Banjul, The Gambia – A team of five international elections experts from the International Republican Institute arrived in The Gambia today to…
After 22 years of authoritarian rule by President Yahya Jammeh, in 2017 The Gambia began to move toward a democratic system. IRI is working on an array of democracy assistance programs to support that transition, including partnering with civil society organizations (CSOs).
In preparation for the upcoming elections, IRI is supporting the move toward multiparty democracy in The Gambia. To consolidate democratic gains in the country, and to boost turnout, IRI is working with civil society and the Independent Electoral Commission on a voter registration drive. As part of that push, IRI is also supporting national voter education campaigns and building citizen observation teams to support transparent and credible elections.
IRI is also partnering with the media and with government institutions on the importance of fiscal transparency in The Gambia. IRI and its partners are educating citizens about how government funds and tax revenues are spent. To do that, IRI is providing assistance to the government, CSOs, and journalists to improve transparency around the national budget and the budget preparation process. IRI and its civil society partners have also done in-depth research tracking how the government spent money from COVID-19 relief packages.
While the media has gained considerably more latitude since 2017, most journalists in the country do not have the necessary skills to get and analyze information pertaining to government operations. IRI is investing in training reporters in fairness, balance, and accuracy, in order that they can collect and analyze data on government performance and better advocate for citizens’ interests.
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