Fast Fact - Supporting Elections for Ethiopia’s Democracy Strengthening (SEEDS) Project

Ethiopia is scheduled to hold a general election in 2020. This follows a pivotal year for Ethiopia’s transition marked by new dynamics in the relationship of the state with the people, including opposition, private sector and civil society. With the opening of the political space and the return of several opposition political parties, the Ethiopian political landscape has witnessed dramatic changes over the last several months. It is in this context that the Government of Ethiopia requested the United Nations to support general elections. In response to this request and in coordination with the Electoral Assistance Division of the United Nations Department for Political Affairs, UNDP set up an electoral support project, Supporting Elections for Ethiopia’s Democratic Strengthening (SEEDS), in June 2019.

UNDP was at the forefront of providing support to countries undergoing democratic transitions, including in Africa, for many years. This role is grounded in key international instruments seeking to promote democratic practices based on, inter alia, competitive, credible and genuine elections. UNDP has played a catalytic role in democratic transitions through the provision of electoral assistance and related strategic interventions aimed at nurturing and consolidating democratic environments.

Project support period: 2019-2022

Technically capable, independent and trusted national institutions are essential for the conduct of credible, inclusive and peaceful elections in Ethiopia. While a multitude of stakeholders play a role in conducting peaceful elections, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) plays the principal role in administering the electoral process in Ethiopia. Therefore, partners will support Ethiopia’s efforts to strengthen NEBE, so that the country can hold credible, inclusive and peaceful elections.

Project objectives:

The main objectives of the project are to assist NEBE to: a) become a more efficient, transparent and ultimately, trusted institution; and b) undertake inclusive, transparent and credible elections. The areas of assistance are:

1.       Provide operational support to NEBE to enhance the conduct of transparent, efficient and inclusive elections.

2.       Support NEBE to develop capacities to conduct public outreach and external communication activities.

3.       Support NEBE and other key stakeholders to identify, manage and respond to electoral violence.

Project information:

Area of intervention: Democratic Governance

Implementation timeline: June 2019 - February 2022

Budget: 40,004,000 USD

Coordinating partners: NEBE, UNDP (lead agency), IOM, UN Women, UNESCO, OHCHR

Funding partners Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, UK/DFID

Project Contacts:

Shimels Assefa, Team Leader, Governance and Capacity Development Unit, UNDP Ethiopia,

Costanza Lucangeli, Chief Technical Advisor, Supporting Elections for Ethiopia’s Democratic Strengthening, UNDP Ethiopia,



Project start date:

February 2019

Estimated end date:

December 2021

Focus area:

  • accelerate structural transformations
  • Project office:

    UNDP in Ethiopia

    Implementing partner:

    Ministry of Finance and Econom

    Full project information  

    Funding Support by

    Donor name

  • United Nations Development Pro
  • Government Of Denmark
  • Government Of Finland
  • Government Of Luxembourg
  • Government Of Netherlands
  • Government Of Norway
  • Government Of Switzerland
  • Department For International Development (dfid)
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation (sida)
  • New Zealand Agy For Int'l Development
  • Ministry Of Foreign Affairs
  • Norway
  • Irish Aid
  • Austrian Development Agency
  • Department Of Foreign Affairs
  • Trade And Development
  • Government Of Japan
  • Amount contributed


    Delivery in previous fiscal year

    2020 $22,362,792

    2019 $1,021,168

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