#MalawiDecides2019 — my inquiry to the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) on PVT

Sent this evening as there seems to be a hole in the media reporting and public affairs announcements on this:

To: mesnsecretariate@gmail.com

Dear MESN,

Does your PVT receive funding through USAID (as per usual practice for these GNDEM PVTs in Africa)?  If so, what is the contractual arrangement for this funding? If not, how is the PVT funded?  Thank you for a quick response given approaching deadlines!

Ken Flottman

Note 1: GNDEM is the “Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors”

Note 2: MESN notes on its website its thanks to its “partners” including NDI and UNDP Malawi. USAID notes on its website for Malawi that it is funding various activities under an Election Integrity Support program, but without details. It would be typical for USAID, as recently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Kenya from my own experience in 2007 and 2013, to fund IFES to embed within the Electoral Management Body and NDI to manage a PVT working through a Domestic Election Observation Mission. The US, the UK and the EU have also contributed to an Election Basket Fund managed by UNDP Malawi which would likely be a funder of the Domestic Election Observation Mission itself.

Update: See this photo from the MESN Facebook page from the last election in 2014. https://m.facebook.com/mesnmalawi/photos/a.261493504031064/261481734032241/?type=3&source=54. It shows as examples of “independent” PVTs in Africa the USAID-funded PVTs managed by NDI through ELOG to “build confidence” in Kenya’s IIEC and IEBC in the 2010 Constitutional Referendum and 2013 General Election, respectively, following the disastrous 2007 elections.

No response from MESN yet but an American academic friend who is a Malawi scholar of high regard and is observing the election confirms that we are funding the PVT and NDI is supporting.

Update May 23: Although NDI’s website for Its Malawi work just takes the program up to 2014, going back on their Twitter TL to April 12 they identify the assistance program name and that it receives funding from both USAID and the UK’s DFID:

What do you think?

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