The Democracy Resource Center (DRC) is an election-time center that seeks to educate vulnerable constituencies on their rights during elections, and in democracy in general. The DRC works with organizations that serve women, youth and people with disabilities to organize public awareness campaigns and advocacy. The DRC serves as a platform to civil society organizations through monthly meetings between CSOs and the High National Elections Commission, and members of congress. Advocacy initiatives launched and promoted by the DRC and partner organizations have improved elections access to disabilities communities with better facilities, and access to women through a larger number of polling stations, better security and expanded polling hours. In addition to the pre-election gains, DRC program staff works to institutionalize those gains through the use of precedents in additional policy reform.
1) Promote the rights of women, indigenous groups and the physically disabled in voting.
2) Support citizens in making an informed “Constitutional Commission” vote.
3) Introduce elections and the democratic process in schools.
Monthly Roundtables with “decision makers”: Monthly meetings between the High National Election Commissioners, and key civil society actors to act as a “clearing house” of challenges, needs and ideas to better ensure participation of vulnerable groups in elections.
Monthly Field Visits: Civil society visits to the High National Election Commission, and General National Congress to learn more about the institutions, and “sit-in” on live meetings. Field visits are designed to create a greater sense of understanding around the operations of these institutions, and to facilitate transparency.
The Library: The DRC library provides public access to printed materials on the democratic process, elections, the legislative judicial and executive process. The center offers a computer lab with interactive programs on democratic process.
Monthly Quick Impact Projects: The DRC partners with CSOs, the High National Elections Commission Public Outreach team, and Tripoli local council to conduct a 3-4 hour long community-based project to increase voter education.
Monthly Workshops: Facilitating greater access to vulnerable constituencies on how to increase voter impact through effective project planning and execution, advocacy, media use, public outreach, and lobbying, through workshops delivered by industry professionals.
Elections in Schools: One of the DRC’s objectives is to introduce the democratic process to children in schools. In 2013, the center coordinator, Amal Ballu, began working with the Ministry of Education to establish a grade-school governance program which allows students to vote for peers in class governance structure.