The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Capacity Building (ZIM-ECO) project focuses on an electoral cycle approach (2016-2020) to cover the all the key areas including the legal framework, voter education, voter registration, voting operations etc. The project outputs included Capacity building, assisting ZEC in development of an accurate and credible voter registration system, stakeholder engagement and voter education. After the Mid Term Project Evaluation (Jan 2018), the project expanded to include improvement in polling operations, training of polling staff, police training, media monitoring and procurement of non-sensitive election materials.
EU, Government of Japan and UNDP are funding the project. The EU has recently increased its assistance from $ 6 million to $ 8.78 million. The funding from Government of Japan is $ 1 million. In parallel, the Government of Zimbabwe has provided a contribution of $ 24 million towards the project activities and this has ensured ownership and sustainability.
An Election Support Group (ESG) was also organized by the project under the leadership of the UN RC to coordinate other electoral assistance projects and ensure synergy and complementarity. Several development partners supported initiatives outside the ZIM-ECO project for advocacy efforts, voter education and conducting of domestic observation. The contributions by development partners towards the initiatives by CSOs mobilized through this platform are to the tune of $ 20 million.
The ESG has now been expanded to include International and Domestic Observers participating in the meetings and briefing about the electoral preparations, issues and challenges.
UNDP’s role, through the project ZIM-ECO, is limited to providing technical assistance and capacity building support to ZEC in the areas identified above, based on UNDP’s extensive experience and comparative advantage across the world, to promote a transparent and inclusive electoral process in line with the national electoral legal framework and the country’s international electoral commitments.
UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner meets with the Zimbabwe Election Commission on his visit to Zimbabwe