The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), under the auspices of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), will observe the upcoming district assembly elections for representatives into the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (M/M/DAs) and Unit Committees. Towards this end, 86 women, representing CODEO member organizations, were simultaneously trained from the 16th to 19th October, 2014 in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale as long term observers and peer educators, and deployed to 86 purposefully selected districts throughout the country.
Under the theme ?Enhancing Citizen Participation in the 2014/2015 Local Government Elections: Deepening Ghana?s Decentralization Process?, CODEO will undertake a comprehensive project aimed at increasing the engagement and participation of citizens, particularly the marginalized, in local governance. In particular, women, youth, and persons with disability (PWDs), who remain largely excluded from this democratic channel, will be targeted. This project aims to build the capacities of women, youth, and persons with disability (PWDs) to understand local government issues, empower them to stand as candidates, and maintain active engagement with their local assembly after the elections.
Beginning October, the 86 trained women will serve as long-term pre-election observers, observing how the conduct of the elections conforms to prevailing rules, especially regarding non-partisanship. As peer educators, the women will help raise awareness amongst community members on the need to support such marginalized groups as well as the importance of engagement with local governance. Through this project, CODEO seeks to increase the participation of citizens, especially women, youth and PWDs as peer educators, candidates and election observers, to increase the number of women, youth and PWDs elected to the assemblies.
CODEO will share findings from this exercise with the general public through regular press briefings. Reports on overall project outcomes will inform advocacy for improvements in the electoral processes, especially at the local level, and to deepen the country’s decentralization program.
CODEO?s District Assembly Elections project is being made possible with the generous support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ghana