"Multiparty democracy is becoming increasingly entrenched in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)region. The first stage of the programme focused on political parties and attempted to answer whether the transition improved the effectiveness of democratic institutions, such as political parties. This component of the programme was undertaken jointly by EISA and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance(IDEA) between 2003 and 2004. It investigated the state of political parties in the democratization process in the SADC region over the past decade. The main goal of the programme was to assess the role of effectiveness of political parties in the process of institutionalization of democratic governance in each of the SADC countries. The specific objective of the project were to: assess the general political and socio-economic context of each country and its possible impact on political parties; investigate the external regulatory and legislative environment in each country and its impact on the role and functions of political parties; and examine the internal functioning and structure of political parties and the impact of this on their institutional effectiveness."