Some of our other current activities include;
- Monitoring NRC Issuance
- Monitoring Voter Registration
- Conducting Civic and Voter Education (Support to the Electoral Cycle 2009-2012) with support from United Nations Development Programme-UNDP.
- State of Democracy Assessment Project in partnership with the University of Zambia (UNZA) with the support from International IDEA
- People with disabilities and the electoral process with support from the British High Commission
FODEP CIVIC AND VOTER EDUCATION
This Civic and Voter Education programme is in line with the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s (ECZ) Voter Education Programme as implemented by both NVEC and DVEC teams. The goal is to:
· Contribute to free and fair elections in Zambia
· Consolidate democracy and good governance in Zambia
The purpose of this programme is to:
· Increase civic awareness among the electorate
· Enable voters to effectively participate in the electoral process.
DEMOCRACY AND CITIZEN’S PARTICIPATION
§ Democracy is set of ideas and principles that uphold and guarantee basic fundamental freedoms and equality of citizens.
§ Examples of basic fundamental freedoms are Freedom of speech, expression, information and of the press
§ Freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and association
§ Right to equal protection of the law
§ Right to due process and fair trial
§ Democracy is a government of the people, by the people for the people –Abraham Lincoln.
§ This means that power lies in the people and they exercise this power by electing leaders in a free electoral system.
§ Democracy is a system whereby citizens freely and fairly choose representatives by majority rule
§ This means 51% of the population can freely make political decisions but guaranteeing that 49% of the people will have their rights respected and be protected because democratic laws and institutions protect the rights of all citizens.
§ Democracy is the coexistence of government, political parties, civil society organizations, many organized groups and associations.
§ Coexistence means that for each stakeholder mentioned above, they do not depend on government for their existence, legitimacy or authority.
§ Citizen’s participation is the foundation stone to good governance and is a fundamental principle of democracy.
§ Good governance means using economic, political and administrative power to run a country at all level.
§ Good governance includes the systems, methods and bodies through which citizens and groups communicate what they want, use their legal rights, perform their duty and settle their differences for the common good.
§ Citizen participation is meaningful if the environment is right and this means that the following seeds must be planted:
§ State institutions, laws and regulations must provide the rights to participate, ability to participate and tools for participation.
§ These basics will bring about the development of strong institutions that promote and uphold systems that foster civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, electoral processes, political parties, Civil Society and an educated citizenry.
§ When this environment is shaped citizens can then say they have popular control over public decisions and decision makers.
§ Citizens in a democracy have rights and responsibilities and this means that:
§ Citizen participation in government is the most important role of citizens in a democracy.
§ Citizens have the duty to participate in government and they do so by; standing for elections, voting in elections, openly debating issues, attending voluntary organizations, paying taxes and protesting.
§ Citizens have a moral duty to participate and build a better democracy.
§ Citizens have a moral duty to elect credible officials to make credible political decisions, make credible laws and manage all national and international programmes for the common good.
§ Gender and democracy are inseparable and this means that:
§ Gender equality is about justice and democracy and without it means society wastes the talent and skills of both women and men.
§ Women and men both have special skills and styles that improve democracy.
§ Women MP’s should strive to show solidarity and steadfastness to action on issues of special concern to women.
§ Political parties should not force women MP’s to compromise issues of special concern to women over party lines.
§ Women should support each other for leadership roles and advocate for more women sitting on legislative committees through their party structures and national assembly.