Supporting Political Entities and Civil Society (SPECS)

Overview

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is implementing the SPECS program to deepen democratic practices that lead to popular political participation, thereby contributing to stability, governmental legitimacy, and accountability in Afghanistan. Along with NDI partners, Internews and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the program involves partnerships with local organizations to build on previous initiatives to support meaningful, sustainable channels for citizens to engage in political and electoral processes before, during, and after the 2014 presidential and provincial elections and 2015 parliamentary and district-level elections.

Activities

The program:

  • Supports “watchdog” civil society organizations (CSOs) to monitor 2014 presidential and provincial council elections.
  • Establishes networks of indigenous CSOs, providing them with advocacy training and technical support to identify community issues and carry out advocacy activities.
  • Organizes monthly provincial policy advocacy meetings to provide women with networking opportunities and encourage cross-party dialogue. 
  • Provides technical assistance to political parties, coalitions, and independent candidates related to the mechanics of running an effective campaign. 

Accomplishments

  • Provided 11 rounds of campaign  training for 281 female PC candidates from 34 provinces to assist women PC candidates to compete effectively and gain citizens’ support.
  • Trained more than 46,000 candidate agents, including more than 7,900 female agents, across 28 provinces.
  • Developed a training manual for observers with polling and counting reporting checklists, as well as a template to report key incidents.
  • Initiated and continues to facilitate a domestic observers’ coordination mechanism led by the IEC where observer groups share their observation methodology, deployment plans, reporting checklists, and other important issues. 
  • Trained 1,751 (166 female) PC candidates across 32 provinces through a pool of 80 non-partisan master trainers on the electoral legal framework, candidates’ rights and responsibilities, electoral procedures and complaints mechanisms, and ways to counter electoral fraud.
  • Organized 15 monthly political discussions drawing 1,075 participants (240 females) from local CSOs, political parties, and local authorities; and organized 10 meetings of provincial women’s policy advocacy groups.
  • Provided 4 trainings on campaign planning to 109 youths (41 female) from the youth wings of 17 participating political parties.

Last updated: April 09, 2014

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