Democracy Strengthening in Zambia

Speeches Shim

The electoral environment in Zambia is framed by several interrelated components: gaps and inconsistencies in the legal framework; decreasing public confidence in the impartiality, effectiveness and credibility of electoral institutions; lack of inclusion in the political process of historically marginalized groups; and an increasing need to mitigate election-related violence and to promote a peaceful political environment. Democracy Strengthening in Zambia (DSZ) is a three-year multi-donor project designed to address the above challenges while building on previous electoral interventions as Zambia enters the 2021 electoral cycle. The approach highlights the important areas of inclusion, accountability, transparency, integrity and capacity across electoral institutions and processes.

The project also directly addresses the increasing risk of electoral violence characterizing Zambian politics in recent years, particularly evident since the 2016 elections, by focusing on human security and conflict mitigation of democratic processes across the electoral cycle. In addition to USAID, the European Union, France, Germany, Ireland and Sweden are contributing donors. Combined funding to the DSZ Project is $10.3 million. 

  • Life of Project: August 2020 - December 2022

  • Geographic Focus: National

  • Partner: UNDP/Zambia

  • Total USAID Funding: $500,000

  • USAID Contact: Emily Fitzsimmons -


Expected Results

The goal of DSZ is to strengthen Zambia's democracy through functional and inclusive electoral processes that ensure the peaceful conduct of the 2021 elections and result in increased legitimacy and institutionalization of Zambia's multiparty system. In particular, DSZ aims to achieve: 

  • more inclusive and participatory decision-making in electoral institutions and processes;
  • strengthened electoral institutions which are transparent, responsive and accountable and which provide information, access and services to electoral stakeholders;
  • enhanced technical and organizational capacities of national electoral stakeholders; and
  • improved electoral security and strengthened conflict management systems, including the existing Conflict Management Committees at the national and district levels.

The program will also implement an early warning system to monitor and map early signs of violence

Issuing Country 
Friday, January 22, 2021 - 1:15am

Last updated: January 22, 2021