In July 2016, the Democratic Governance Programme at ActionAid Arab Regional Initiative launched an election project with young people in Jordan in collaboration with the Ministry of Political and Parliamentary affairs (MOPPA). The project aims to ensure good and democratic practice during the Parliamentary elections on 20th of September with youth playing a main role as election observers thereby enhancing their participation in the political process.
Several awareness raising sessions were conducted by ActionAid ARI in August for youth in four different universities in the entire kingdom; Jordan University; Amman Arab University; Hashemite University and Zarqa University. This is in addition to three communities at Zarqa Municipality Hall; Actionaid’s Community Center in Zarqa and the Al - Nuquaira Bedoun Community Amman.
After the sessions, ActionAid established the “Youth Election Observers Network” in August; through which 40 young men and women were selected to take part in the observation process during the election. These young men and women will function as accredited election observers during the Jordanian Parliamentary election on the 20th of September in Jordan to ensure good and democratic practice during the election process. They have been provided with a unique training and knowledge on election monitoring, democratic practices and local governance.
According to the Governance Election Project consultant, Janet Asiimwe, who has led the project “accountability and transparency is very essential in any election process to build trust between the citizens and leadership and nurturing democracy”.
The election project was launched by ActionAid’s Democratic Governance programme three months before the elections and managed successfully to mobilize youth in different Jordanian cities linking them with local CSO’s andmedia focal points in Jordan. The ministry of Political and Parliamentary (MOPPA) has been taking an active role in addressing the declining political awareness among youth and their absence from the election scene.
Representatives from MOPPA took part in the facilitation of “election awareness sessions and training” held in corporation with Global Platform. Through participartory trainings Global Platform equipped the participants with knowledge and skills to effectively fulfill their role in observing the election process, as well as understanding the governance structures in Jordan. This training is a starting point for the participating youth to take lead in the change they want to see in Jordan.
The regional director at ActionAid Arab regional Initiative Caroline McCausland emphasized the importance of youth participation in the democratic process as youth observers: “Youth participation in monitoring elections in Jordan is a very essential element in the democratic process as it contributes to achieve ActionAid objective around harnessing youth leadership as agents for change to deepen democracy in the region. This also meets with the political interest of the Jordanian Government“.
The Election Monitoring Project is run by ActionAid Arab Regional Initiatives Democratic Governance programme in corporation with Ministry of Political and Parliamentary Affairs (MOPPA). The project aims to create an avenue for youth to observe the parliamentary election thereby building their skills and experience to facilitate their political participation.