Electoral cycle support. Photo: UNDP Togo

Electoral cycle support

Hundreds of countries annually conduct elections to choose national, local, and regional representation. UNDP supports many of them to organize credible, inclusive, peaceful elections and is the largest provider of electoral assistance in the UN system — assisting an average of 60 countries each year. Through this support, the organization emphasizes respect for human rights and gender equality and pays particular attention to the threats to electoral integrity and credibility, such as information pollution. UNDP does not see electoral cycle support as an end goal in itself but integrates it into broader efforts to strengthen inclusive political processes for progressive societal change.

Through strategic partnerships with other UN entities, such as the Electoral Assistance Division in the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and UN Women, most UNDP electoral assistance is delivered through projects implemented working directly with Electoral Management Bodies to strengthen their capacity to conduct inclusive, peaceful, and credible elections. UNDP also works with national governments and civil society organizations to advance women’s political participation in the electoral process and to prevent violence against women in politics.

Working at the global level, UNDP develops and combines lessons learned in national-level projects and feeds them into the global policy dialogue and into the development of new projects that reflect the latest best practices in electoral assistance and electoral administration. It also promotes global capacity development (such as via the Building Resources in Democratic Governance and Elections project – BRIDGE) and knowledge tools such as the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network. 

More information:

  • Electoral assistance projects constitute one of the largest areas of EC-UNDP programmatic cooperation  worldwide, with partnerships on over 100 electoral assistance projects since 2006.  For more information on our work in this area, visit the specialized website on the European Commission (EC) and UNDP partnership on electoral assistance
  • One primary goal of UN engagement in relation to electoral processes is the prevention or mitigation of election-related violence. For more information on the EC/UNDP effort to prevent and mitigate election-related violence, visit the SELECT website
  • BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections) represents a unique initiative where five leading organizations in the democracy and governance field have jointly committed to developing, implementing and maintaining the most comprehensive curriculum and workshop package available, designed to be used as a tool within a broader capacity development framework. For more information, visit the BRIDGE website.
  • UNDP also is a partner in the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network, the world’s largest online community and repository of electoral knowledge.  For more information, visit the ACE website
  • iVerify is UNDP’s automated fact-checking tool that can be used to identify false information and prevent and mitigate its spread. It is supported through the UNDP Chief Digital Office and the UNDP Brussels-based Task Force on Electoral Assistance. For more information, visit the iVerify website.

A selection of our resources: