The Election Resource Centre (ERC) is a think tank and advocacy organization on electoral and democracy issues in Zimbabwe. The organization was formed in January 2010 following the need to deepen electoral research work in Zimbabwe that would inform effective citizen participation as well as strengthen policy engagement towards improvement of the quality of electoral and democratic practices in the country.
Although based in the capital city, Harare, the ERC operates throughout Zimbabwe working with collaborating partners who are also involved in the democracy and governance field.
Consistently, the organization has since 2010 designed various programmes that impacted positively towards the participation of citizens in democratic processes, much as they contributed to significant reforms to electoral processes in Zimbabwe especially during the transitional period ahead of the 2013 polls which marked the denouement of the coalition government.
Currently the organization has ongoing activities relevant to the obtaining pre-electoral period mainly focused on strengthening citizen engagement in democracy and elections. In an effort to make demand meet supply, ERC closely engages key electoral policy makers in particular the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, the Parliament of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
Fundamentally, the organisation has positioned itself as a conduit of citizen electoral priority issues, a resource centre of electoral research findings and advocacy for comprehensive legislative, environmental and administrative electoral reform.
The ERC is a registered Trust which is governed by a Board of Trustees. The ERC envisions “a Zimbabwe with transparent, credible and inclusive electoral and democratic processes at all tiers of society.
A Zimbabwe with transparent, credible and inclusive democratic and electoral processes at all tiers of society.
To provide credible information, strategic services and deliberative platforms that aim to improve the quality of democracy and elections at all tiers of Zimbabwean society.
- To create a conscious, responsible citizen who participates effectively in democratic and electoral processes.
- To influence transparency, credibility and inclusiveness in democratic and electoral processes.
- To provide evidence based analysis for effective civic and policy engagement initiatives on democracy and elections.
- Electoral Justice– that state institutions must be accountable and transparent.
- Participatory Democracy– that all Zimbabwean citizens must be empowered to participate.
- Integrity– that the whole electoral process must be trustworthy and reliable.
- Respect for Human Rights– that the rule of law and freedom of expression and assembly must be upheld.
- Solidarity– that ERC acts in unison with all well – meaning civic society organisations, electoral stakeholders and institutions.
- Non-partisanship– that ERC executes its mandate for the benefit of all political players.
- Credibility– that ERC as an institution and a source of information is reliable, accurate and up to date.
The four priority areas for ERC programming are:
- Civic engagement
- Policy Engagement
- Strategic Election Service Provision
Systems Approach to Programming
The ERC utilises the Systems Approach to its programming model, which is based on four major strategic issues – community engagement and mobilisation, civic education, policy engagement and civic engagement. This approach recognises the interrelated nature of our programming, which is focused and dependent on research as illustrated by the diagram below.