Electoral Cycle Support to the Election Commission of Pakistan

What is the Project About?

More than 330,000 polling staff were trained for the general elections held in May 2013. Photo: UNDP Pakistan/Tehseen Owais

The project was set up following a request by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to the United Nations for electoral assistance. The project takes an electoral cycle approach supporting the periods before, during and after elections. The two phases of the project are Phase I: pre-elections and elections and Phase II: post-elections. Phase I is focused on supporting the ECP to prepare and conduct the general elections. Phase II will commence after the general elections and will focus on longer term capacity strengthening of the ECP, improvements to the electoral process, civic education and local government elections.

The overall objective is to support and strengthen the ECP to enable it to hold elections that are credible, transparent and inclusive.

What Have We Accomplished So Far

Training of Polling Staff

  • Cascade training for 400,000 polling officials completed;
  • Training of 12,000 polling staff in a series of by-elections in 2012.

Voter Awareness

  • Actively raising voter awareness through radio, television, print and social media campaigns;
  • Voter education activities rolled out across the country and materials developed including posters, leaflets, stickers, banners, pens, t-shirts, bags and badges and shared with the provincial, regional and district field offices of the Election Commission of Pakistan;
  • 222 Election Commission of Pakistan district officers trained to conduct and coordinate district wise voter education campaigns to encourage vulnerable groups including rural women, minorities and people with disabilities to cast their votes;
  • Grassroots civil society organization activities implemented for women and youth in 20 selected districts. These activities included street theatre, seminars and awareness raising sessions at locations such as cultural events, religious festivals, places of worship and villages, awareness walks, debate, quiz and speech competitions.

Elections Results Management

  • A new initiative of a more transparent elections results management system was developed and arranged for over 400 Returning Officers. The new system records candidate information and polling data and helps returning officers tabulate election results electronically for greater accuracy and transparency;
  • Customized software and computer equipment delivered to 424 Returning Officers for tabulating election results;
  • 600,000 Tamper Evident Bags introduced for the first time in Pakistan to safeguard results sheets during their transportation from polling stations to the offices of the returning officer. This will help deter fraud and increase public confidence;
  • Cascade training completed for 1,800 data entry and Election Commission of Pakistan officers;
  • Results counting forms were modified to ensure greater transparency and accuracy on both voter and gender disaggregated turnout.

Training of Security Personnel

  • 18,000 security personnel trained on mitigating electoral violence. This is the first time ever in Pakistan that security personnel were trained on electoral laws, especially the Representation of the People Act, 1976. The training also addressed issues of efficient resource utilization, sensitive periods during electoral process and ensuring better coordination with the electoral staff.

Who Finances it?

Australian Government, European Union, Government of Japan, Government of Norway, Government of United States & Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation

Delivery in Previous Year

Delivery for 2012 is USD $2,616,000.

Photographs of Elections 2013


Created with flickr slideshow.

Project start date:
January 2012
Estimated end date:
December 2017
Geographic Coverage:
Focus Area:
Democratic Governance
Goal 3 - Promote Gender Equality & Empower Women
Funding Partners
Australian Government, European Union, Government of Japan, Government of Norway, Government of United States & Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation
Implementation Partners
Election Commission of Pakistan, UN Women and UN Office for Project Services
Assistant Country Director
Amir Khan Goraya
Chief Technical Advisor
James Littleton
Programme Officer
Faiqa Umer
Supporting Democratic Transition in Pakistan

A documentary showcasing UNDP's contributions towards strengthening democratic process in Pakistan

Women Strengthening Democracy
Zahida Bokhari, Assistant Superintendent of Police

In a special initiative, we have prepared a series of profiles highlighting particularly dynamic women involved in the 2013 General Elections. These profiles spotlight empowered women who are strengthening democracy in Pakistan as polling officials, master trainers and trainees of the elections results management system, constables, candidates contesting in elections, senior superintendent of police and many more.

Zameer Akhtar, Master Trainer for Polling Officials

"Our Vote is our voice," says Zameer. Read more about her participation in the General Elections held in May 2013.

Badam Zari, the first female National Assembly Candidate from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

"I decided to serve the people of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas to the best of my ability," says Badam Zari. Read more about her initiative.

Info graphics
Civic Education - Four Year Results Logframe

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Senate Elections 2015

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