Eritrean Opposition for democratic change Organisational Issues/ Grand strategy

By Fesseha Nair

The Eritrean Opposition for Democratic Change are those forces who believe in fundamental changes in Eritrea. The process of fundamental change include all who believe in removing the dictatorship and replacing it by democratic institutions and organizations respecting all the human and fundamental  rights and freedoms of the citizens without discrimination and segregation.

In this article, I would like to discuss what the future organizational framework of the opposition will be looking like after the national congress.

It is crucial to identify organizational components and their interactions before building an organization of broad national front. The heart of any organization is its structure, system, people and culture. The strategy must be included with the four components to promote the interaction and performance of the organization. Both internal and external analysis of the opposition forces must help provide the grand strategy to defeat the dictatorship and liberate the people from the tyranny.

Considering of the coming organization that will be established after the congress help us identify the actual and potential implementation problems, and as well as determine how the new organization adapt to a new strategy. This article will discuss on the four components of an organization. They are organizational structure, people, system and culture.

What is organizational structure? Organizational structure defines lines of authority and communication and specifies the mechanism by which organizational tasks and programmes are accomplished.

An organization can have decentralised and centralised structure. Decentralized structure is more advantageous than centralised because it provides autonomy and accessibility and decision making is intimate with the people while the centralised structure is not accessible and takes time to implement. Both the centralised and decentralised can influence each other. The centralised part of the leadership can provide the necessary advices and experts knowledge.

The broad national front for democratic change must be both decentralised and centralised where the synergy opportunities are detected and exploited. The matrix of the organization must be divided in units, regions and global reporting and coordinating the activities of the broad front.

The broad national front must develop a model that promotes relationships with all the Eritrean people who wish democratic change in Eritrea. The already existing alliance between the political organizations and the civil society networks must work as complementary and joint ventures of the broad national front. These alliances and networks play an important role in building grand strategy against the dictatorship.

What is a system?  Organisational system is the biological or the life giving mechanism of any organization. This component of organization is strategically relevant. The broad national organization to be established after the national congress must focus on its financial, information, planning and evaluation.

According to Mintzberg, successful planning is often based on committing, rather than calculating style of management. The broad national council with a committing style engage people in the struggle against the dictatorship. What the opposition need is not plans but planning. We need a leadership with commitment not with plans without strategic planning.

What types of people? The grand strategy that will be adopted after the national congress for democratic change must be based on the organizational competency. People with the experience and skills in all the political, economic, diplomatic and security are important for the grand strategy. The leadership of the democratic change must have the skills to motivate the people. Motivation is enhanced when people are empowered to accomplish their goals without enforcing. The new organization must have skills and method to motivate people to participate in the struggle against the dictatorship.

What is culture? The culture of the coming broad national organization for the democratic change involves:

–         A set of shared values or main beliefs that define the priorities of the new organization.

–         A set of norms of behaviour.

–         Symbols and symbolic activities used to develop and nurture those shared values and norms.

Shared values or beliefs specify what is important to be accepted and every one must identify with it. The new organization must specify these beliefs.

Norms guide or influence decisions and actions throughout the organization by suggesting what is appropriate and what is not. Norms encourage behaviour consistent with shared values. A broad national council must have strong norms that can generate much more effective control over what activities are done or not. Quality control of each program must be evaluated in time.

Symbols and symbolic actions


The broad national front must develop and maintain the use of consistent visible symbols and symbolic actions. For example, hunger strike in front of the UNSC to implement the sanction of the dictator in Eritrea. Certain symbolic actions are to stop the Festivals held in foreign countries for the benefit of the dictatorship in Eritrea. Symbolic actions that can draw attention of the international community as the popular uprisings in Northern Africa and Middle Eastern countries must be performed.

The grand strategy that will be adopted must match the structure, systems, people, and the culture of the coming broad national front.

Grand strategy matching the four components of the organization in defeating the dictatorship and laying the groundwork for democracy is the main issue for discussion at the coming broad national congress.

Short URL:

Posted by on Feb 20 2011 Filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Photo Gallery

Log in |2011