The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) was established in the year 2000, under the auspices of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), with the sole aim to support and contribute to the promotion of credible and peaceful elections in Ghana. CODEO has grown to become the largest and most credible domestic election observer body in Ghana which mobilizes citizens and groups to participate in Ghana’s electoral processes. The Coalition is managed by a 16-member Advisory Board with support from CDD-Ghana as its Secretariat.
The Coalition is a member of the Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM) and is a founding member of the West Africa Election Observers Network (WAEON). Activities of CODEO are anchored on the principles of non-partisanship, independence, neutrality, objectivity and impartiality.
CODEO membership is limited to organizations. With an initial 22 founding member organizations drawn from civic, secular, religious, professional, and non-governmental organizations, CODEO currently consists of 41-member organizations. CODEO’s current membership includes professional associations, religious umbrella bodies, and civil society organizations (Please see below an appendix of all 42 CODEO member organizations).
CODEO’s member organizations are reconstituted every four years through a review by its Advisory Board from time to time, particularly during the years within which general elections take place to ensure that member organizations are credible and active at all times. The process of reconstitution requires existing members to re-affirm their membership while new membership applications are reviewed by the Advisory Board.
An organization can apply to join CODEO if it is a legally registered entity and is non-partisan in terms of its principles and conduct. Membership application letters can be addressed to the CODEO Coordinator at 92 Nortei Ababio Loop, North Airport Residential Area. All such applications are reviewed by the Advisory Board after detailed information have been obtained about such organizations, before a decision is taken to either accept or decline their membership, based on non-partisanship, geographical reach and other indicators. The CODEO Board can also invite a few recognized organizations to join CODEO membership.
CODEO however, does not engage individuals as members. Member organizations are represented on CODEO through their nominated representatives who attend General Assembly meetings and provide feedback to their respective organizations.
Recruitment of observers is typically done a few weeks to an election or electoral activity. CODEO mainly recruits election observers from its 42-member organizations who can be found in nearly every part of the country.
All CODEO Observers must belong/be affiliated to any one of the 42 CODEO member organizations, must NOT be known to be associated with partisan politics in their community or locality and should be able to read and write.
Recruitment of observers is largely-decentralized: The CODEO Secretariat, together with CODEO’s Recruitment Committee appoints Regional Coordinators (RCs) to manage observation activities in the various regions. The RCs subsequently ‘recruit’ Constituency Supervisors (CSs) for each constituency for observation. Based on CODEO’s selected sample of polling stations for each election, the CSs recruit polling station observers. In doing so, they are required to get recommendations from the CODEO member organizations with presence in their constituency who can vouch for the integrity of the observer.
To ensure that all observers are able to exercise their right to vote while also discharging their roles as observers effectively, CODEO recommends that observers are recruited from within the vicinity of the selected sample of polling stations. This means a person can observe only if they live in one of the selected polling stations for observation. All CODEO observers receive adequate training before being deployed for observation duties.