Since 2002, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has provided technical and commodity assistance to strengthen Pakistan’s democratic institutions. This has included assisting the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in poll worker training, building capacity of legislators to perform civic functions; polling voters to assess opinions of elections; reforming the voter registration system; partnering with national civil society organizations to educate rural women about voting procedures; and increasing stakeholder knowledge of the electoral dispute resolution process. A key outcome of IFES’ assistance to the ECP has been the institutionalization of strategic planning. Having gone through two strategic planning processes, the ECP is now one year into the implementation of its second five-year strategic plan, which includes a number of reform recommendation based upon a post-election review conducted by way of stakeholder consultations following the historic May 2013 general elections.
In support of the ECP’s current five-year strategic plan, IFES programming is focused on providing the ECP and civil society with technical assistance and capacity building support intended to help election stakeholders implement key reform activities and increase voter participation. Successes have included:
- Training of 423,298 poll workers (61,445 women);
- Significant improvement in the electoral rolls;
- A unified electoral code and harmonized legal framework for local government elections;
- A nationwide ECP capacity building program, reaching thousands of staff;
- The establishment of an ECP Gender Unit and Electoral Finance Unit; and
- Innovative capacity building partnerships with civil society, focused on inclusion of persons with disabilities and youth engagement.
IFES’ "Support for Electoral Reform in Pakistan" (SERP) project is funded by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, the European Union, and UK aid through the UK government. All information contained on these pages is the sole responsibility of IFES.