counting and election result consolidation processes. An unprecedented Election Information Management System (EIMS) for frequent reporting of election-related observations to the public and election stakeholders and enabled robust advocacy for enforcement of election law and regulations as well as long-term post-election reform.

TDEA’s unprecedented election observation effort in 2013 involves more than 40,000 trained, non-partisan citizens in monitoring the Election Day in polling stations, with an average of 150 short-term observers (STOs) in each National Assembly constituency. All TDEA- FAFEN observers are accredited by the ECP and adhere to the ECP Code of Conduct for National Observers. They do not interfere with voters or the administration of elections.

All TDEA- FAFEN observation checklists are based on the Representation of the Peoples Act 1976, Conduct of Elections Rules 1977, and ECP handbooks for election officials. All election statements and reports are non-partisan and based on aggregated data and information from observers in a constituency or around the country. TDEA- FAFEN, STOs are not authorized to speak to the media or make any public statements based on their individual observations.

Supporting Transparency, Accountability and Electoral Processes in Pakistan (STAEP)

December 17, 2010 – August 31, 2014

The main focus of the project was to enhance the effectiveness of government in addressing the critical challenges to Pakistan by increasing citizen’s participation in ensuring transparency and accountability of elected and public institutions. The programme aimed to achieve the objectives including Citizens’ groups would monitor performance of elected representatives and public institutions and raise demands that are increasingly met. Elections would be better managed and more inclusive and peaceful. Moreover, political parties would be better organized and more responsive to citizens. FAFEN and its associates’ capacity to monitor governance issues, manage systems and accounts would increase and their credibility would improve. This would also lead to new funding opportunities.

For the achievement of the project objectives, FAFEN’s activities centered around community level engagement through interactive meetings between citizens, elected representatives and other stakeholders and beneficiaries, citizens’ observation of some governance institutions, identification and development of reforms agenda by citizens and staff, registration facilitation, and trainings etc.

The methodology of STAEP was based on;

  • Mobilization of citizen observers and developing their capability to observe and document performance of existing governance and power structures as well as democratic processes,
  • To identify and frame demands and reforms agenda pertaining to local governance, elections etc. that are increasingly met,
  • Verification and streamlining of this field-level data within the Secretariat for reportage and dissemination for public consumption,
  • Its internal management on the FAFEN Online Program Tracker.

FAFEN facilitated seven rounds of constituency staff trainings focusing on conceptual knowledge and detailed implementation of the program, The oversight checklists were also improved after consistent consultation and feedback received from Program Managers and constituency staff, Since August 2011, FAFEN’s partner organizations started entry of data in FAFEN Online Program Tracker after having special training round on FOPT. To minimize the risk of loss and ambiguities the data sets have been used that organizations have sent and entered by the constituency staff. It is also important to mention here that FAFEN have used verified and accepted data (Accepted, In Process and White Flag) furnished by field staff only. The same data sets are used while FAFEN released monthly Governance Monitors.

Major achievements as a result of STAEP project centered around the creation of greater public interest and citizens’ engagement with public institutions and democratic processes, increase in voluntary activities, women’s inclusion and acknowledgement in the above activities as well as political and electoral processes, improvement in civil society scope of work and capacity, greater transparency in some public institutions and elections, and development of reforms some of which were admitted and adopted by concerned state institutions.

Election Violence Monitoring (EVM)

May 01, 2013 – December 31, 2013

To collect data from media and field sources on incidents of election-related violence between January 11, 2013 and May 11, 2013, based on which, it will produce a general report on violence in the General Assembly Elections of 2013 as well as a thematic report on “triggers” of election violence. The project also produced television programs highlighting the risk of election violence in selected districts, prior to Election Day.

Support for Free and Fair Elections in Pakistan

February 1, 2007 – February 20, 2009

To support civil society efforts for strengthening democratic and electoral processes in Pakistan

Election Data Center Project

December 15, 2007 – April 30, 2008

To establish a data center for efficient collection of data from election observers and ensure prompt reporting

Balochistan Community Policing Survey

December 24, 2008 – February 28, 2009

To design and conduct an 800-household baseline study in eight districts of Balochistan for Balochistan Community Policing Project.

Constituency Relations Program

March 1, 2009 – July 30, 2009

To pilot FAFEN methodology for enhancing citizens’ engagement with public and elected institutions and representatives in select National Assembly constituencies

Mapping of Human Rights Sector in Pakistan

March 15, 2009 – June 30, 2009

To Map Human Rights Sector in Pakistan focusing on organizations operating at the national and provincial levels

Developing and Disseminating a Nationwide Strategy for Local Government Election Observation

April 1, 2009 – June 30, 2009

To develop a nationwide strategy, methodology and management plan for local government elections observation in Pakistan.

Mobilization of Women Voters in Pakistan Project

April 15, 2009 – March 29, 2010

To engage with the Election Commission of Pakistan and other relevant stakeholders in policy dialogue for enhancing the women participation in electoral processes.

Baseline Study for Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in NWFP

September 3, 2009 – April 12, 2010

To design and conduct a baseline study in seven districts of NWFP for Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms Project.

Political and Electoral Violence, Education and Resolution Project

September 1, 2010 – August 31, 2010

To develop and test a methodological framework for political and electoral violence monitoring and verification through community-based investigation and other sources, including media in an effort to develop public record of data and analysis that can contribute to peace-building initiatives at local and national levels and help to prevent and manage electoral and political violence.

CNIC and Voter Registration Campaign in Seven Districts

September 1, 2009 – September 30, 2010

To conduct a focused advocacy campaign to enhance female registration of Computerized National Identity Cards in seven districts.

Active Citizens Programme

February 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013

To train at least (6000) youth under British Council’s Active Citizenship Programme and encourage them to monitor schools and seek education sector reforms.