Electoral Support Project Phase II (ESP-II)
August 2008 - December 2012
2012 - 2019
||Election Commission of Nepal
||European Union, DFID, Danida, Norway, UNDP
The Electoral Support Project (ESP) provides long-term institutional capacity development of the Election Commission, Nepal (ECN) and other stakeholders for conducting credible, inclusive and transparent elections.
The project is aligned with the Strategic Plan of the ECN (2015- 2019) and contributes to Sustainable Development Goals 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), 5 (Gender Equality) and 10 (Reduced Inequalities). ESP has been working toward this end since 2008 and is set to conclude in December 2019.
The core outputs of ESP include:
- The ECN capacity-building: the project provides sustained institutional strengthening and professional development assistance for ECN to function as a permanent, professional and independent electoral management body.
- Credible and sustainable elections: ESP provides technical assistance and critical operational support to ECN during elections.
- Increased democratic participation of voters: the project increases the awareness of democracy, the electoral system and processes, especially of vulnerable groups (women, people living with disabilities and ethnic minorities), for them to meaningfully participate in the different stages of the electoral cycle.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiated the Electoral Support Project (ESP) following the Constituent Assembly elections of 2008, which were supported by the United Nations (UN). After an initial three-year phase, the project was revised and extended, ultimately until 2019.
In the context of Nepal, ESP facilitates the institutional strengthening and professional development endeavors of the ECN to build the capacity of human resources, to contribute to organizing credible elections. It focuses on providing technical assistance as well as operational support, primarily to the ECN. This includes advice focusing on strengthening the electoral institutions, operational support to the election authority, materials support and mobilization of resources.
The project supported the 2013 Constituent Assembly Elections and the 2017 elections at the three levels that were held to implement the 2015 Constitution: the local level, the provincial level and the federal level.
What have we accomplished so far?
- Provided support to the registration of more than 15 million voters using photographs and biometric profiling, which resulted in a more reliable voter register. ESP also developed continuous voter registration software for the next electoral cycles.
- Supported strengthening of human resources in the ECN and other stakeholders through 434 trainings for 14,360 participants on different areas in electoral education and professional development, such as voter registration, voter education, election management, IT, gender and social inclusion and women's leadership.
- Supported the ECN in the design, development and drafting of its second Strategic Plan (2015-2019).
- Provided operational support during the 2013 Constituent Assembly (CA) elections at national and sub-national levels such as through the establishment of a Joint Election Operation Centre, the Media and Observer's Resource Centre, the Call Centre and the Event Tracking System. ECN has taken full ownership of all of these and operated them for the 2017 local elections without external support.
- Provided on-site technical and advisory support at the HQ and the regional levels through the presence of five regional offices embedded in the ECN.
- Developed tools for the ECN to promote continuous electoral education by supporting the creation of the Electoral Education and Information Centres (EEIC) in Kathmandu, Dangadhi and Pokhara, and the inclusion of electoral education in the school curricula. The centres are also equipped with three sets of mobile EEIC to extend coverage to remote areas. A total of 25,685 people have been sensitized on electoral process through the EEIC.
- Supported ECN with the production and dissemination of numerous public outreach materials for the 2013 and 2017 elections, including street drama, radio and television programmes as well as public service announcements on social inclusion, participation and peaceful elections.
- For the 2017 local elections, ESP supported educating more than 200,000 voters on the voting process in over 8,000 local-level orientations.
- Once the 2017 local elections were called, ECN with technical support from ESP organized 2,000 orientations on women’s leadership and participation for over 50,000 potential women candidates for the local level elections, particularly Dalit women.
- Provided technical and advisory support to the ECN for its analytical and review work, resulting in various knowledge products, including the Review Report for the 2017 Elections and a Gender and Social Inclusion study of those elections.
Gender and Social Inclusion
Gender and social inclusion (GESI) is a core component of the project. ESP has established a Gender and Social Inclusion Unit at the ECN and supported the development of the Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy and the Gender Action Plan for ECN. Moreover, the project supported ECN in conducting special trainings and orientations on civic and voter education with the objective to ensure the political and civic rights of the deaf community in Nepal, with the participation of more than 500 deaf people. It also provided technical input to the ECN to produce TV PSAs and news in sign language in collaboration with National Federation of the Deaf Nepal.