What role does USAID play to support Nepal's elections?

USAID is poised to support Nepal’s elections with five programs implemented through six partners. An overview –

Monitoring Nepal’s Peace Process and Constitution Drafting Project

Partner: The Carter Center | Budget: USD 2.6 M | Life of Project: 9/2009-12/2013
In addition to other aspects of the peace process, The Carter Center monitors elections preparations across each region. To date, they have observed the citizenship registration and voter registration drive, documented local governance processes absent local elections, and surveyed perceptions of the elections process. Recommendations drawn from the observations are shared bi-monthly with local and international stakeholders. The project’s long-term observers are accredited by the Elections Commission as international observers and The Carter Center is set to monitor the elections.

Strengthening Political Parties, Electoral and Legislative Processes Project

Partners: The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) | Budget: USD 23.9 M | Life of Project: 8/2010-8/2015
While NDI works with political parties to ready them for the elections, IFES supports the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN) through technical assistance and training of their District Elections Offices. NDI provides training to political parties to inform them of ECN requirements for political party registration, the elections code of conduct, constituent outreach, voter registration, campaigning and agenda development. Additionally, NDI established the “Democracy and Elections Watch,” which represents a coalition of traditionally marginalized populations and will train and deploy 6,000 observers covering all 240 constituencies. IFES provides technical assistance and training to the ECN in order to improve public outreach for voter registration, electoral education, electoral law reform, and capacity building. IFES also works in 26 districts through six local NGOs that target Dalit, women, freed Kamaiya, youth, and people with disabilities for electoral education and voter registration. IFES recently produced two radio PSAs targeting Nepali youth to encourage them to register to vote before the July 15 deadline.

Nepal Peace Trust Fund (NPTF) Project

Partner: Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction | Budget: USD 1.05 M | Life of Project: 12/2012-1/2016
USAID is one of eight donors that support the Government of Nepal-managed NPTF through a pooled fund mechanism. The Fund is responsible for implementing the commitments under the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement - including elections for the promulgation of the constitution. The Election Commission’s largest financial support comes through the NPTF for the upcoming election ($94.1 M for elections security and $31.3 M for elections). Recently the NPTF funded the Ministry of Home Affairs to conduct a citizenship registration drive in tandem with ECN’s voter registration.

Nepal Peace Support Project

Partner: The Asia Foundation | Budget: $4.1 M | Life of Project: 3/2009-8/2014
This five-year program includes a component to work with political party leaders to build consensus around contentious issues, such as their participation, the criteria for elections, and proportionate representation. The program’s facilitators have garnered the trust and confidence of party leaders will continue to mediate any disputes throughout the election period.

Sajhedari Project

Partner: Pact Inc | Budget: $25 M | Life of Project: 12/2012- 11/2017
USAID’s largest contract to support local governance recently produced public service announcements (PSA) in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs to encourage people to register as citizens, a requirement for voter registration. The PSAs started in May in six districts and four languages broadcast on 12 FM stations. The Ministry approved national level broadcasts of the PSA to begin soon.

Last updated: August 20, 2014