Electoral assistance

 woman voting
A woman signs a document certifying her vote in Côte d’Ivoire’s legislative elections. Photo: UN Photo/Hien Macline

Elections are a cornerstone of democratic governance. Voting gives people a voice in the democratic process and provides a means to hold elected leaders accountable for their actions and policies. However, elections do not begin or end on Election Day, but are rather part of the “electoral cycle”.

This means that electoral assistance is not limited to election day only, but rather  includes a wide variety of support activities, such as voter education and trainings, as well as promoting the establishment of a legal and institutional framework allowing peaceful, credible, inclusive and transparent elections.

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are two global institutions which share a common vision towards the virtues of democratic governance and recognize the value of electoral assistance in supporting the long-term, sustainable establishment and development of democratic institutions world-wide.

As such, the European Commission (EC) and UNDP are natural partners in the field of electoral assistance. In 2006, the EC and UNDP strengthened and formalized their de facto partnership in the field of international electoral assistance with the signature of the Electoral Assistance Guidelines, which were renewed in 2008 and most recently in April 2016.

Electoral assistance projects constitute one of the largest area of EC-UNDP programmatic cooperation on the ground, with partnership on over 100 electoral assistance projects since 2006.

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