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Prior to 2012, Mali was considered one of the most stable democracies in West Africa. The 2012 coup combined with the fall of the northern regions to extremist led-rebels served as a reminder of the important need to continue to consolidate democratic gains and prevent complacency. Malians, with the support of USAID and rest of the international community, rallied to hold both presidential and legislative elections in 2013. Showing up in record numbers they demonstrated their support for the democratic process and ensured a peaceful political transition back to elected leadership. USAID and partner activities contributed to historically high turnouts of 48.7 percent for the presidential and 37.9 percent for the legislative elections. The upcoming local elections, currently scheduled for October 2014, are crucial for continuing this successful transition. Local politicians serve as a key link between the Ministries and citizens.

Our support includes:
  • Civic education campaigns carried out throughout the country via face-to-face discussions, SMS “public announcements”, and radio and television programs. 

  • Equipping and deploying 370 experts with ID scanners to help Malians find their voting booths. Developing an SMS response server, used by over three million voters to find their polling stations.

  • Trained over 22,547 poll workers and members of the three electoral management bodies on how to carry out their responsibilities to manage voting. These officials were then responsible for training the 121,000 poll workers who were deployed during the elections. Observer reports commented on the increasing professionalization of the poll workers.

  • Trained 3,700 domestic observers from civil society to monitor the credibility of the elections. 2,670 representatives of political parties were also trained to serve as observers.

  • Established an elections hotline to monitor citizen comments and complaints on elections day which received more than 7,000 calls.  

Future Engagements

Moving forward USAID’s mission in Mali will work with government entities, political parties, and civil society groups to ensure that upcoming local and regional elections are credible, transparent, and inclusive. We will continue to train officials within the three electoral management bodies to improve their performance and to resolve issues identified in previous elections. We will support election stakeholders to develop and implement electoral reforms that will make the process more transparent, easier to manage, and inclusive.

We continue to work with civil society watchdog organizations to monitor the reform process and the elections themselves to make sure that the process is transparent and free of fraud.  Working with all of the stakeholders, we will make sure that previously disadvantaged populations, including youth, women, and returning refugees have opportunities to participate in the upcoming elections as voters, candidates, or observers.

Last updated: January 30, 2015

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