Kenya Electoral System Support

Publication Date: 
28 Jan 2015

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Program Information

Country: Kenya
Project Title: “Kenya Electoral System Support”
Period of Performance: April 7, 2014 – December 31, 2018

Context

The new Kenyan Constitution puts forth a vision of a democracy where all voters are fully enfranchised. In particular, it emphasizes the inclusion of women, youth, persons with dis­abilities and other groups who have historically been marginalized by, or underrepresent­ed, in the governance of the country.

Kenya has made important strides to realize greater enfranchisement; however, there is still important work to be done. In response to these challenges, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) began working with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and other electoral stakeholders under its previous USAID Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) program to evaluate the enfranchisement of these marginalized groups. After an IFES-assisted audit of the country’s voters list, the IEBC found a continued underrepresen­tation of women and youth in a number of constituencies throughout the country.

To help the IEBC address these deficiencies, IFES was awarded a four and a half-year grant by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development in April 2014. The grant aims to support the IEBC in furthering the participation and empowerment of women and youth in the electoral process.

IFES Technical Assistance

Under this project, IFES is working with the IEBC to increase the representation of Kenyan voters, especially women and youth, in the electoral process and strengthen the integrity of the voter registration and identification systems.

The project activities are as follows:

  • Conduct focus groups and stakeholder consultations in constituencies where identified popula­tions, particularly women and youth, are underrepresented and collect further information on low voter turnout. The lessons learned from these consultations will inform future outreach activities by the IEBC; 
  • Support the IEBC with the implementation of a civic and voter education program for integration into primary and secondary level curriculum; 
  • Work with IEBC and the National Registration Bureau (NRB) to establish a protocol for sharing national citizen registration and voter registration data between the IEBC and the NRB to capture necessary voter registration information; and 
  • Support the IEBC to develop and implement a strategy for sustainable, reliable and credible use of election technology, in particular, the biometric voter registration kits.