Establishment of the Register of Voters Supported: Sierra Leone undertook a hybrid data collection process to both populate a civil (population) register and to provide a voters’ register for 2018. The UNDP project supported the NEC to provide public information about the process; to develop and use a database to compile the voters’ list from the field data; and to print of preliminary and final voters’ lists.
Results management processes agreed and system developed: At previous elections, various issues with transparency, efficiency and effectiveness in results management were identified by the NEC as well as international and domestic observers. The project is assisting NEC to deliver on its commitment to improving the process for the 2018 elections.
NEC capacity to conduct inclusive elections increased: The NEC has requested support in delivering on their commitment to improve the inclusiveness of Sierra Leonean elections with a particular focus on inclusion of women and people with disabilities. The project will provide targeted assistance through audits, training and advisory support towards a more gender-inclusive and disability friendly electoral process.
Conduct of 2018 elections supported: This output provides core support for the electoral process. Technical assistance will support the vital training process and public information efforts. The project will also purchase sensitive electoral materials – such ballot papers, indelible ink – to reinforce the credibility of the elections. Additional materials have now been agreed to meet NEC shortfalls in polling stationery and voting screens.
NEC planning and management capacity strengthened: While focused on the successful delivery of the 2018 elections, the project will also seek to strengthen NEC’s own capacities for management and planning.
Project Management and Support: A robust project office is included to ensure timely management decisions and appropriate accountability for results.
New and inclusive voter register
With logistical and material support of UNDP, in March and April 2017, the NEC conducted a nationwide exercise to produce a completely new and inclusive voter register. This is an important way to ensure that all qualified voters are able to cast their ballots and to protect the integrity of
Inclusive processes and institutions
The NEC has engaged persons with disabilities to consider the accessibility of the electoral process, institutions and players; and to provide suggestions for removing or mitigating barriers. This will inform plans, and enable the NEC to advocate the actions required of other national actors in a more thorough and systematic way.
Electoral results management
In the months leading up to the election, SNEC will be working with the NEC to design a system for managing the March 2018 electoral results process. The process of collating and certifying electoral results is both complex and critical, as it governs the translation of votes into elected offices. Ultimately, electoral results management determines whether an election is successful and its outcomes accepted.
National electoral capacity
Sierra Leone has made notable progress in consolidating peace and democracy since the end of its civil war. Since the Lomé Peace accord in 1999, Sierra Leone has been supported by the United Nations to conduct elections. In 2004, the UN supported a complete restructuring of the NEC and, in 2007 and 2012, the Commission administered two peaceful elections with consistently declining levels of international involvement. In 2018, the NEC conducted elections with less international support than ever before.