Coalition de la Société Civile pour le Monitoring Electoral (COSOME) was set up in 2005 to promote the culture of peace and democracy in Burundi through education and sensitisation on democratic values and principles.
This coalition of more than 10 groups across the country has key goals including:
- To contribute to peacebuilding through the promotion of democratically elected institutions;
- To educate members of the public on democratic, civic and electoral principles;
- To contribute to improving and harmonsing laws relating to the electoral process; and
- To conduct close monitoring of electoral campaigns and actual elections to ensure free, just and transparent polls.
- National electoral observation of the 2005 and 2010 Burundi elections and in the wider region (Tanzania, Uganda, DR Congo) and in the USA (2008).
- Studies and analysis of propositions to improve the legal framework of elections.
- Research on the state of democracy within Burundian political parties.
- Survey on the level of knowledge and implementation of democratic values and principles in the communal councils of Bujumbura municipality.
- Collaboration of state and civil society actors for early and better preparations for the 2015 elections through dialogue, round tables and workshops.
During the forums organised by COSOME to follow up on the promises made by elected officials to voters, there has been an increased awareness among elected bodies of their need to be accountable to voters.
Thus, as both voters and elected officials start to realise the importance of accountability, local development projects are becoming better implemented through the full participation of ordinary citizens in all phases of their implementation. A very good example has been observed in the commune of Matana (Bururi province).