Liberia Elections and Political Transition

Publication Date: 
28 Jan 2015

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Program Information

Country: Liberia
Project Title: “Liberia Elections and Political Transition” (LEPT)
Period of Performance: January 1, 2015 – December, 31 2019

Context

While post-conflict elections relied heavily on international technical and financial assistance, Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) oversaw the general elections in 2005 and 2011 with decreasing levels of international technical assistance, and both elections were widely deemed as credible. Despite these successes, however, the NEC faces challenges as opposition parties often express doubts about the body being independent and non-partisan. Liberians have been eager participants in recent elections; however, poor communication and transportation infrastructure has limited the amount of balanced information on the political and electoral process. In addition, concerns about invalid ballots in the 2011 polls further underscore the need for more comprehensive and targeted voter education.

IFES Technical Assistance

The objective of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) work under LEPT is to increase the capacity of the NEC to manage the full election cycle. As such, the focus of IFES’ work will be on providing advisory assistance aimed at increasing the professionalism of NEC staff.

IFES will conduct and utilize an evaluation of the NEC – along with the NEC’s current Strategic Plan – to elaborate specific program activities that will be will jointly identified and prioritized to maximize institutional strengthening. IFES will provide strategic learning opportunities for NEC staff and Magistrates, such as:

  • Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) workshops 
  • Out-of-country (regional) professional exchanges 
  • Poll worker training 
  • Data and information management for improved vote tabulation and results transmission.

IFES will conduct two additional evaluations of the NEC in order to track its progress and the program’s effectiveness.

Recent Activity

IFES concluded the five-year “Building Sustainable Elections Management” (BSEM) program on December 31, 2014. Originally scheduled to conclude on September 11, 2014, the program was extended through December 2014 in order to allow for continued technical and material assistance to Liberia’s NEC prior to and after the senatorial elections that were delayed from October 14, 2014 until December 20, 2014. During BSEM, IFES supported the NEC during the 2011 general elections and referendum. IFES maintained an uninterrupted expatriate presence during the transition period between BSEM and LEPT.