The African Peer Review Mechanism at Country Level: Views from Kenya
Angela Reitmaier, SAIIA,
In Kenya, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) began well. In 2006 the country became the third African state to be peer reviewed and thus one of the APRM pioneers. But neither government nor civil society championed the implementation of the National Programme of Action (NPoA). Progress reports were prepared but reviews delayed at the continental level. Monitoring and evaluation were not institutionalised, and the NPoA was not harmonised with Kenya’s new development blueprint, ‘Vision 2030’. The APRM was already losing momentum in Kenya when the disputed presidential elections in December 2007 led to unprecedented violence and internal displacement of Kenyans. The analysis in the Country Review Report guided the peace mission of African Union mediator Kofi Annan, but did not bring the APRM itself back to national attention. The implementation of a new constitution and a planned Second Country Review could provide an opportunity for the APRM to anchor itself in Kenya.
Pre-requisites for re-energising the African Peer Review process are improvements at the continental level with a re-invigorated African Peer Review Forum, panel and secretariat and a Second Country Review of Kenya that actually takes place. What would be helpful are stronger continental guidelines on how to implement NPoAs and institutionalise civil society-led monitoring and evaluation and more learning between actors and stakeholders in APRM member countries. Finally, realising that a push for good governance is more likely to come from civil society, it would be important to link support for civil society to APRM activities.
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Democracy, AID and Disenabling Environment: Motivation and Impact of Disenabling Environment on Development Work in Africa
Africa Civil Society Platform on Principled Partnership (ACPPP),
The Africa Civil Society Platform on Principled Partnership (ACPPP) is a continental platform established in 2010 to address continental challenges to the operating and internal environment of CSOs through among other strategies the establishment of a set of engagement principles with governments and development partners. This review is based on cases and discussions in 40 countries in Africa, to present the struggle of CSOs across Africa as they work in often hostile circumstances. Democracy, AID and Disenabling Environment presents a case for donors, governments and CSOs to take this worrying trend into account and consider how to address its causes and implications on development work across Africa. It aims to motivate all development stakeholders to act for countering the Disenabling Environment with its potentially devastating impact on our work on the African continent.
Bulletin of the African Peer Review Mechanism Secretariat Vol. 02 Quarterly April-June 2011
Includes articles on the 14th APR Forum, January 2011, missions to Zambia and Djibouti, and review of the APRM questionnaire.
(1274.96 kb), English, French
The "Born Frees": the Prospects for Generational Change in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Robert Mattes, Afrobarometer,
Afrobarometer working paper on the hopes of a rapid movement toward a transformed citizenry in 1994, based on an emerging post-apartheid generation of the new South African citizen, compared to the reality that many of the key fault lines of apartheid have been replicated within the new post-apartheid generation, which is less committed to democracy than their parents or grandparents. The working paper sets out that South African democracy remains dependent on performance based legitimation, the new political experiences of political freedom and a regular, peaceful, electoral process are diminished by frustrating encounters with the political process, victimization by corrupt officials, and enduring unemployment and poverty.
When Politicians Cede Control of Resources: Land, Chiefs and Coalition-Building in Africa
Kate Baldwin, Afrobarometer,
Workpaper which examines why many African governments have ceded power over the allocation of land to non-elected traditional leaders. Contrary to perceptions that traditional leaders’ power is a hang-over from the colonial period that has not been eliminated due to weak state capacity, the author argues that African politicians often choose to devolve power to traditional leaders as a means of mobilizing electoral support from non-coethnics. A new data set, including approximately 180 sub-national regions in Africa, was constructed by combining data from surveys with environmental, anthropological and historical data and is used to show that historical and geographic constraints do not fully explain patterns in the devolution of power to chiefs, and that traditional chiefs in a position to mobilize electoral support from politically unaligned ethnic groups are given greater responsibility over the allocation of land. The cross-sectional analysis is complemented by an analysis of changes in land legislation across time in each country, which shows that the prospect of competitive elections often triggers decisions to devolve power to chiefs.
Mapping Ideologies in African Landscapes
Jeffrey Conroy-Krutz and Dominique Lewis, Afrobarometer,
The working paper explores the extent to which African parties are in fact ideologically distinguishable, by utilizing Afrobarometer survey data on the median attitudes of parties’ bases, concluding that in more than half of the paired comparisons observed, major parties are not distinguishable from one another in terms of their adherents’ attitudes towards the proper role of the state in the economy; the same is true in terms of support for democratic norms. This suggests a relative lack of elite-generated ideological discourse.
The extent to which Africans structure their attitudes on political issues according to identifiably coherent structures in these areas of state involvement in the economy and democratic institutions is measured accordingly.
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The Roots of Resiliance: Exploring Popular Support for African Traditional Authorities
Carolyn Logan, Afrobarometer,
In most of Africa, traditional authorities are a resilient lot, just as much a part of the “modern” political landscape as any constitution, legislature or local council. Data collected in 19 countries during Round 4 (2008-2009) of the Afrobarometer are somewhat startling in the intensity of the support for traditional authority that they reveal, presenting a stark challenge to those who still argue that traditional leadership is an unabashedly negative and decidedly undemocratic force in Africa. While Africans find these leaders to be flawed, they nonetheless believe that traditional authorities have an essential role to play in local governance. They place considerable value on the role traditional authorities play in managing and resolving conflict, and on their leadership qualities and their accessibility to ordinary people. There is also evidence to suggest that traditional leaders play an essential symbolic role as representatives of community identity, unity, continuity and stability. In fact, the evidence suggests that traditional leaders derive their support at least as much from who they are as from what they do.
Electoral Commissions in West Africa: A comparative study (2nd edition)
Mathias Hounkpe and Ismaila Madior Fall, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung,
Elections are a backbone of democracy. In West Africa, however, elections are often contentious and triggers of violence. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), a German private, non-profit organization committed to the ideas and basic values of social democracy, therefore works towards enhancing electoral standards in West Africa, and facilitates regional exchanges of experiences and debates about the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders in electoral processes. The comparative study identifies similarities and differences in the set-up, roles and functioning of national electoral commissions in the 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). By providing lessons learnt and best practices, the study shall assist those who seek to improve electoral processes and who aspire to introduce electoral norms and higher electoral standards in West Africa, most notably the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC). First issued January 2010, revised edition February 2011.
En plus d’identifier les similarités et les différences dans l’établissement, les rôles et les fonctions des commissions électorales nationales dans les 15 Etats membres de la Communauté Economique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO), la seconde édition de cette étude comparée met en relief l’évolution récente et les modifications dans les cadres légaux des élections dans certains pays de la région. De même, cette nouvelle édition fournit des exemples plus affinés issus des dernières expériences électorales en Afrique de l’Ouest. En procurant des informations sur les leçons apprises et les bonnes pratiques, l’étude devrait être utile à tous ceux qui cherchent à améliorer les processus électoraux et qui aspirent à introduire des normes et des standards électoraux de grande qualité en Afrique de l’Ouest. 2eme edition, 2011.
(1374.37 kb), English, French
Mission d'audit du fichier electoral
01 January 2011
Le présent rapport couvre les travaux de la mission d'audit du fichier électoral au Sénégal qui se sont déroulés entre les mois d'octobre et décembre 2010. Cette mission s'est vue financée par l'Union européenne, l'Ambassade des Etats-Unis d'Amérique et l'Ambassade d'Allemagne au Sénégal suite à l'acceptation du Ministre de l'Intérieur des termes de référence de cette mission tels qu'ils avaient été proposés lors d‟une mission exploratoire conduite en mai 2010.
(12283.23 kb), French
Bulletin of the African Peer Review Mechanism Secretariat Vol. 01 Quarterly January-March 2011
Includes articles previewing the January 2011 summit and APR Forum (in English and French).
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