Our expert participated at the Second Forum of Citizens Observers which was organized by the European Commission on 15 – 16 September 2016. The 2016 forum which brought together some 250 professionals from around 90 countries was an opportunity to reflect on the major changes that have happened to citizen election observation during the last six years – and to address the key challenges facing citizen observation. The forum’s main objective was to bring the international observer community and supporting organisations together with citizen observers to discuss today’s challenges to election observation.
The forum was built on three parallel work streams: 1. The "domestic" stream: How can citizen observers promote democratic reform by working better with other civil society organisations (CSOs) advocating for democratic reform at the national level? How can citizen observers promote electoral reform by working better with political parties and office holders? 2. The "international" stream: How can citizen observers and international Election Observation Missions (EOMs) better support each other? 3. The "methodological" stream: How to address the key methodological challenges that citizen observers continue to face? Throughout the forum, participants addressed the cross cutting issue of how mutual support, protection, exchange and learning between international, regional and citizen observer groups can be strengthened, including through the work of existing regional and global networks, development assistance and communities of practice.
Our expert was one of the presenters in the panel titled ENGAGING WITH OTHER NATIONAL STAKEHOLDERS TO PROMOTE REFORMS RELATED TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND THE MEDIA which focused on the following questions: Do citizen observers engage the media and/or specialised CSOs in their countries to produce integrated action to advance freedom of expression/access to information? — How can international obligations and norms related to freedom of expression/access to information be used to advance reforms in this area? — Are the interventions of the international donor community integrated with those of local actors? — What are the lessons to be learned by international observer groups to better implement EOM recommendations on freedom of expression and access to information? The panel was moderated by Ms. Rona Ann Caritos of LENTE from Philippines and the co-panelist was Mandeep Singh of Bersih 2.0 from Malaysia.
For more information about the Second Forum of Citizen Observers, see also: http://www.cvent.com/events/second-forum-of-citizen-observers/custom-35-bf732ba5b01a4618b9dcc858006bb912.aspx