Political Governance Overview
OSIWA will seek to build capacity of civil society, support initiatives to encourage women and youth involvement in governance, promote greater access to public information, advocate for the enactment of access to information laws and encourage media freedom.
"Making Elections Count: A Guide to Setting Up a Civil Society Election Situation Room"
A detailed guide on how to create a new model for civil society engagement with elections in West Africa.
OSIWA’s geographic landscape encompasses countries with varied forms of governance. Some are in transition to democracy; in others democratic consolidation is fragile and in some there is routine practice of democratic governance. OSIWA will seek to address the diversity of transitions in the choice of its countries of focus. Its primary objective will be to build and strengthen democratic institutions, processes and structures and enhance protection of citizens’ rights, increase citizens’ participation in the decision making process and create avenues for West Africans to participate in governance in the region.
Promoting open society in these environments requires diverse strategies tailored to the nature of transition and the particular conditions on the ground. It includes supporting initiatives to rebuild governance institutions, reestablish the rule of law and properly conduct pluralistic elections. It also entails promoting press and other freedoms and ensuring respect for human rights. And it requires enabling civil society to monitor and influence the proper functioning of normative and institutional frameworks, conducting regional and international advocacy, and working with government including electoral commissions, national human rights institutions, parliaments and local government structures as well as with non-state actors like civil society organizations (CSOs), professional bodies, and religious and traditional authorities.