Electoral cycle support
Elections are a transformative tool for democratic governance. They are the means through which people voice their preferences and choose their representatives. In some countries, they have become sustainable and sophisticated processes managed by well-developed electoral administrations. Yet, many countries, including mature democracies, continue to face challenges related to the integrity and credibility of elections. Key electoral cycle processes, such as civic education, voter registration, boundary delimitation, polling and tabulation of results, as well as electoral law reforms, campaign regulations and the inclusion of marginalized groups such women, youth, ethnic minorities and people living with disabilities, provide major challenges to Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs).
Increasing the capacities of EMBs and other national electoral stakeholders responsible for the credibility and the inclusiveness of the electoral process, is an important contribution of UNDP’s wider efforts to strengthening sustainable and inclusive democratic societies.
Therefore, UNDP offers strategic assistance to Member States to support long-term planning and the conducting of elections. UNDP’s electoral cycle support is an holistic approach to foster inclusive political processes, leveraging synergies with UNDP’s support for constitution making processes, parliamentary development, advancing women’s political participation and decision-making empowerment and civic engagement/civil society.
Within electoral cycle support, UNDP promotes credible and inclusive elections at all levels by supporting national efforts for: promoting legal reform; establishing independent management bodies; implementing systems of planning, monitoring, and budgeting; supporting voter and civic education for democratic rights and responsibilities; coordinating electoral assistance; promoting women’s participation as voters and candidates and within EMBs, encouraging the political participation of vulnerable and marginalized groups; and preventing electoral conflict and violence.
On average, UNDP is providing electoral assistance to about 60 countries a year, including support provided to countries in sensitive political transition and post-conflict settings.
UNDP takes a partnership approach to electoral assistance, working closely with the UN Electoral Assistance Division and other global, regional and country level partners. Some key partnerships include: the EC-UNDP Partnership on Electoral Assistance, which support joint implementation of projects and knowledge sharing; the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network and BRIDGE.