While Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has made strides to improve the transparency and effectiveness of electoral processes in recent years, the CEP continues to face significant obstacles in building its technical capacity and overcoming a persuasive lack of trust in elections. To support long-term electoral reforms, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) will assist the CEP to forge alliances both within and outside the government to advocate for electoral reforms and a permanent electoral council. These alliances will work to strengthen its organizational capacity by adjusting internal processes and regulations that are critical to securing its permanence.
IFES is committed to strengthening political institutions in Haiti to support electoral reforms. As the effectiveness and sustainability of the proposed activities will ultimately depend on the commitment of Haitian political and civic leaders, IFES will maintain a Haitian-led approach. IFES, in partnership with the Consortium for Electoral Processes and Political Strengthening, will implement a five-year U.S. Agency for International Development-funded program to promote democratic electoral processes. The goal of this program, entitled “Elections and Political Processes Support Activity,” is to build greater confidence in the electoral process by supporting Haitian-led efforts to strengthen electoral institutions, political parties, and civil society to advocate for much needed electoral and political reforms. IFES will work to institutionalize and reform the electoral process as well as strengthen civil society advocacy and government oversight.
Through this program, IFES intends to establish a permanent electoral council, and empower civil society organizations and marginalized groups in society including women, youth and persons with disabilities. Activities that IFES will conduct to support the CEP include a review of the recent electoral process and associated costs; completing an electoral process diagnostic to measure the CEP’s capacity to independently and professionally manage elections; incorporating recommendations on inclusion, gender mainstreaming, and access for persons with disabilities; adopting international operating standards through technical exchanges with regional election management bodies; strengthening training and leadership opportunities for electoral staff; and improving the CEP’s ability to communicate with the electorate. IFES will also build on recent assistance to the CEP, updating a National Gender and Elections Strategy to promote inclusive, gender responsive elections. Additionally, IFES will aid in the implementation of its Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections training methodology to support professional development of the CEP staff.