To succeed in transitional and unstable contexts and to make an impact that benefits the whole of the neighbouring region of a country, democratisation processes require the synergetic mobilisation of all available resources. To this end, PROPEL acknowledges human rights and democracy work not only as instrumental to development, but as an end in itself.
As a consequence, the local Project associates need to continuously reinforce their capacity to deal with democracy and electoral issues in an ever-changing political landscape and more so in a politically sensitive area such as conflict management, mediation and dialogue. In order to address the needs of both beneficiaries and local Project associates in being reliable and a long term dialogue partners for local non-state and state actors including the international community and certainly the EU, the Consortium foresees a specific support scheme conveyed through continuous advisory support during the life cycle of the Project.
In more general terms, PROPEL believes in the importance of training local CSOs to adequately step forward onto the political scene and help defuse matters of contention, by advocating for reform where and when necessary. Capacity building therefore becomes an essential measure to reduce the risk of a flawed electoral process and defuse post-electoral violence, but also to play a meaningful and proactive role in the longer-term democratic development of a country.
In designing the plan outlined above, the notion of advisory services implies the requirement to develop, rather swiftly, the ability to respond to a variety of calls in the domain of violence prevention, conflict management and mediation to name a few of the core areas in which the Project beneficiaries are expected to need support in carrying out work. The advisory services are built as a natural continuation of either capacity-building training sessions or forums for dialogue, both on national- and community level.
Moreover, the advisory structure, tapping into the five main target groups, namely political party leaders, religious leaders, CSO’s, women and youth wings and media, is built to extrapolate data and elaborate analyses for potential responses under extremely tight timeframes since there are always elements of unpredictability in conflict management and mediation among a diverse target group. This demands the set-up of a centralised and quick-reaction facility in Zanzibar to serve as the Help-Desk function where the Project office will also function as the backstopping base. Drawing on these strengths, PROPEL works with several parallel strands of activities that will tackle both purposes in two parallel tracks and will work its way through the tasks outlined in the list of activities.