EU partners with UNDP to strengthen electoral processes in Kenya

Feb 11, 2016

UNDP RR a.i Michel Balima(centre) flanked by the Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Kenya, H.E Stefano-Antonio Dejak (Left) and IEBC Chairman Isaack Hassan(right) shortly after signing the agreement. Photo: UNDP Kenya

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed an agreement with the European Union to support the electoral process in Kenya. The tripartite partnership between the European Union, the IEBC, and UNDP in the framework  of the project "Strengthening of Electoral Processes in Kenya" comes at a time when the electoral body in the country prepares for the general elections to take place in August 2017.

The EUR 5 million grant is expected to strengthen the institutional, policy and legislative frameworks of the IEBC in preparation for the 2017 elections. With support from other development partners,  UNDP  has been already assisting the IEBC to prepare for the mass voter registration exercise that will officially be launched on 15th February 2016.

“Readiness of the IEBC and other stakeholders remains crucial in cementing development progress towards national targets as outlined in Vision 2030 and other national planning frameworks, as well as regional and international development targets such as the SDGs,” pointed out UNDP RR a.i  Michel Balima at the ceremony.

“The contribution we have just signed will go a long way to complement Kenya government’s funding for the next elections,” noted IEBC Chairman Isaack Hassan, mentioning that donors' support through the basket fund has enabled the commission to double the number of personnel being deployed for the mass voter registration. The Commission will now deploy 5,756 voter registration assistants to cover 24,559 designated registration centers across the 1450 wards.

EU's long-term Electoral Assistance Programme aims to consolidate the gains achieved from previous elections and improve future electoral processes from 2017 and beyond.

The programme will contribute to a harmonized and coordinated framework among donors to support all critical stages and actors of the electoral cycle for the 2017 elections.

“The growth and prosperity every Kenyan deserves depends on ensuring political stability and the full respect of the will of each and every citizen especially on polling day. Kenya is fast progressing as one of the leading democratic market economies in Africa. The European Union stands firmly as a reliable friend to every Kenyan citizen to make sure their dreams will come true,” remarked the Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Kenya, H.E Stefano-Antonio Dejak.

UNDP and EU have a long-standing cooperation in Kenya which was reinforced in 2014 by the 10th anniversary of collaboration between the UNDP and EU globally, and  reconfirmed the common vision to development, especially for Africa.

The UNDP has also managed resources from the EU and other development partners, in the form of a basket fund, to support the electoral cycle in the past. What was left from the previous fund has been used of late to provide technical assistance to the IEBC, helping the commission design an action plan for  2015-2017 that covers different phases of  the electoral cycle from the consolidation of the legal framework to security, audit and evaluation.

The Strengthening the Electoral Processes in Kenya project is designed to consolidate and build on the gains made from the constitutional transition process and the 2013 elections to strengthen and develop sustainable and effective election institutions, systems and processes.  This project is also supported by USAID and DFID.

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