IEC OF BOTSWANA APPLAUDS DWF FOR COMMENDABLE WORK IN ELECTORAL LANDSCAPE

The Botswana Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it applauds  Democracy Works Foundation’s (DWF) efforts to entrench democracy in society and bring about change to the governance culture of the electoral system in Botswana. The vote of thanks was conveyed in a letter by the Secretary of the Botswana IEC, Mrs K.A. Zuze to the Botswana Country Director, Dr Charity Kruger on 5th March 2020. This follows the participation of DWF in a presentation on “The Credibility of an Election Roll” that Dr Kruger made at the National Elections Stakeholders’ Evaluation Work organised by the IEC Botswana to review the October 2019 general elections.

The participation of DWF in the workshop was a continuation of the collaboration and partnership that exists between DWF and Botswana IEC. Before the October general elections, DWF undertook a wide range of strategic initiatives that were instrumental in assisting political parties to better prepare themselves and effectively take part in these elections. These interventions, which were carried out within the framework of the Southern Africa Political Parties and Dialogue (SAPP&D) Programme, included pre-election training on international best practices for monitoring elections, conflict management within elections, mobilisation of resources, campaigning, communications and social media, developing inclusive elections, and mobilising women and youth in all these activities. IEC Botswana actively participated and provided valuable input that helped political parties to be adequately informed on the electoral processes.

In addition, these activities were strategic platforms for the IEC to directly interface and engage with political parties, thereby building a constructive working rapport between them. Courtesy of these workshops, the IEC was able to interact with other elections stakeholders such as media and civil society. In the words of the IEC’s Secretary,

We highly appreciate the collaboration we have had regarding capacity building of political parties, media and the civil society. Your support in strengthening our democratic structures and institutions such as political parties is very much appreciated”.

The Southern Africa Political Parties and Dialogue Programme (SAPP&D), a USAID-funded initiative run in partnership with Freedom House, seeks to strengthen political parties in Southern Africa so that they are more responsive to people’s needs and aspirations.

About DWF

Democracy Works Foundation (DWF) is a southern African non-profit company focused on democracy development in the region. With headquarters in South Africa, DWF works through its country offices to provide tools to develop resilient democracies.

As an independent foundation, we build and promote inclusive, equitable and sustainable consensus democracies. We do so by providing tools, platforms and content to strengthen democrats, democratic culture and democracy institutions.

DWF opened its doors in 2014 in response to the weakening of public institutions, corruption and declining public participation in South Africa as well as concerns about democratic and development progress in post-liberation Southern Africa.

DWF works on the supply and demand side of democracy. We operate across several programmatic areas:

  • Monitoring: we collect data, do research and provide analysis on the state of democracies.
  • Institutions: we support the capacity of democracy institutions to fulfil their mandates.
  • Citizens and leaders: we train future democrats to drive change.
  • Climate and democracy:  we strengthen the capacity of communities and democracy institutions to prioritise climate change initiatives.
  • Culture: we provide platforms for democratic engagement to cultivate new ideas for democracy.

Additionally, the Foundation provides advisory services on good governance and social impact and functions as a fiscal host and fund manager.

We believe that democracy is always a work in progress. It is often challenged and never complete. DWF is uniquely placed to continuously invest in and nurture resilient democracy and development.

Dr Kruger's expertise looks at development policy analysis and advocacy with a focus on sustainable livelihoods, poverty, agriculture, natural resources management and biodiversity conservation. She has served as Executive Director of the Botswana Long term Development Strategy/Vision 2016, Managing Director of the National Food Technology Research Centre, and Country Manager for the World Bank programme on Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystems. She previously served as chairperson of the Forum on Agricultural Research in Africa. She is currently SADC Regional Representative for African Agricultural Incubation Network, Chair of Centre for Environment, Agricultural Research and Advocacy and deputy Chair Kweneng Commercial Farmers Botswana. She holds a B.A in Economics and Statistics from the University of Botswana, an MSc in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University, USA and a PhD in Environmental Economics and Management from University of York, UK.

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