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Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability

The Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability (TDEA) was established in October 2008. It was a spin-off of the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). After having conducted the largest domestic observation of general elections in Pakistan and influencing the subsequent process of electoral reforms, member organizations that formed FAFEN decided to formalize the network by acquiring legal status as a prerequisite to sustainability of the landmark work. Following exhaustive discussions that spanned more than a year, FAFEN member organizations decided to transform the network into a legal entity. The establishment of TDEA and subsequent process of institutionalization was a step towards sustainability of work initiated in the area of election observation, voter education and electoral reforms advocacy.

Subsequently, TDEA was registered under Trust Act 1880 with the following objectives:

1. To educate people of all ages, gender, race, ethnicity, creed and religion about their democratic rights and responsibilities;
2. To educate people of all ages, gender, race, ethnicity, creed and religion about the significance of engaging in all forms of democratic processes for strengthening democratic governance;
3. To engage people and civil society organizations in caryying out democratic accountablities such as election observation, oversight of legislatures, government oversight and any other as may be decided by the Board of Trustees;
4. To undertake research and bring out periodic print and online publications to inform its work and for democratic education of general public.

TDEA developed a defined governance structure keeping in view the statutory requirements and dynamism of the network that drew its strength from participatory decision-making, inclusiveness and collective action. While Trust can take any measures to achieve its objectives, Article 6b of the Trust Deed empowers TDEA to execute its programs through FAFEN in advancement of its objectives and to ensure a maximum outreach to its beneficiaries -- general pubic of all ages, gender, race, ethnicity, creed and religions in Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. TDEA is governed under its Compendium of Policies and Procedures, which define governance and processes for the day-to-day management of its functions. As a forward-looking organization, the Trust organizes itself to maximize efficiency, output, internal accountability and transparency. The Trust upholds the following guiding principles that also guide its work, interaction, internal procedures, and progress towards its objectives:

  1. Inlcusion: All activities of the Trust will aim to improve people's inclusion in electoral and political processes at local, provincial and national levels. The internal procedures support inclusion of maximum possible number of members in program management and encourage members to play their due role.
  2. Integration: All activities of the Trust will seek to integrate voices of civil society together in order to build pressure for democratization.
  3. Neutrality: The Trust shall remain politically non-partisan.
  4. Transparency: All activities of the Trust will be transparent and open to public scrutiny.
  5. Accountability: As an important feature of democracy, the Trust promotes accountability of elected and public institutions. It also considers itself accountable for its actions, performance and conduct to general public.
  6. Robust Methodology: All the Trust statements will be based on sound research and comprehensive analysis.
 
Governance Structure

TDEA is governed by a multi-layered governance structure. Headed by an elected chairperson, the 15-member Board of Trustees steers the strategic and legal affairs of the
Trust, which is mandated to make strategic decisions and advices on operational issues and plans, public positions and financial matters. The Trustees consult the General Council comprising representatives of all FAFEN member organizations on programmatic and operational matters. The following illustration shows the roles and relationships of the multi-tiered governance structure.