Between June 21-22, 2014, Spaces for Change’s executive director, Ms. Victoria Ohaeri facilitated the National Democratic Institute’s (NDI’s) two-day strategic thinking seminar in Lagos, designed to brainstorm and advance methodologies for enhancing the participation of marginalized groups in the electoral and electioneering processes in Nigeria, ahead of the 2015 general elections. The seminar objectives were:
- To identify concrete obstacles hindering citizen participation in electoral and political processes and review lessons learned from existing approaches to civic education and voter engagement.
- To elaborate strategies for addressing the challenges faced by marginalized groups on a state-by-state or regional basis
- To review and develop key indicators and methodological approaches to guide electoral advocacy towards 2015
- To strengthen collaboration and working relationships among civil society organizations (CSOs), media and government officials with an interest in promoting the integrity and credibility of Nigerian elections.
The seminar brought together youth advocates, development practitioners, donor agencies, persons living with disabilities, academia, media, communication and IT experts and civil society groups who are engaging the electoral processes, undertaking voter education and election observation. Close to 40 participants took part in the two-day seminar at the premises of Four Points by Sheraton in Lagos. Participants broke out into four different working groups, with each group discussing the specific needs and priorities of the named target groups. The meeting underscored the urgency of mobilizing target groups, electoral reforms, and highlighted tools for achieving these goals. The disenfranchisement of internally displaced persons was also discussed and considered very extensively. To view the photos of the seminar, please click here