Vanuatu Electoral Environment Project Phase II

Vanuatu gained independence on 30 July 1980 and adopted a Westminster style parliamentary political system. Since then, the country has organized parliamentary elections regularly using a mixture of Single Non-Transferable Vote system in multi-member constituencies and First-Past-the-Post system in single-member districts.  

In response to an official request in 2016 from the Government of Vanuatu to the UN for assistance, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched the Vanuatu Electoral Environment Project (VEEP) in 2017. Phase I was implemented from 2017 to 2020 with assistance primarily focusing on preparations for the 2020 General Elections. Phase II was signed in Dec 2020 and runs from 2021 to 2024. 

The project includes substantial assistance to the Voter Register, reinforcing its integrity through the linkage of the Voter Register with the Civil Register and undertaking joint civil and voter registration on all the islands of Vanuatu. This led to VEEP providing critical support for broadening the reach of the National Identity Card, establishing access to legal identity for the citizens of Vanuatu for the first time. With VEEP assistance, the voter registration model was modified, from direct registration by the electoral authorities to the establishment of the Register by the VEO based on secondary information received from the Civil Registry. Additionally, the electoral card previously issued by the VEO is now being phased out, and the national ID card will be the document required for electoral purposes. 

What we do

The project will continue to contribute to Vanuatu's democratic development. Furthering the objective to strengthen the capacity of Vanuatu electoral authorities, and consolidating the independence of the Electoral Commission - the project continues its support of far-reaching electoral reform plans, this includes harmonizing the electoral legal framework and introducing modern measures that will help strengthen the credibility of the electoral processes.

The project supports broad public outreach efforts to build citizen and voter awareness, as well as provide tools and products for longer-term civic education and school curriculum material. In addition, VEEP II is also supporting a raft of additional, related, fundamental, and comprehensive reforms: the restructuring of the Civil Registry, introducing identity management and legal reforms; the introduction and dissemination of National ID Card; the development of a new integrated identity system database and data protection reforms; building Vanuatu’s population register and encouragement of equitable access to electoral inclusion through a People with Disability (PWD) Action Plan. In addition, the project is supporting the Ministry of Internal Affairs with its 2022-2026 restructuring and Corporate Plan to enhance sustainability, capacity building, reporting and resourcing outcomes, as well as development of the Ministry’s Sector Strategy 2022-2026.