Prévention de la violence durant la période électorale de 2010
The aim of the project was to build on the peace process in Burundi and consolidate democratic principles through peaceful elections by encouraging the population in three heavily war-affected provinces to vote in a reflected and enlightened manner and by further encouraging these populations to express their needs and aspirations in order to be included in the electoral programmes of the political parties.
Lessons from Project
The project would have benefitted from making use of knowledge gained during the training and research activities. This could have encouraged all actors to use the research and knowledge acquired as reference material in order to develop party practices at the Burundian national level. This could have reinforced declarations made by political party leaders before and after elections, and to give a sense of responsibility to grassroots communities with regard to the importance of their role when it comes to applying the acquired knowledge.
In view of the time and the human resources which were allocated to this project, it would have been important for the grantee to adjust the number of planned activities and to focus on a coherent, qualitative process, within which the activities would have complemented one another. Similarly the activities should have been implemented in such a way to establish a clearer relationship between national and local level.
The logic of intervention of this project did not fully take into account the rift that exists between the centre and the periphery in Burundi: between the governing and the elected community and collines representatives, who for the main part merely execute power. The project intervention logic overestimated the level of impetus that could come from community leaders. The theory according to which the grassroots population would become more dynamic if only they knew their leaders better was overly optimistic, especially when considering the level of education that these populations have and the traumatic war experiences that are still very present within these communities.
The grantee’s political neutrality created an image favourable towards sustainable peace in Burundi and has allowed the organization to position itself as a known and respected mediator in potential conflicts.
The media coverage of the project helped remind stakeholders of the importance of maintaining peace in order to hold free, peaceful and reassuring elections. Media coverage on the concerns of citizens regarding security issues and on whether or not their aspirations and hopes regarding the electoral programmes would be taken into account, allowed the grantee to bring grassroots populations closer to political decision makers in Burundi and reinforce its strategy for advocacy.