Support to Elections and Democratic Processes





 
Fast Facts:
• Project Document
Location: National
Duration: April 2009 – June,30 2011
Focus area: Democratic Governance
Contributions(USD): Italy: 2,785,515
DFID: 15,494,540
Norway: 5,499,694
Denmark - Danida: 7,772,107
Sweden - SIDA: 6,955,764
Spain: 1,000,000
Japan: 10,033,328
European Commission: 18,824,250
Netherlands: 14,345,700
France: 1,505,940
Partners: National Elections Commission, State High Committees for elections and Political Parties Affairs Council
Delivery(USD): 2010: 30,269,897
2009: 9,663,656
Contact person in UNDP: Argjentina Grazhdani
Programme Specialist
argjentina.grazhdani@undp.org

Khartoum:
Jorge Guzman
Principal Senior Elections Adviser
jorge.guzman@undp.org

Juba:
Joanne Cheah
Senior Elections Adviser
joanne.cheah@undp.org
 
Links
- Handbook for Women Candidates

Reports

- Sudan Media and Elections Consortium Interim Media
  Monitoring Report 12
(Final)

- Sudan Media and Elections Consortium Interim Media
  Monitoring Report 11


- Sudan Media and Elections Consortium Interim Media
  Monitoring Report 10


- Sudan Media and Elections Consortium Interim Media
  Monitoring Report 9


- Sudan Media and Elections Consortium Interim Media
  Monitoring Report 8


- Sudan Media and Elections Consortium Interim Media
  Monitoring Report 7


- Sudan Media and Elections Consortium Interim Media
  Monitoring Report 6


- Sudan Media and Elections Consortium Interim Media
  Monitoring Report 5


- Sudan Media and Elections Consortium Interim Media
  Monitoring Report 4


- Sudan Media and Elections Consortium Interim Media
  Monitoring Report 3


- Sudan Media and Elections Consortium Interim Media
  Monitoring Report 2


- Sudan Media and Elections Consortium Interim Media
  Monitoring Report 1



Background
In January 2005, long years of conflict between the North and the South of Sudan came to an end with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Among key milestone events mandated by the CPA, general elections are due to be held this April 2010. Transparent, credible, and peaceful elections present a historic opportunity for Sudan to consolidate and sustain peace, gain international recognition and allow more participation of the population in decision making.

The newly established National Elections Commission (NEC) has been tasked to implement the forthcoming elections for: the President of Sudan; the President of the Government of Southern Sudan; the National Assembly; the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly; the State Assemblies; and State Governors.

From 1st November to 7th December 2009, the NEC organized voter registration throughout all 25 states of Sudan. According to the NEC, more than 70% of the citizens of voting age were registered during this period. The voter registration represents one of the first benchmarks towards the successful organization of elections in Sudan. Alongside the NEC, the Political Parties Affairs Council (PPAC) is registering political parties throughout Sudan to compete in the elections and also develop their long-term capacities as parties.

UNDP established a project titled Support to Elections and Democratic Processes to support the NEC and PPAC in their various elections-related activities. This project is realized through generous contributions from Italy, UK Department for International Development, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Japan, the European Commission, Netherlands, and France. Furthermore, UNDP is committed to the electoral-cycle approach to generally strengthen the democratic process, rather than only the one-off event of the polling day. Therefore, UNDP focuses on strengthening the role of civil society and media to take a more proactive role in civic and voter education and to promote meaningful participation of voters and all stakeholders in electoral events. Additionally, UNDP works with national police and judiciary to develop their capacities to manage election security and election related disputes.

Objectives
The Support to Elections and Democratic Processes Project ultimately aims to improve democratic governance in order to achieve long-term sustainable peace and development. Central to this aim, UNDPs activities include strengthening the institutions, systems, and processes of democratic governance.

The project anticipates supporting activities in the following areas:

1. Increased voter knowledge of the democratic process to participate in the electoral events: UNDP supports civil society organizations (CSOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to carry out civic and voter education activities to all citizens with special attention to include historically marginalized groups such as women, youth, and the disabled. Activities include face-to-face meetings, theatre performances, public and community events, radio and television programs, and school activities throughout Sudan.

2. Enhance the quantity and quality of elections-related reporting:
UNDP will provide training and capacity building of media houses and professionals to enhance the quality, accuracy and balance of elections-related reporting thereby contributing to an informed electorate. A media monitoring program will provide independent analysis of media coverage of the elections.

3. Support to domestic groups to observe the electoral processes and report its findings:
Through its implementing partner, The Carter Center, UNDP will train and coordinate civil society networks to strengthen domestic monitoring. Strong reporting on electoral events will promote transparency and confidence in the electoral process.

4. Provision of material, logistical and capacity-building support to the National Elections Commission to carry out free and fair elections: Working closely with the NEC, the Southern Sudan High Committee, and respective State High Committee’s for elections; UNDP’s assistance includes technical advice, training, raising public awareness, establishment of offices, communications, and production and transport of elections materials.

5. Support to the Political Parties Affairs Council: Similar to NEC, UNDP provides technical advice and material support to the newly-established Council.

6. Facilitate participation of key stakeholders:
In order to ensure participation of all voters, in particular women and youth, UNDP specifically supports women’s civil society groups. Furthermore, assistance projects are underway to train Sudanese police and the judiciary in their election-specific role.

Snapshots of the project's major achievements
• Disbursed roughly 1.25 million USD in grants to national and international CSOs to undertake civic and voter education activities promoting registration in all 25 Sudanese states. Additionally, grantees were trained on the election system, voter registration procedures, and civic education methodologies in Khartoum, Juba, El Fasher, Wau and Malakal.
• Produced and distributed civic education materials throughout Sudan’s 25 states to support NGOs, CSOs, and citizen’s groups in their voter education and information campaign. Regionally-tailored materials such as handbooks, posters, stickers, t-shirts, banners, and bags reached an estimated 3 million people during the registration phase in November 2009.
• Supported the production of civic education media programmes in Juba through the Southern Sudan Radio & TV Service. Programmes include “talkbacks” programmes, dramas, jingles, songs and interviews which provide information and encourage participation in the elections.
• UNDP has initiated the establishment of two public resource centers. In Khartoum, UNDP will soon work with the University of Khartoum to co-administer a civic education resource center on its campus. In Juba, UNDP will also partner with Mercy Corps to establish a Civic Engagement Centre.
• UNDP supported NEC in the development of the elections operational plan. The plan was created during two intensive months of workshops and sessions with NEC advisors, the Ministry of International Cooperation, the Ministry of Finance, and international Advisors from UNDP, United Nations Mission in Sudan, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and the European Commission.
• UNDP assisted the NEC with registration materials production, warehouse rental, and distribution of equipment such as furniture, computers, and generators to 25 State High Committees.
• UNIFEM and PPAC finalized a work plan to strengthen the capacity of representatives from the 76 officially registered parties. The plan includes gender sensitivity training to the male members of the political parties as well.
• Supported the training of 100 judges from Khartoum and States on the Sudan Electoral Legal Framework, the role of the judiciary in Sudan elections, election monitoring, the NEC’s regulations and procedures, International norms and standards, and on election disputes mechanisms.
• Supported the training of 1, 000 police officers on election security issues.
• PPAC held a workshop for 200 representatives from 76 registered political parties where attendees were briefed on upcoming electoral events and procedures. During the workshop, party representatives discussed the Political Parties Act and the Elections Act.
• In the South, UNIFEM chaired the Southern Sudan Gender Elections Working Group (SSGEWG) attended by UN agencies, donors, and international and Sudanese NGOs. The SSGEWG organized a conference on 17th through 19th July through Southern Sudan Women in Political Parties (SSWPP) for 100 regional women leaders to develop “A Women Common Agenda” with the aim effectively prepare women for the coming elections.
• Conducted 6 workshops for “first time voters” targeting young people. 4 workshops were held in Khartoum and 2 in Juba. The aim of the workshop was to provide the first time voters orientation on electoral system and training on conflict prevention methodologies. Following the workshops, the participants decided to establish four main focus groups that will address different topics and plan activities for the polling period targeting other young people.





 
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Press Releases and Stories


March 2010:Putting the Pieces in Place for Polling


Jan 2010:The NEC registers over 75% of eligible voters in preparation for the upcoming Elections


May 2009:The National Elections Commission, the MIC and UNDP Sign the Elections Project Document


Elections Assistance Bulletin


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May 2010


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April 2010


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March 2010


Issue 3
February 2010


Issue 2 -
February 2009


Issue 1 -
December 2008