Support for Electoral Reforms Project (SERP)
Project Title: “Support for Electoral Reforms Project” (SERP)
Period of Performance: April 1, 2014 – March 31, 2019
Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been working to institutionalize reforms to ensure the continued consolidation of Nigeria’s democracy through more credible and accountable electoral processes. Following the relative success of the 2011 elections, stakeholder expectations of INEC remain high. However, highly competitive elections are anticipated in February 2015, as the opposition All Progressives Congress presents the strongest challenge to the ruling People’s Democratic Party’s domination of Nigerian politics since the country’s return to democracy in 1999. Additionally, following widespread acts of terror perpetuated by Boko Haram, the northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe remain under emergency rule with large portions of their populations displaced by the violence.
IFES Technical Assistance
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) multifaceted support to INEC and other Nigerian election management bodies (EMBs), such as the State Independent Electoral Commissions, under the SERP project reflects the wide range of institutional, operational and political challenges to be addressed both before and after the February 2015 elections. This assistance includes support to technical and operational aspects of the following:
- Local and national elections
- Inclusion of traditionally marginalized groups in electoral processes
- Voter education
- Conflict monitoring through partnerships with local civil society
- Electoral security assistance
- Alternative dispute resolution processes
IFES concluded the four-year “Enhancing the Credibility of Nigeria’s 2011 Elections” project on May 31, 2014. Under the project, IFES provided technical support in electoral administration to Nigeria’s EMBs, and also worked with other stakeholders, such as civil society organizations, the judiciary and parastatals to strengthen electoral processes.
In December 2014, the European Union issued an award to IFES to undertake peacebuilding, conflict prevention and violence mitigation activities centered on the 2015 national elections. The “Mitigation of Violence in Elections” (MOVE) program is expected to span seven months.