Enhancing Legal And Electoral Capacity For Tomorrow (ELECT II)

ELECT
UNDP Afghanistan: The pre-election preparations, which often draw much less public attention than the election event itself, were the initial focus of ELECT II.

Afghanistan will face a critical test for the democratic transfer of power in 2014 and 2015. A stable political transition requires presidential elections in 2014 that are seen by Afghans as legitimate and which in turn will enhance the legitimacy of the Afghan government.

To this end, the Afghan government has stated its commitment to its people and to the international community to conduct credible, inclusive and transparent Presidential and Provincial Council elections in 2014 and Parliamentary elections in 2015.

The first ever democratic elections in Afghanistan, the 2004 Presidential and 2005 Parliamentary elections, were conducted jointly by the Afghan authorities and the United Nations with large-scale international assistance.

In contrast, the upcoming elections will be purely Afghan-managed and Afghan-led, emphasizing Afghanistan’s ownership of the electoral process. The role of the UN is to support the efforts of Afghan electoral authorities to prepare and conduct credible elections, with an emphasis on sustainability, integrity and inclusiveness.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan (established in 2006) is the constitutionally-mandated body for the conduct of elections. The 2009 Presidential and Provincial Council elections and 2010 Parliamentary elections were the first Afghan-led elections conducted by the IEC, supported by UNDP’s Enhancing Legal and Electoral Capacity for Tomorrow (ELECT) project.

It was however evident that challenges persisted during the electoral operations, and that further technical and financial assistance to the IEC would be required in order to ensure that progress made would not be reversed.

Project goals

The overall objective of ELECT II is to support the national electoral institutions to plan and conduct credible elections, most immediately the 2014 Presidential and Provincial Council elections and the 2015 Parliamentary elections, and to better ensure the integrity of the process. The project also has an emphasis on sustainability, and the gradual reduction of external and international support.  This is being accomplished through seven focused outputs:

Output 1 - Sustainability of the IEC is enhanced via both its institutional and staff capacity development

  • Support the IEC in sustainable strengthening of its institutional capacity, via its Strategic Plan and upgrade of its knowledge, information, decision-making and data management systems.
  • Support the IEC’s engagement in legal reform and improvement of its regulatory framework.
  • Support the upgrade of the IEC’s physical infrastructure and security at HQ and in the provinces.
  • Support the professional training and development of IEC permanent and temporary staff.

Output 2 - A sustainable, long-term approach to voter registration in Afghanistan, which also promotes maximum participation of eligible citizens in the 2014 and 2015 elections, is developed and implemented

  • Support the IEC in the implementation of its voter registration operational plan.
  • Support the IEC in harmonising its work with the Ministry of the Interior so that the national electronic identity card (e-tazkira) database becomes the long-term solution for the generation of voter registration data.

Output 3 The IEC’s engagement and informational outreach with key stakeholders, including the electorate, is enhanced

  • Support the development and implementation of the IEC’s public outreach campaign and activities.
  • Support the IEC’s structured engagement with key stakeholders, including political parties, and the IEC’s strategic media communications.
  • Support the IEC’s management and implementation of the candidate registration process.
  • Support the IEC’s Gender Unit and the Public Outreach Department gender focal point in promoting gender mainstreaming in the electoral process, as well as in institutional practices.

Output 4 - The IEC’s operational management functions, and the project support services, are strengthened

  • Support the operational costs of the IEC as well as the enhancement of the IEC’s operational management systems and procedures.
  • Conduct efficient and effective management of project resources.
  • Povide direct operational support to electoral activities.

Output 5 - The conduct of key electoral operations for the 2014 and 2015 elections by the IEC is improved

  • Support the development and implementation of the IEC’s electoral operational plan and procedures, and provide direct implementation support to the 2014 and 2015 elections.
  • Support the IEC’s design and implementation of a robust, secure, and timely results management system that enjoys the confidence of key electoral stakeholders.
  • Support the IEC in completing a credible distribution of polling centres and an accurate boundary delimitation process (where required by law).

Output 6 - The electoral dispute resolution mechanism is enhanced

  • Provide effective support to the electoral dispute resolution mechanism

Output 7 - The media regulatory mechanism for the electoral process is enhanced

  • Provide effective support to the Media Commission so that it can implement its terms of reference.

Response



In this context, it was decided that a re-formulated ELECT II project (2012-15) would continue to serve as the main technical vehicle of the UN to enhance the Afghan electoral process.

ELECT II underscores the electoral-cycle approach, moving away from the perceptions of elections as a one-day event, and envisaging long-term institutional capacity and sustainability of the IEC.

The project focuses on institutional strengthening and capacity consolidation of the IEC, as well as on electoral assistance support for planning and conduct of the 2014 Presidential and Provincial Council elections, and the 2015 Wolesi Jirga elections.  

Key components of ELECT II include:

Institutional Capacity Development: ELECT II supports the IEC through development of its human, organizational and technical capacity. As a best-practice, project advisors are embedded within the IEC and work directly with their Afghan counterparts. Sustaining and developing electoral facilities, systems and infrastructure is a key objective, including construction of provincial offices.

Electoral Operations: ELECT II assists the IEC with the development of all necessary electoral plans towards the 2014 and 2015 elections. The project also supports the IEC with the conduct of pre-election operations, such as the voter registration ‘top-up’, essentially for new and first-time voters, and the candidate nomination process.

Public Outreach: ELECT II supports the IEC with the development and implementation of a public outreach campaign, to inform the public, and in particular women, about voters’ rights and responsibilities. The overall objective is to achieve broader democratic participation and inclusive engagement in the elections. 

IECC and Media Commission:  Besides assistance to the IEC, ELECT II also supports the establishment and functioning of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) to permit timely and effective resolution of complaints and appeals. To avoid any conflict of interest between support to the IEC and an independent complaints process, assistance to IECC has been sub-contracted to UNOPS and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). The Media Commission is the responsible body for ensuring a media environment conducive to credible elections. ELECT II provides advisory support for its establishment and regulatory framework.

Commission monitors the coverage of the candidates’ electoral campaigns by the mass media with ELECT II’s assistance. 

What we have accomplished so far?

  • More than 3.8 million new voter cards have been issued, mostly to new and first time voters,  of which 35 percent haven been issued to women. During this top-up exercise, the IEC recruited some 5,619 temporary staff (34% women) with ELECT-II  support.
  • Extensive public outreach included innovative TV and Radio broadcasts in Dari and Pashto reaching out to more than 17.3 million people.
  • 1,2 million people (13 percent women) requested information about the electoral process through the IEC toll-free Voter Information Call Centre which operated 7 days a week. 
  • Extensive stakeholder outreach for broader democratic engagement at the national and sub-national levels through over 180 consultations covering all 34 provinces with the participation of some 25,000 community and religious leaders, government officials, women, young voters, political actors and journalists.
  • The registration of eight Presidential candidates and 2,595 Provincial Council candidates including 299 women for the 2014 presidential and provincial council elections underscored by an effective IEC and IECC candidate nomination  and review process .
  • A  total of USD 19.4 million electoral procurement included 30,2 million ballots and 54,500 ballot boxes
  • The IEC planned 6,423 active polling centres comprising 20,795 polling stations which included about 41% for women. Some 97,670 polling staff were recruited, and 362,780 observer and agent accredited (23% women).
  • Timely technical and operational support to the establishment of IECC in delivering their mandate.

Who Finances it?

Donor name

Amount contributed per year in US$

2013

UK/DFID

20,745

SIDA

3,074,558

AUSAID

5,102,041

2012

DENMARK

1,567,944

AusAID

5,370,569

EUCOMM

8,442,421

GERMANY

5,120,012

JAPAN

8,926,995

SIDA

1,468,429

NORWAY

1,059,322

UK/DFID

3,231,018

Please note that, the below were transferred from Elect I to Elect II in 2012

USA/USAID

8,759,704

CANADA

5,710,190

DENMARK

288

GERMANY

448

JAPAN

3,903

TURKEY

2,026,890

SWITZERLAN

4,962

EUROPEAN UNION

972,588

KOREA

804,141

ITALY

18,455

Delivery in previous fiscal year in US$

2013
13, 368,417
At a Glance
Start Date:
January 2012
End Date:
December 2015
Geographic coverage:
Nationwide
Focus Area:
Democratic Governance
National Priority Programme:
NPP 1: National Transparency and Accountability (to build public trust and legitimacy of the government) NPP 4: National Action Plan for Women of Afghanistan (to implement the Government’s commitment to gender equality by developing the capacities of all relevant government entities) NPP 5: The National Law and Justice for All Program (to provide better access to judicial services for all Afghans, and timely and effective judicial relief is central to a credible electoral process) NPP 6: Afghanistan Human Rights and Civic Responsibility (strengthen the independence and sustainability of Afghan national constitutional and other specialized institutions)
Chief Technical Advisor:
Deryck FRITZ
UNDP Focal Point:
Mir Nadia Nivin, Programme Specialist-Elections
Donors:
Australia, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Implementing Modality:
National Implementation
Implementing Partners:
Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan.
Budget:
US$ 338,157,793
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ELECT Project Summary
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The Project Summary of Enhancing Legal And Electoral Capacity For Tomorrow (ELECT II) covers in a two-page PDF document the issues, responses and achievements of this UNDP project in Afghanistan

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