Great memories from my PhD fieldwork in Burundi’s hills: Elections of community representatives

After a long history of violence and undemocratic governance, thanks to the constitutional reform, institutional changes and the promotion of human rights and gender inclusion by NGOs and civil society organizations in the aftermath of the 1993-2005 civil war, there have been new practices in local governance in Burundi. In 2014, during my fieldwork in rural communities of Burundi, investigating postwar land reform and land registration, I had the opportunity to witness local elections of community representatives who will participate in the land demarcation within the process of land registration. From the pictures (and short video through my Twitter account @RosinTchatchoua) below, transformations in gender relations and local governance practices are clearly visible. The election took place under the supervision of communal council representatives and NGO workers, as follows:

  1. Welcoming community members and explaining how the election will proceed;
  2. Nomination of candidates;
  3. Election: Each villager (including the nominees) gives the name of the person he/she is voting for to the NGO workers. At the end of the process, the names of the persons with the most votes are exposed to the community;
  4. Finally, each elected person has to confirm his/her commitment to complete the task assigned to him/her.

Link to the short video

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