The overall objective of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) /United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia) UNSOM Joint Programme for “Support to Universal Suffrage Elections in the Federal Republic of Somalia” is to prepare the country for national, multi-party universal elections in Somalia in 2024, the country’s first universal suffrage since 1969.
The spread of COVID-19 on the continent, and the planned measures to contain the virus have both constitutional and technical implications for the timing and administration of the elections in Somalia in an exceptionally complex environment. The NIEC has issued work-from-home orders to its staff. The Government has closed the country’s airspace both internally and externally. While most of Integrated Electoral Support Group’s (IESG) staff are working from home, including national staff, IESG continues to communicate internally and to provide daily technical support to NIEC staff across the broad spectrum of electoral activities, using the communications tools such as WebEx, Zoom and Microsoft teams.
The project is currently focused on the following:
• support to NIEC meetings with Joint Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on the Electoral Law; support NIEC to prepare its operational plan to present to the Parliament before end of May (according to the Electoral Law);
• review of NIEC Corporate Governance Framework in order to institutionalise Corporate Governance in the operations of the NIEC;
• support to NIEC to conduct public outreach activities through use of media including new media in its programming to support electoral process;
• continuation of support for construction of new NIEC compound and infrastructure;
• support to NESTF on preparing its workplan, conducting security assessment of the provisional voter registration sites in the Federal Member States (FMS) and in the Banadir Region, which will drive the preparations of the security operations budget;
• procurement of equipment and furniture for NIEC compound and NESTF operations.
Support to infrastructural development through building the Data Centre at the new NIEC compound is currently ongoing as is construction work by United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM)/ United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) on improving the security infrastructure at the compound. If the numbers affected by the pandemic increase in the country, it is likely that construction work will be halted.
Develop the institutional capacity of National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) to fulfill its mandate to prepare for and conduct electoral operations, including at the subnational level.
Support the NIEC to conduct electoral operations to prepare for elections in 2020, including voter registration planning and voter education.
Support the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to develop the electoral legal framework, including the system of representation, through a consultative and inclusive approach.