Professional development of ECN staff and other stakeholders.
The Master Training of Trainers of resource persons for the election management and polling cascade is to be held on 6 and 7 April.
Regional Training of Trainers for approximately 850 Chief Returning Officers and Returning Officers. They are responsible for the overall management of the polling centers and conduct of elections that ranges from candidates nomination, logistic management, holding elections, counting of ballot papers, tabulation and finalization of results.
Delivery of IT equipment for election operations.
Multi-stakeholders dialogue, youth engagement and campaign on conflict sensitivity and do-no-harm for electoral risks mitigation.
Capacity building of potential women candidates.
Public outreach and voter education through print, electronic and social media.
Main achievements so far
ECN registered some 10.1 million eligible citizens in Nepal, consisting of approximately 51.2% of women by 2011. This was approximately 70% of the eligible population according to preliminary 2011 census data. For the 2017 elections, ESP supported the data integration of the 15 million (85% of the eligible population) registered voters into the central database.
The project’s massive civic engagement helped to exceed the target of 67% voter turnout in both 2013 elections (80%) and 2017 local elections (74%) and the House of Representatives elections (69%).
The Commission provided trainings to enhance public outreach, civic and voter education reached a total of 1,923 (Female: 468) people. In addition, ESP supported ECN to conduct around 8,000 voter education events that reached 200,000 voters directly across 29 districts in the run up to the 2017 elections. The majority of these were women (56%) and from marginalized communities. In total, 6897 (F: 2006) ECN officials and electoral stakeholders have been trained in different electoral procedures.
Through the Commission’s various trainings on democracy and elections, a total of 17,044 people were trained with ESP support, including 4,857 female trainees. On average, 77% participants across all capacity building trainings reported an increase in their knowledge after the training.
In order to enhance ECN public outreach, ESP collaborated with UNESCO to work with the Ministry of Education’s Community Learning Centres (CLCs). ESP and UNESCO worked with 298 CLCs across 31 districts where the 2019 by-elections were held to impact civic and voter education at the grassroots. In addition, ESP supported ECN in drafting and publishing a set of 18 civic and voter education booklets and a guide on how to use them so that community-level organizations such as the CLCs can conduct continuous civic and voter education. These booklets are being distributed to the 2,151 CLCs across the country.
ESP delivered professional development trainings through Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) trainings, technical trainings and peer-to-peer knowledge transfers. The ESP-supported modular trainings reached 1,214 ECN staff and other stakeholders, with 390 female participants. In addition to this, ESP led the support for three BRIDGE train-the-facilitator courses, in which 60 people (20 women) were trained, thus creating a pool of accredited BRIDGE facilitators in Nepal.
ESP supported the formulation of ECN’s first ever strategic plan (2009-2013), the plan’s translation and action plan for its implementation. The project also supported ECN with its second strategic plan (2015-2019), and action plans (for 2015-2016 and 2017-2019), to implement the plans and to conduct reviews. The Election Commission drafted the third strategic plan (2019-2024) largely by itself, with ESP supporting the translation and publication of the plan.
The Election Commission adopted a standard operating procedure and conducted, together with the National Judicial Academy, capacity-building on electoral dispute resolution for 553 (Female: 72) election officials, the judiciary and other stakeholders. These efforts culminated in Nepal’s first resource book on electoral justice that was launched by the President of Nepal in 2020.
Additionally, the project supported a mobile application on electoral education, NirwachanSkishya (for Android users here and for IOS users here); an animation that uses a school election to explain the different steps in the electoral process in simple terms; a one-hour movie entitled Ek Vote, demonstrating the importance of transparent elections to support democracy and governance.
The project provided operational support during the 2013 Constituent Assembly elections at national and sub-national levels such as through the establishment of a Joint Election Operation Centre, the Media and Observer’s Resource Centre, the Call Centre and the Event Tracking System. ECN has taken full ownership of all of these and operated them for the 2017 local elections without external support.
ESP has developed tools for the ECN to promote continuous electoral education by supporting the creation of the Electoral Education and Information Centres (EEIC) in Kathmandu, Dangadhi, Biratnagar, Surkhet and Pokhara, and the inclusion of electoral education in the school curricula. The centres are also equipped with three sets of mobile EEIC to extend coverage to remote areas. The Election Education and Information Centre has reached more than 30,444 (female: 45%) potential voters thus far, with an average of 500 visitors visiting per month.
ECN was able to locate more than 10,000 polling locations across the country using a google earth-based polling location mapping tool. The system was then implemented at the Joint Election Operation Centre, Media Centre and Elections Observation Centre. A total of 130 ECN staff, at the headquarters and at the districts, were trained on use of GIS, GPS and Google Earth tools as well as Electoral Risk Management.
To facilitate electoral knowledge exchange in Nepal as well as its own archiving, ESP also technically supported the upgrade of the global ACE Electoral Knowledge Network website and created a version in Nepali language. Public electoral knowledge products of the ECN and the project are uploaded to the website.
Gender and social inclusion are a core component of the project. ESP has established a Gender and Social Inclusion Unit at the ECN and supported the development of the Gender and Social Inclusion Policy and the Gender Action Plan for ECN. Additionally, ESP supported the following:
The various trainings on gender, social inclusion and elections reached 574 (Female: 542) ECN staff and other stakeholders and sensitized them on gender and inclusion issues.
In 2017, the project also supported ECN technically in preparing the training manual for leadership development of local women leaders. Using this manual as a basis, the project worked with 24 CSOs to enhance women’s leadership and participation in 2017 elections.
Once the 2017 local elections were called, ECN with technical support from ESP organized 2,000 orientations on women’s leadership and participation for over 50,000 potential women candidates for the local level elections, particularly Dalit women.
The project also worked with the National Deaf Association of Nepal and the Nepal Association of the Blind to raise awareness about the issues faced by the hard of hearing and the visually impaired communities, and for ECN to conduct voter education considering the special needs of this audience. ESP also supported these federations to develop a pool of expert facilitators on election issues as well as a set of materials on political participation of people living with disabilities. The related trainings reached 2,301 participants directly, including 991 females, all people living with hearing disability and/or visual impairment.
The project also facilitated direct contact between the national civil society organizations it partnered with over the years and the Election Commission and political parties for their issues to be heard.
Support in COVID-19 Response
Furthermore, the project has conducted the youth webinar series, which was supported by UNDP, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, UN Volunteers in Nepal and branded under the UN75. These webinars sought to identify the most pressing problems caused by the pandemic at the local levels, including bottom-up solutions to them. A total of eight webinars were successful in reaching 790 participants. The reports and infographics from the webinar series is available here. A bog on the event is available here.
The project continues to support the broader UN system in responding to and recovering from COVID-19.