Independent Election Commission Partnership Program

Speeches Shim

Independent Election Commission Partnership Program
Independent Election Commission Partnership Program
USAID

BACKGROUND

Following the Arab Spring, King Abdullah II initiated a comprehensive reform plan in response to calls for increased democracy in Jordan and throughout the region. As part of these reform efforts, the Government created the Independent Election Commission as an independent body mandated to conduct and administer democratic elections in Jordan at all government levels, while strengthening transparency and impartiality in the electoral process. As a key player in promoting transparent, democratic processes in Jordan through building citizen trust in elected bodies, the Commission has successfully administered three rounds of local and parliamentary elections since it was established in 2012.

To ensure that it can effectively fulfill its mandate as an independent election body, USAID has directly partnered with the Commission to build its operational capacities, institutional knowledge of election processes and effective voter outreach, as well as its prospects for full administrative independence and financial sustainability. This partnership builds on USAID’s previous support to the Commission under the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening program.

PROJECT OVERVIEWS

USAID supports the Commission’s work to improve political representation and the accountability of elected bodies through free and fair elections and increased civic engagement. To achieve this, the project focuses on several components, including designing and providing civic engagement and voter education curricula in universities, schools, and communities; training staff to strengthen the Commission’s organizational and human resource capacities; deploying new elections infrastructure to safeguard accuracy and data security; and establishing a regional center of excellence to be housed at the Commission that will serve as a training and research institute to provide electoral technical assistance and research to support electoral commissions in neighboring countries.

NOTEWORTHY ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Increased political participation and awareness about elections among high school and university students through the Commission’s voter education campaigns, mobilizing over 14,500 youth during the 2022 and 2020 elections as volunteers, election observers, and voters.  
  • The local 2022 elections had the highest number of voters in Jordan’s electoral history and were the first administered by the Commission without direct USAID election administration support.  
  • Ensured the Commission's ability to safely conduct parliamentary elections in 2020 during the global pandemic, supporting the doubling of existing polling centers and increasing the number of trained volunteers and poll workers to staff the increase in stations.  
  • Piloted 23 accessible polling centers for persons with disabilities, which were utilized during the parliamentary elections by more than 14,000 voters throughout all 12 governorates, and ensured all 1,824 polling centers had at least one wheelchair accessible polling station and access to sign-language translation via electronic tablet.  
  • Increased youth (under 35) voter turnout from 43% of voters in 2016 to 45% in 2020, during a year in which voter turnout declined overall due to the global pandemic.  
  • Upgraded the Commission's facilities with solar panels, mass-production printing facilities, and a media and operations center to promote cost-saving on energy and increasing efficiency of resources by lessening the need to outsource multimedia production and rent facilities.

Last updated: June 22, 2022

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