Since 1999, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has worked to strengthen the electoral management capacity of the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN), promote inclusive electoral reform, strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) and mobilize citizens to participate in democratic politics.
IFES’ key achievements in Nepal have included:
- Providing technical support to the ECN in its successful management of the November 2013 Constituent Assembly (CA) elections and the June 2014 CA by-elections, including production of 30 million electoral ballots and training over 2,000 election officials on polling and counting, media and elections and ballot production.
- Expanding the political and civic participation of marginalized groups in Nepal – including women, youth, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities – by working with six local CSOs to deliver voter education and provide voter registration support to these communities. To date, IFES’ assistance has enabled more than 400,000 Nepalis from marginalized communities to register to vote.
- Working with the ECN to establish a Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI) Unit that aims to strengthen gender mainstreaming and increase women’s representation throughout Nepal’s electoral process. IFES also developed Gender Equality & Election Management Bodies: A Best Practices Guide to promote effective integration of the GESI Unit’s priorities throughout the ECN’s work.
- Engaging disabled people’s organizations and other community groups to collaboratively advocate for the civic and political rights of people with disabilities. IFES’ work was recognized internationally by the Zero Project as one of the world’s innovative practices on independent living and political participation for 2015.