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.
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.
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
Shimels Assefa, Team Leader, Governance and Capacity Development Unit, UNDP Ethiopia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Costanza Lucangeli, Chief Technical Advisor, Supporting Elections for Ethiopia’s Democratic Strengthening, UNDP Ethiopia, email@example.com