CeSID (The Center for Free Elections and Democracy) is a non-governmental, non-partisan and non-profit organization. The organization brings citizens together with the goal of contributing to the establishment and enhancement of democratic values and institutions in the Republic of Serbia.
One of the main functions of CeSID includes; election monitoring during elections and media coverage of the pre-election periods. It has been working in Serbia for two decades and has gained reputation as an independent and efficient election observer.
However, elections are not the only thing that CeSID covers. Its countrywide network of offices, partner NGOs and volunteers has enabled it to work on other democracy-related issues as well. For example, CeSID has some programs aimed at working with the youth and women in Serbia.
The role of CeSID in monitoring elections is perhaps its most notable achievement. Ever since its inception in 1997, the NGO has been on the forefront of providing unbiased election results in Serbia. Its large network of volunteers and its use of technology has been instrumental in making this possible. For instance, during the 2017 elections, CeSID adopted technology that allowed it to report election results in real time rather than having to estimate them.
Furthermore, its branch of more than 21,000 volunteers has made it easier for the organization to cover all polling stations in the country. For example, in 2002, CeSID was instrumental in covering 96% of all polling stations in Serbia and 100% in Kosovo. Even the second round poll didn’t hamper their efforts to cover the entire election.
Given its successes, CeSID has become synonymous with elections in Serbia. Its objectivity has enabled free and fair elections to flourish in Serbia and has been instrumental in making it the authoritative source of election results both in Serbia and internationally.
However, its elections monitoring role doesn’t end after elections. CeSID has also been educating the youth on the roles and responsibilities of different arms of the government. They also train the youth on how to carry out issue-based campaigns as well as training on the NGO sector. They have also been instrumental in educating the youth on the role of elections in a stable democracy. By doing so, CeSID is effectively bringing a generation of leaders who understand and respect different government arms and the role of elections in Serbia.
Youth Leaders Program
CeSID through partnerships with other NGOs has managed to hold successful youth leadership programs in Serbia. Over the years, CeSID has worked with hundreds of young activists to prepare them for future leadership positions. The youth involved in the program are obtained from all regions of Serbia and are properly mentored and trained to come up with innovative solutions to problems facing the society.
It’s also important to note that the youth leader’s program is not intended to choose future leaders for Serbia. However, its main use is to impart the necessary decision making skills to young leaders with the hope that they will use them in their respective teams.
CeSID has also partnered with NDI and a number of other organisations to create a women’s program. The program offers women training and other leadership skills in order for them to be more confident and initiate solutions in the society. CeSID has been on the forefront in advocating for gender equality and in giving unemployed women the skills necessary for attaining economic independence.
Over the years, the program has been successful in reaching a lot of women in all parts of Serbia. Most of the women involved in the project have shown appreciation to the project and some have even volunteered for other roles within CeSID.
Partnerships And Environment
CeSID has partnered with many other NGOs such as NDI (National Democratic Institute) and OTPOR among others. Through these partnerships, it has been able to provide an enabling environment to the many ladies and gentlemen who have volunteered in the organization. CeSID has been able to provide the knowledge in democracy and the necessary skills required for leadership. By doing so, CeSID has helped nurture the future leaders of Serbia.