Electoral Security Assessment

Credible, inclusive, participatory and peaceful elections are critical to ensure that citizens have a voice in how they are governed. Unfortunately, electoral violence and fraud plague many elections, requiring new approaches to promote electoral integrity. In the past, Zambia has experienced political instability, including allegations of corruption and electoral fraud.

To support a peaceful and credible electoral process, in 2011 USAID awarded Creative Associates International a contract to perform an electoral security assessment for the Zambian presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for October 2011.

In July, 2011, Creative’s team conducted an assessment that evaluated the current political environment and its potential impact on the upcoming elections. In performing the assessment, Creative used the methodology and approach of USAID’s Electoral Security Framework, which Creative developed.

The study established a profile on potential threats to electoral peace and made recommendations for promoting a secure environment for the 2011 Zambian national and sub-national elections. The team focused on four areas: government; civil society; the political sphere; and security. The methodology included desk research and field interviews with Zambians and international stakeholders involved with administering, securing, observing, adjudicating and/or providing education surrounding the elections.

Creative’s team identified structural vulnerabilities, including ones that were specific to the 2011 election cycle, and suggestions to mitigate them. The team also profiled state and non-state stakeholders involved in the elections and peacebuilding and evaluated current electoral peacebuilding initiatives by civil society, political parties, government and security organizations that addressed existing threats.

Creative submitted the findings of the assessment in the report titled “Electoral Peacebuilding Framework.” In accordance with the USAID Framework methodology, the report presents the team’s findings and short-term recommendations to address immediate peacebuilding issues and longer-term structural reforms to reduce the Zambia’s vulnerabilities to electoral conflict. Creative has conducted similar assessments in the Philippines, Guatemala, Burundi and more. The initial Electoral Peacebuilding Framework included case studies in Bangladesh, Colombia and Zimbabwe.


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