Lebanese Elections Assistance Project (LEAP)
UNDP Lebanese Elections Assistance Project (LEAP) started its activity in October 2012 with the main objective to strengthen the institutional capacity of the national institutions and stakeholders in terms of electoral management and administration, in accordance with the international standards. In the implementation of its second phase (2015-2017), LEAP is providing electoral support in an electoral cycle approach aiming at developing the capacity of national stakeholders for the conduct of credible, periodical, transparent and inclusive elections in Lebanon, strengthen public confidence in the electoral process and, by this, contribute to democratic consolidation in the country.
Within this context, UNDP LEAP is providing electoral technical assistance and advisory support through a multi-component approach focused on the following areas: (1) the management and administration of elections, (2) the monitoring and supervision of election campaigns, (3) the provision of voter education and awareness raising initiatives, (4) the resolution of electoral disputes, and (5) initiatives to improve participation and representation of women in electoral processes.
Main achievements, lessons learned and future plans
In accordance with its mandate, LEAP supported in 2016 the successful preparation, organization and conduct of municipal elections in four consecutive phases, across the country. The conduct of these local elections in a largely peaceful and conducive environment represented a democratic milestone for the country, after the postponement of the parliamentary elections in 2013 and 2014.
During the organization and conduct of the municipal elections UNDP LEAP provided electoral support and assistance to the electoral management body in Lebanon – the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities (MoIM) - in key electoral areas such as:
- Voter registration update
- Voter education and awareness campaigns
- Candidates registration
- Electoral operations and logistics
- Electoral dispute resolution system
- Training and capacity building
- Results management system
- Accreditation of observers and media
- Accessibility of data and communication.
In addition, UNDP LEAP partnered with national CSOs and international organizations in an attempt to strengthen women participation and representation in the political life. Through this component, LEAP co-organized seven training sessions for women candidates, developed and produced knowledge brochures and thematic video clips.
Upon the successful completion of the 2016 municipal elections, the project conducted an after action/lessons learned exercise in order to assess the effectiveness of its intervention and identify recommendations for assistance of future electoral processes.
The final lessons learned report contains recommendations for improvement of future technical assistance such as:
- Continuous support to the MoIM in the area of electoral operations planning and implementation;
- Technical support to the MoIM in the area of training and capacity building;
- Enhanced cooperation and support to the voter education and awareness campaign effort;
- Continuous support and assistance to strengthen awareness, knowledge and participation of women in the political life;
- Strengthened assistance to the electoral supervisory and monitoring capabilities during electoral periods;
- Support and assist the MoIM in making the electoral related data more reliable, consistent and accessible by stakeholders and citizens;
- Support efforts to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities and vulnerable groups to the electoral processes and polls.
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