ECC is a champion of good governance
The ECC is a coalition of civic society organizations established in 2010 with the mandate to observe elections in Liberia. During its 12 years of existence the ECC’s work has been focused on ensuring that elections held in the country are credible, free and fair. The ECC has observed key electoral processes since 2011 including major by-elections and the 2020 Special Senatorial Elections and Referendum. Reports from the ECC observations has been relied on by elector actors including political parties to describe the credibility and integrity of these elections. In the early years of the ECC, election observation was characterized by broad-based mobilization, generally recruiting and deploying volunteers across polling places in the country. During this period, a key concern for the ECC was that its election observers did have requisite trainings to detect fraud, transparency issues and other improprieties during election observations.
In 2017, with funding from USAID and technical support from NDI, the ECC moved from a broad-based observation approach to a systematic election observation that led to improved and quality collection, analysis and dissemination of data. With this improvement, the ECC has gathered evidence-based data that has provided factually accurate information on the conduct of elections including the one held in 2017. Since then, the ECC has developed a reputation for professionalism and non-partisanship which has seen it as a credible institution and prime voice on improving democracy in Liberia.
The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC), is the largest civil society platform that observes elections in Liberia.
ECC operates nationwide and has a network of membership across the 15 counties in Liberia.
Some lessons learned during the period were identified as internal and external factors that impacted the ECC’s ability to perform effectively in its election observation work. Internal factors were 1. Limited capacity in analyzing acquired elections data, 2. Periodic donor support and absence of sustainable funding, and 3. Absence of strategic, resource mobilization and program diversification approach.
Externally, the key lessons learned were 1. Recruitment of young people as political thugs in the Liberia’s democratic system, 2. Lack of campaign finance monitoring which created an unleveled playing field during the 2017 elections. 3. Increase in violence against women candidates undermined political participation and representation of women in the political process, 4. Recent interference by traditional structures during elections period which threaten the peace and security of women candidates. 5. Intermittent breach of constitutional requirements for holding elections (i.e. Census Timeline and Boundary Delimitation) before general and presidential elections. The ECC current five-year Strategic Plan (2022-2027) seeks to address some of these institutional gaps and democratic challenges.