Since 1998, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has worked to strengthen the capacity of Nigerian election management bodies to promote credible, inclusive and transparent elections at the national, state and local levels. Currently, IFES is providing national-level capacity building to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), incorporating lessons learned from the 2019 election process in electoral management, inclusion of traditionally marginalized groups, voter education, electoral conflict monitoring and alternative dispute resolution processes, among many others. Additionally, IFES is providing technical support at the state level, strengthening processes in the 2019 by-elections in Kogi State and Bayelsa State and 2020 by-elections in Edo State and Ondo State. IFES provides this assistance through the “Support for Electoral Reforms Project II” (2019-21) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID). This project builds on the gains made during IFES’ previous “Support for Electoral Reforms Project” (2014-19), which was also co-funded by USAID and DFID.
IFES’ support to INEC has included development of the 2017-21 strategic plan, which incorporated INEC’s first-ever monitoring and evaluation plan. IFES has also partnered with many of Nigeria’s state-level electoral commissions to prepare for gubernatorial and local government elections. Through the ongoing “Nigeria Election Violence Report” project, IFES builds civil society’s capacity to monitor, analyze and respond to incidents of election-related conflict. IFES has also trained representatives of civil society organizations to monitor campaign finance and the use of state resources during presidential and gubernatorial elections.
Under SERP I, IFES developed a cascade training plan for poll workers and executed a training of trainers who then trained 650,000 poll workers. With IFES’ support, INEC’s voter education campaign reached over 67 million Nigerians. Enhancing credible and inclusive elections in 2019, IFES supported INEC’s voter education campaigns, supported the implementation of INEC’s gender policy and assisted in the creation and launch of INEC’s framework on inclusion of persons with disabilities.