The Project

The democracy support initiatives and actions consist of six projects

The six proposed democracy support initiatives and actions have been carefully designed to function to complement each other and to emphasize a holistic approach to addressing emerging governance challenges. As a whole, the project seeks to

  1. Facilitate dialogue among relevant policy publics and enhance the participation of a critical mass of civic society in the debate and evaluation of COVID-19 induced measures in order to ensure an ongoing culture of critique and vigilance that enhances institutional and policy accountability;
  2. Catalogue the range of exceptional legislative measures and executive orders that suspend protected rights, deviate from regular democratic practices, and weaken necessary institutional checks and balances;
  3. Catalogue and examine the impact of critical judicial decisions taken during, and in response to the pandemic; the access to justice challenges exposed by the pandemic, and the judicial reforms made urgent by it, including proposals to reform the rules of court, case management, (in)access to information for indigent users of the courts and entrenched corrupt practices in the court system;
  4. Proactively engage and mobilise critical stakeholders towards the repeal of extra-ordinary measures taken during the pandemic, and the rollback of draconian policy measures, and new practices that undercut existing rights protections and could result in significant democratic reversal in key governance sectors;
  5. Prepare civic organizations to adapt to the new reality of how they undertake advocacy, and protect civil liberties during a new reality of recurrent pandemics, through targeted adaptation skills training and operational manuals; and
  6. Address how electoral processes, election administration, and electioneering activities including the related rights to vote, to assemble, to express dissent without fear of repercussion, to access information, and to participate in free and fair elections can be protected in the face of the reality of the pandemic and made pandemic-compliant.