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Big to-do List for Accessible Election in Cambodia

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A typical polling station in Cambodia. It is usually set up in a building with stairs.

By Riri Rafiani, PPUA Penca

Following the monitoring of the commune election in Cambodia, volunteers and AGENDA team gathered on June 4 to review the outcome. Overall, the election was found to have gone in a peaceful and orderly fashion. Nevertheless, the Cambodians still have a lot to do when it comes to accessibility.

Many monitored polling stations in five provinces failed to provide adequate access. The buildings used for the venue were usually public facilities such as schools or community centers, mostly with staircases but no ramps, and situated in the middle of grassy, muddy field. This condition was not very encouraging especially for voters with mobility impairment.


Jakarta Election Monitoring: No data on Disability in the Temporary and Fixed Voters Lists

news-temuan-pemantauan-pemilu-jakarta-tidak-ada-data-disabilitas-dalam-dpt-imageData on voters with disability are nowhere to be found on the temporary and fixed voters lists issued by the KPU Jakarta (Jakarta Election Management Board). This is one of the several field findings from the District Coordinators of the Jakarta Election Monitoring Team. The team was established by the People’s Voters Education Network (JPPR) as part of their activities for AGENDA (General Election Network for Disability Access).

“In our meeting with KPU Jakarta last month, Mr. Sumarno, a member of KPU Jakarta, said that data on disability will be inputted into the Other Information column of the Temporary and Fixed Voters Lists. Yet in reality, we still couldn’t find the data, even though the column does exist. Our question is, is this because of the negligents of the officers in charge in inputting the data, or there is a lack of communication between the top management with the lower officers?” said masyukurudin Hafids, JPPR’s Program Officer for AGENDA. Hafidz continued that in the early survey to establish the Data on the Potential Citizens with Voting Rights (DP4), data on disability are collected by the survey officers and were put into a separate column, titled “Persons With Disability”. “This column is taken out in the Temporary and Fixed Voters Lists, along with other columns, such as columns on Religion and Educational Background. However, specifically for data on disability, it should be moved into Other Informations columns instead, and not taken out completely. This does not happen,” explained Hafidz.

This and several other findings were the focus of the discussion at the meeting in Duren Sawit, last Wednesday, 20 June 2012. It was the second meeting for district coordinators for the Pre-Election Monitoring Activity, after the first one on 31 May 2012. After this, JPPR will form a monitoring team by recruiting 50 election observers, which will be deployed to 5 districts in Jakarta. They will consist of 25 JPPR’s observers and 25 observers from disabled communities.

Volunteers Urge Government to Encourage Voters with Disability



By Riri Rafiani, PPUA Penca

In the run-up to the Cambodian commune election on June 3, AGENDA held a two-day training for observers on May 30-31. Jointly organised by Cambodian partners, Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Election in Cambodia (NICFEC) and Cambodian Disabled People Organization (CDPO), the workshop invited eighty participants, half of whom were persons with disabilities. Clearly enthusiastic, the participants kept the facilitators busy answering their questions.

“I think this training is very good. It tells us what an observer should do during the monitoring,” said Watana, a participant from Takeo Province, who said that it would be the first time for her to participate in election monitoring.

Her enthusiasm was shared by Maichin, who also hails from Takeo Province. Just like Watana, the commune election would be his first opportunity to participate in monitoring activity. He also said that he was eager to take what he learned from this training to the field.


Meeting with Institute on Disability and Public Policy

news-meetings-with-institute-on-disability-and-public-policy-imageBy: Dipo Djungdjungan Siahaan, IFES

On June 5 2012, Dr. Derrick Cogburn and his fellow associates from the Institute on Disability and Public Policy of the American University visited the AGENDA office. The purpose of the meeting is to know more about each other institution (AGENDA and IDPP) and to discuss possible future collaboration and partnership between the two institutions.

IDPP is an institution launched in April 2011 which seeks to promote the analysis and understanding of public policy for persons with disabilities. It is founded as part of the American University’s School of International Service and offers the first virtual Master program on disability policy and Master in Comparative and International Disability Policy. The institution targets persons with disability in Southeast Asia region to be their students. They also offer scholarship and fellowship program for students. Right now they are preparing the graduation of students from the first cohort while expecting to welcome new students from the next cohort to start their program this coming July.


AGENDA in Cambodia

Agenda in Cambodia

By: Dipo Djungdjungan Siahaan, IFES

AGENDA is sending its Jakarta’s based partners to join the local Cambodian partners to support the monitoring of the upcoming Cambodia’s commune election on 3 June 2012. The Jakarta team consists of JPPR,PPCI, PPUA Penca and IFES Indonesia. In Cambodia they will be joining the local monitoring team formed by two AGENDA’s local partners, CDPO (Cambodian Disabled People Organisation) and NICFEC (The Neutral and Impartial Committee on Free and Fair Elections).

The monitoring will be done in 5 provinces, they are: Kandal, K.Speu, Takeo, K.Cham, & Kompot. The aim is to see the level of accessibility of the election for persons with disabilities.

AGENDA will deploy 80 local spotcheckers (observers) to monitor this election. Forty of which will be recruited from persons with disabilities and the 40 other will be recruited from NICFEC’s network.

The spotcheckers will be using the monitoring checklist that AGENDA has developed through previous monitoring activities in Indonesia. The checklist will be tailored to fit specifically with the Cambodian’s context. It is hoped that inputs from tailoring activities and the actual monitoring activity will improve the checklist further so it can be used in other Southeast Asian countries.

Jakarta Election Committee Guarantees An Accessible Election

ketua-kpu-jakarta-jamin-pemilukada-juli-2012-aksesibel-image.By: Dipo Djungdjungan Siahaan, IFES

KPU Jakarta (Jakarta Election Committee) guarantees an accessible election for persons with disabilities in the upcoming Jakarta gubernatorial election. Sumarno, a member of KPU Jakarta, conveyed this message on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 last week, when AGENDA visited KPU Jakarta office to discuss about accessible election for persons with disabilities.

Sumarno reiterates the importance of accessibility for persons with disabilities for the next election. He says that KPU Jakarta had managed to hold a relatively accessible election in the last Jakarta gubernatorial election in 2007, and he does not intend to lower that standard for the next one. KPU Jakarta has allocated special budget for this purpose, which will be used for, among others, producing helping aid for voters with visual impairment, and also to produce voter educational materials specifically aimed for persons with hearing and visual impairment.

KPU Jakarta also plan to hold socialization events for persons with disabilities. Mastiur, the Head of Technical, Legal and Public Relations Department announces that her division has allocated budget to hold 3 socialization activities for this purpose. She asks AGENDA to help her getting participants for these events. She says AGENDA can send up to 100 participants for each socialization event.

AGENDA welcomes the invitation. Yusidana, Programme Manager from PPCI, says that she hopes that Jakarta election this July will set a good standard for other Southeast Asian Countries to follow.

Workshop Raises Awareness of Election Accessibility in Cambodia


By: Yusdiana, PPCI

Cambodian Disabled People Organization held a workshop on March 27 at the Imperial Hotel, Phnom Penh, to review the accessibility of the country’s election. In addition to the organization members that hailed from the provinces, the workshop was attended by representatives from the National Election Committee (NEC), Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Election in Cambodia (NICFEC), the Committee for Free and Fair Election in Cambodia (COMFREL), as well as UNDP and IFES Cambodia.

The one day workshop was officially opened with a speech from NEC Under Secretary General Sokolak Tipor which highlighted measures that had been taken by the committee to facilitate voters with disability. According to him, polling stations had been equipped with ramps to improve their accessibility, while assistants and tactile ballot were provided to assist the voters.  In the run-up to the commune election on June 3, the committee had also encouraged persons with disabilities to register as polling station attendants, a post that still offers a lot of openings.





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