USAID Elections Support, 2013-14

Overview

Haiti currently lacks elected mayors and municipal and town councils.  In addition, one-third of the country’s 30 Senate seats are now vacant, after the terms of the previous office holders expired in May 2012.  While the Government of Haiti (GOH) has publicly committed to holding partial Senate and local elections by the end of 2013; this will be a vastly complex process, with nearly 1,420 open seats expected to be contested by over 30,000 candidates.  It will also be the first election organized since the promulgation of constitutional amendments in 2012, mandating a 30 percent quota of women in political parties and public life. 

Objectives

  • Support pre-election planning and capacity building for the Transitional College of the Permanent Electoral Council (CT/CEP) via a $6.5 million contribution to the UNDP-managed donor basket fund; 
  • Help build the outreach and communications capacity of the CT/CEP and work with the CT/CEP to ensure that women and persons with disabilities are fully integrated into every aspect of the electoral process through a $1.6 million award to the International Foundation for Electoral Systems;
  • Help build the capacity of Haitian civil society organizations to provide credible oversight of the elections, mitigate the risk of electoral violence, and advocate for the implementation of a 30 percent gender quota through a $1.77 million award to the National Democratic Institute.

Activities 

  • Specialized training for new members and senior staff of the CT/CEP on key aspects of the electoral process, international standards, and the application of technology to the electoral process.
  • Support with updating, generating, and distributing the voter list, working in close collaboration with the National Identification Office.
  • Assistance with the recruitment and training of qualified poll workers.
  • Financial support for the conduct of a robust civic and voter education campaign.
  • Support to the CT/CEP in communicating more effectively and efficiently with the Haitian electorate and other stakeholders.
  • Technical assistance to the CT/CEP to support development of civic and voter education activities and materials; a gender inclusion strategy to empower women to participate fully in the electoral process as voters, activists, candidates, poll-workers, and observers; and an inclusion strategy to promote the participation of persons with disabilities.
  • Facilitate the creation of a nationwide, nonpartisan observer coalition to monitor the 2013-14 elections, including the pre-election, election day, and post-election phases.
  • Support the organization of issue-based dialogues and candidate debates in communities at high risk of election-related violence.
  • Encourage candidates and political parties to adhere to an election code of conduct. 
  • Support Haitian civil society efforts to monitor and report on election-related violence. 
  • Encourage the peaceful, legal resolution of election disputes through the development and dissemination of an Election Complaint Guide.
  • Support Haitian women’s organizations to promote awareness of the gender quota among political parties, civil society, and the general public and advocate for its full implementation.
  • Assist political parties in developing action plans to increase women’s political participation, and build the campaign skills of potential female candidates. 

Anticipated Results

Together with our partners in the international community, USAID’s support to Haiti’s 2013-14 electoral process seeks to:

  1. Build the capacity of the Haitian electoral authorities to conduct credible, inclusive, and legitimate elections that genuinely reflect the will of the Haitian people;
  2. Strengthen the capacity of non-partisan election observers to detect and deter electoral fraud and prevent and mitigate election-related violence in conflict-prone areas; and
  3. Assist Haitian civil society organizations, political parties, and electoral authorities in increasing women’s participation in the process as voters, candidates, and poll-workers.

Additional Information

Budget:  $10 million
Life of Project:  2013 - 2014
Implementing Partners:  UNDP/NDI/IFES
 

 

Last updated: February 07, 2014

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