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On Friday 30 November, the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) and the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO) hosted a round-table meeting on research on transitional processes and citizen inclusion in Kenya and South Sudan.

The research was conducted by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the Oslo Center and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) from May 2017 to December 2018. It aimed at identifying innovative bottom-up indicators of citizen inclusion and confidence (CIC) in transitional processes that can inform national and international policymakers’ understanding of citizen priorities around inclusion. 

The debate was introduced by Bjarte Tørå, Senior Advisor at The Oslo Center, with a keynote speech on the importance of citizen inclusion:

Inclusion is both a process and a goal. It involves removing barriers and efforts to enhance participation. Inclusion is a never-ending path to peace.

The project was presented by Rakeb Abate, Programme Director at NDI, and Maria Elisabeth Lausund, Advisor at the Oslo Center, who respectively discussed the outcomes for Kenya and South Sudan and provided policy recommendations for both countries.

The event drove the participants to share their ideas and led to debate topical issues such as regional differences, the success of transitions and the importance of strengthening local political parties.

In transitional societies, changes are significant and fundamental, and permeate almost every aspect of life; including the social, cultural, political, and economic dimensions. Thus, transitional societies create opportunities for re-imagining the intrapersonal and interpersonal dimensions of life.
(Naude, 2018).

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