The Electoral Support Project (ESP) Phase II : Institutional Strengthening and Professional Development Support for the Election Commission of Nepal

 A Women Voter participating in CA Election 2013. Photo Credit: Rochan Kadariya

Following the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections, UNDP initiated a three-year Electoral Support Project (ESP) Phase I, to extend comprehensive support to the Election Commission in materializing the electoral process in the spirit of democratic principles. As the need was felt to expand the role of ESP beyond its duration, the project was revised and extended till 2018 to meet the current requirements of the Election Commission.

While the project concentrated on providing technical advice and operational support for the upcoming cycle of elections in Phase I (2008-2012), in Phase II (2012-2018), ESP is responding to the need for continued capacity building of the Election Commission Nepal in order to build long-term institutional and human-resource capacity to organize credible elections in the context of a diverged political environment and a period of political instability....Read More

What have we accomplished so far

  • Provided IT support to the registration of more than 13 million voters using photographs and biometric profiling, which resulted in a more reliable voter register. ESP also developed voter registration software for the next electoral cycles.
  • Provided operational support during CA elections 2013 at national and sub-national levels such as through the establishment of a Joint Election Operation Centre, Media and Observer's Resource Centre, Call Centre and Event Tracking System. ECN has taken full ownership of all of these and is currently operating them for the 2017 local elections without external support.
  • Supported to strengthen the human resources in the ECN and other stakeholders through 267 trainings for 8,994 participants on different areas in electoral education and professional development, such as voter registration, voter education, election management, IT, gender and social inclusion, women's leadership and social studies.
  • Developed a pool of 88 accredited BRIDGE facilitators, including 17 regional level facilitators, allowing ECN to implement electoral trainings of international standard without external assistance... Read More


More women on the political frontlines

Thanks to constitutional and legal provisions that introduced compulsory quotas for women in different posts in local governments, as well as intensive campaigns for women’s engagement in politics carried out by the Election Commission Nepal with the support of UNDP’s Election Support Project, a record number of women have won seats in the first two phases of the local-level electionsmore 

Making it count: Voter education campaign proves an eye-opener

The Election Commission Nepal’s voter education campaign, conducted with support of UNDP’s Election Support Project in 29 districts, has proved largely effective in bringing more people to the polls and ensuring their familiarity with the voting procedures so as to minimize the number of invalid votes around the countrymore 

Functional Testing Workshop on the Voter List Application (VLA) software. Photo: ESP
An upgrade for Nepal’s voter registration system

An innovative upgrade for the voter registration system in Nepal is ready to be piloted, after a nearly two-year development effort by the Electoral Support Project (ESP), implemented by UNDP Nepal and supported by the European Union and Norway.more 

Mobilizing mass media for voter education

The mass media played a crucial role in the Election Commission Nepal’s voter education campaign—conducted with support of UNDP’s Election Support Project—for the 2017 local level elections in helping to bring information regarding the voting process and the importance of taking part in polls directly to people’s homes through targeted messages disseminated through radio, TV and social mediamore 

Undeterred by disability: Helping the hearing-impaired take part in the polls

In order to ensure persons with hearing impairment were not left behind in asserting their political and electoral rights during the elections, the Election Commission Nepal, with the support of UNDP’s Election Support Project, has been reaching out to them through trainings geared to brief them about the voting process and to motivate them to be part of the democratic exercisemore 

Spreading the word on the SDGs

Refusing to be daunted by her hearing impairment, Anju Gurung—back from attending the Asia Pacific Youth Exchange in Manila as part of a youth action componentmore 

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