To evaluate the impacts of LEAP project during the period 2012-2015

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2012-2018, Libya
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
02/2017
Completion Date:
06/2017
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
45,000

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Title To evaluate the impacts of LEAP project during the period 2012-2015
Atlas Project Number: 00065426
Evaluation Plan: 2012-2018, Libya
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 06/2017
Planned End Date: 02/2017
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Democratic Governance
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 2.1. Parliaments, constitution making bodies and electoral institutions enabled to perform core functions for improved accountability, participation and representation, including for peaceful transitions
SDG Goal
  • Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
SDG Target
  • 16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
Evaluation Budget(US $): 45,000
Source of Funding: Project Fund
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 45,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: HNEC, CSOs and local authorities
Countries: LIBYA
Comments:

The objective of the evaluation is to draw lessons from the support of the LEAP project to HNEC. The UNDP and its Donors and Development Partners have identified a critical need to assess the impact of the LEAP Project; and produce recommendations for future electoral assistance programmes in Libya.  The evaluation is expected to improve the effectiveness of potential subsequent electoral assistance programs supported by UNDP and its donor partners in strengthening electoral systems and process in Libya.  The evaluation is further expected to draw lessons learned from the electoral process and management in Libya.  This feedback will be fundamental in providing guidance towards organising future elections in a more effective, efficient and sustainable manner.

Lessons
Findings
1.

Evaluation of LEAP’s Performance by Outcome and Outputs

A detailed monitoring and evaluation framework was developed for the project in March 2014. After consultation with the management of the UNDP country office, the evaluation team decided not to conduct a ‘blow-by-blow’ review of each activity listed under the seven envisaged outputs. Rather, the report provides an overall assessment of the success (or otherwise) under each of the main headings. 

Planned Outcome The overall outcome of the project was to ensure that “active citizen participation facilitates the democratic transition of the nation”. In this regard, the evaluation team found that the GNC elections reflected a high level of citizen participation and an equally high degree of enthusiasm for the electoral process. An NDI survey conducted after these elections showed that 84% of the respondents were of the opinion that they were conducted in a free and fair manner. Nevertheless, the subsequent two electoral events, CDA and HoR elections in February and June 2014 respectively, showed a somewhat lower voter registration and voter turnout as substantiated by the following data. This combined with an increasingly volatile political and security situation would indicate that there is still a long way to go before a successful transition to democracy can be realized.


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Relevance Civic Engagement Election Communication Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Theory of Change Institutional Strengthening National Institutions

2.

Evaluation of LEAP’s Performance by Outcome and Outputs (continuation)

Output 2: Comprehensive civic and voter education conducted to ensure that voters are educated about broader principles of democracy and inclusive elections and informed about their rights to vote as well as where, when and how to vote. This was a critical output to ensure not only that the voters knew when to vote, where to vote and how to vote (voter education) but also to instill some level of understanding of democratic values, norms and processes in a country (civic education) that had not experienced free elections for decades. This was an enormous challenge and major, sustained long-term results could hardly be expected over the lifetime of LEAP. The efforts were further inhibited by staffing challenges in the HNEC public awareness department, particularly in 2013, and the lack of a strategic plan to guide the activities. In addition, the voting systems were very complex and changed over time, making it difficult to produce proper awareness-raising materials. As could be expected, many observer reports encouraged HNEC to focus more effectively on this area in the future. Similar sentiments were expressed by the representatives of civil society that the evaluation team met in Tripoli. Nevertheless, several roundtable discussions were organized in 2012 and 2013, and 23 different awareness products were reportedly produced. A review of project expenditures by output revealed that only a very small percentage of available resources were spent on voter and civic education. 


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Election Human rights Communication Knowledge management Awareness raising Capacity Building Technical Support Vulnerable Women and gilrs Youth

3.

Evaluation of LEAP’s Performance by Outcome and Outputs (continuation)

Output 4: Strengthened capacities of the national media to report on electoral processes throughout Libya in a balanced and responsible manner, and promote issue-based reporting on political competition. The LEAP activities in this area were extremely limited. Well below 1% of the project’s financial resources were expended in this area.

Output 5: Strengthened capacities of HNEC (or media commission) to conduct media monitoring. A limited number of training activities were conducted under this output in 2012. No activities were carried out in the subsequent years.


Tag: Effectiveness Civic Engagement Election Human rights Justice system Communication Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Conflict resolution Security Capacity Building Coordination

4.

Validity of Project Design and Relevance

LEAP was based on dozens of similar projects carried out around the world by the UNDP, and it shares many elements from similar activities developed for countries as diverse as Timor-Leste, Pakistan, Côte d’Ivoire, or the Kyrgyz Republic. Under the leadership of the EAD/DPA, and based on years of experience, these election projects all include activities to build the capacity of the local Electoral Management Body (EMB), conduct civic and voter education activities, encourage participation of women and other marginal or vulnerable groups, ensure media coverage of the electoral process is accurate, prepare for the inevitable legal disputes which arise from elections, and ensure public safety during the election process.All of these issues are important, to a greater or lesser extent, in post-conflict countries or countries in transition, and it makes sense to ensure they are covered in any such an election project. In particular, efforts to raise the knowledge and capacity of the local EMB are seen as one key way to reduce the need for a repeat of the project, when next the electoral cycle turns to elections, and to boost long-term national ownership of the country’s elections, a key issue for the UN - and for the donors who have no desire to “throw good money after bad” by supporting repeated problematic elections. If the EMB has experience in and takes pride in holding good elections, it is better placed to resist local pressures for inadequate elections, and if the international community has had good experience with the local EMB, it will be more inclined to continue providing support. Nonetheless, there are limits as to whether a standard template can effectively be applied to such different country situations. In Libya’s case, some elements of the standard list of activities simply did not meet the country’s needs, while others could not be met in the early stages of the Libyan transition. 


Tag: Relevance Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Election Human rights Communication Donor relations Knowledge management Programme/Project Design Conflict Conflict resolution Capacity Building Institutional Strengthening National Institutions Vulnerable Women and gilrs Youth

5.

Validity of Project Design and Relevance (continuation)

Likewise, developing a broad and effective domestic election observation program (a core activity of the project) requires a well-mobilized civil society sector, for they provide the bulk of the citizens who conduct such an observation. In Libya’s case, the civil society sector was nascent at best, and required extra assistance to rise to the occasion. And while there were organizations blooming, they were at best poorly interlinked or networked, and not wellknown outside their local territory. An NGO in Misratah could well be invisible to authorities in Tripoli, for example, no matter how motivated or well-trained their leaders and members. The role of the media was also unlike that in other countries going through such a transition. Severe restrictions on freedom of speech and of the press had been in place under Col. Gadhafi - only after the revolution of 2011 were they relaxed, and it took time for the country’s print and electronic media to grow in spread and penetration. Numerous newspapers sprang up, but most withered quickly. Many radio stations are on the air, but broadcast primarily to local audiences. Few radio or TV stations cover the entire country. In this environment, the project’s ability to provide adequate professional training to cover the elections was inadequate, and the possibility of HNEC’s being able effectively to monitor them was also virtually nil. 

Libyan legal institutions were also hard pressed to provide adequate space for electoral dispute resolution. The electoral laws, regulations, and procedures were just being developed and frequently changed, and most jurists (both judges and lawyers) were ignorant of their import. Given the dynamic electoral scene, dispute resolution perforce proved somewhat haphazard. 


Tag: Relevance Civic Engagement Election Human rights Justice system Rule of law Communication Donor relations Programme/Project Design Conflict resolution Security Capacity Building Technical Support

6.

Management Arrangements

On the UN side, the UNEST model performed well. All electoral staff worked effectively together regardless of which part of the UN family they originated from (UNSMIL, UNDP, UNOPS). The management model with the UNSMIL Chief Electoral Adviser as the Head of UNEST with two deputies (one from UNSMIL and one from UNDP) also worked well and ensured an effective and coordinated UN programme of electoral support. As mentioned above, UNSMIL had a mandate to coordinate international assistance in a number of areas, including electoral support. UN support was well coordinated through the UNEST mechanism. However, after the departure of senior UNSMIL and UNDP electoral staff, there were weaknesses in ensuring proper coordination with some outside partners, including the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), particularly in the final year of project implementation. 

According to the original project document, UNSMIL would focus on legal frameworks for elections, establishment of HNEC, operational concepts, timelines and budgets, establishment of the voter registry, out-of-country operations and electoral mechanisms sensitive to the needs of under-represented segments of Libya’s population such as women and youth. On the other hand, UNDP’s tasks included civic and voter education, strengthening media, electoral dispute resolution, development of a joint electoral security plan, support to out-of-country voting, domestic observation liaison, political entity and candidate liaison, procurement of electoral and other materials and support to HNEC’s administrative structure and capacity. The distribution of tasks between UNSMIL and UNDP was thus fairly clear even though there were certain overlaps. These appear to have been ironed out smoothly during project implementation. Some interlocutors did mention, however, that there sometimes was a feeling that UNSMIL was more engaged on the substantive side of the work with UNDP performing a disproportionate number of more menial administrative tasks.


Tag: Efficiency Election Human rights Rule of law Human and Financial resources Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Strategic Positioning UN Agencies

7.

Management Arrangements (continuation)

The relationship between the UN family and HNEC was initially excellent with effective collocation of UNEST and HNEC staff in the HNEC offices in Tripoli. This arrangement was clearly conducive to effective communication and collaboration between the two sides.With the evacuation of UN staff from Tripoli to Tunis in July 2014, the cooperation increasingly began to face new challenges, partly due to the lack of day-to-day proximity of the two parties. After a series of successful capacity development activities in 2014-15, the relationship continued to deteriorate. For instance, a significant disagreement erupted over the travel arrangements for training events in Tunis and elsewhere - an issue to which a solution could not be found within UNDP’s rules and regulations. Eventually, the cooperation ended in November 2016 and LEAP was subsequently closed on 31 December 2016, which was the anticipated end of the project.

Throughout the project implementation, there has continued to be an element of lack of ownership on the part of HNEC, in the first instance related to the fact that the project document was drafted almost entirely within the UN family due to the non-existence of an appropriate national counterpart. HNEC was only set up in February 2012 and the project document was signed on 5 March 2012. According to the current Acting Chairman of HNEC, there was already then some reluctance on the Libyan side to sign the document. However, in the end it had been decided to go along - not least given the fact that the first electoral event, for which HNEC greatly needed UNDP support, was due to take place in July 2012.


Tag: Efficiency Election Human and Financial resources Implementation Modality Partnership Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management Coordination Technical Support

8.

Management Arrangements (continuation)

HNEC was established with UN assistance. The relevant legislation provided for a total of nine commissioners. At the present time, there are only four. The evaluation team was advised that the Commission has at its disposal a secretariat of close to 100 staff and maintains field offices in 17 locations with some 200 staff across the country. Understandably, HNEC faced a number of challenges as the organization was being built from the ground up. It took quite some time to get the staff in place. Available information suggests that 2013 was a particularly difficult year in terms of HNEC staffing. Many staff members continue to be seconded from other parts of the Libyan State machinery and are required to return to their mother departments after some time.

As the security and economic situation in Libya continued to deteriorate, in particular after mid-2014, HNEC also faced major challenges in terms of payment of staff salaries. This issue may have become even more serious in light of the recent request from HoR to HNEC to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections before February 2018. An important factor impacting negatively on the relationships was the lack of staff continuity at management level on the UN side. As per a decision of the Board, the position of LEAP CTA (along with one of the two UNEST deputies) was vacant from July 2014 until the arrival of the new CTA in July 2016. Similarly, the post of UNSMIL Chief Electoral Adviser (later renamed Principal Electoral Adviser) remained vacant from December 2015 to midJanuary 2017. These gaps resulted in a serious lack of senior leadership capacity that may also have contributed to the deteriorating relationship between HNEC and UNDP. The importance of having all senior (UNSMIL and UNDP) on board cannot be overstated. This should also be borne in mind when implementing the proposed new UNDP electoral support project.


Tag: Challenges Efficiency Election Donor relations Human and Financial resources Oversight Project and Programme management Technical Support

9.

Efficiency of Resource Use

As indicated above, a total of US$ 28,055,037. was contributed to LEAP by HNEC and a total of eight different donors. As at 31 December 2016, US$ 26,380,372 had been spent and US$ 998,791 and US$ 479,726 had been returned to HNEC and the United Kingdom. Additionally, part of the Dutch contribution was withheld due to the closure of the project in 2016. According to the UNDP country office, the remaining balances, totaling US$465,535, are in the process of being returned to the respective donors.The breakdown of expenditure by year and by donor is attached as annex 4. It shows that approximately two-thirds of the expenditures were incurred from 2012-14 when large quantities of electoral materials and equipment needed to be procured for the three electoral events that took place during this period. Of the total Libyan Government contribution of US$ 11,482,966, which had been earmarked for materials and equipment, 99.5% had been expended by the end of 2014.


Tag: Efficiency Election Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency

10.

Efficiency of Resource Use (continuation)

The Acting Chairman of HNEC provided the evaluation team with the attached analysis of the resource utilization of LEAP (annex 6). It shows that not taking into account the HNEC contribution of US$ 11,482,966, the distribution of project expenditures by output during the period 2012-14 was as follows: Output #1: Strengthening HNEC capacities 24% Output #2: Civic and voter education 6% Output #3: Enhanced access and participation in electoral processes 5%Output #3: Strengthened capacities of national media 1% Output #5: Strengthened capacity to conduct media monitoring 1% Output #6: Strengthened capacity in electoral dispute resolution 1% Output #7: Strengthened capacities to coordinate electoral security 2% Output #8: Project management 61% Total 100%.


Tag: Efficiency Election Operational Efficiency Procurement Project and Programme management

11.

Impact and Sustainability of the Project

The evaluation team concluded that LEAP was very successful in supporting HNEC in conducting free and fair democratic elections in 2012 and 2014. In fact, it is probably correct to state that absent UNDP and UNSMIL support, it is unlikely that successful elections could have been conducted given the lack of electoral experience in Libya prior to 2012. The credibility of the three electoral events is evidenced by numerous sources, including a number of international observer reports and international media as well as interviews with a cross-section of interlocutors including donors, national NGOs and the national media.

Sustainability considerations were very much in evidence. However, often they were overtaken by the immediate necessity of the project applying its significant financial, human and institutional resources to ensure the success of a particular electoral event with only secondary focus on the building of national capacity. This was entirely understandable (and in fact justified) given the short timelines under which the project operated. 


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Sustainability Civic Engagement Election Communication Knowledge management Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Capacity Building National Institutions

12.

Impact and Sustainability of the Project (continuation)

As was the case in LEAP, HNEC has also suffered as a result of staff turn-over and indeed as the result of staff members leaving for one reason or another. This may prove to pose a challenge when HNEC will be required to conduct elections again sometime in the future. A key output was voter and civic education and, as described above, significant amounts of materials has been produced by HNEC over the years with LEAP support. Whereas it may be fair to say that the voter education was successful in ensuring that voters knew how to vote, where to vote and when to vote, civic education invariably requires a longer-term sustained effort that should involve a range of actors, not just HNEC. The absence of electoral events during the dictatorship of Col. Gadhafi further emphasizes the importance of this area.


Tag: Efficiency Impact Sustainability Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Election Communication Human and Financial resources Knowledge management

Recommendations
1

UNDP, together with UNSMIL, take steps to formulate a successor project, replacing LEAP with a project aimed more at the entire electoral cycle concept. This should include many of the cycle’s post- and pre-election activities.

2

Reach out to Libyan civil society organizations to identify which are willing and capable, to participate in a domestic election observation consortium. Identify key figures among Libyan women willing and able to take leadership positions in eventual gender mainstreaming activities. Similar outreach to minority community leaders, youth, and local religious figures and to key players in the Libyan broadcast, print, and social media, to pre-identify likely partners for collaboration before and during any electoral events

3

NDP should include in the drafting process for the new project HNEC, other Libyan electoral stakeholders, as appropriate representatives from potential donors, UNSMIL, and, at a later stage, relevant partners from international NGOs (NDI, IRI, IFES, International IDEA, etc.) and possible CSO partners.

4

Recommendations for Future UN Support to Elections in Libya

All our interlocutors agreed that there will need to be a successor project after LEAP, to pick up the threads of electoral assistance. UNSMIL of course retains its mandate to support electoral processes, but it is expected to rely on UNDP for delivery of key elements of that support. We therefore strongly recommend that work begin quickly on preparation of a new project. The preliminary work on this project should be prepared in a collaborative manner, with experts from EAD, UNDP, UNSMIL, HNEC, the donors, and key actors from the other stakeholders all participating in a well-structured but not overly formal process to assess the needs, assign them priorities, and devise measure to be taken to address them. In addition, a Needs Assessment Mission or desk review by EAD should be carried out.

Whereas it is still unclear when presidential and parliamentary elections may be held, the evaluation team has taken note of the request from the President of HoR to HNEC to prepare for such elections before February 2018. The team assumes that there may well also be a requirement for a constitutional referendum. UNDP’s next Election Assistance Project for Libya should focus at first more on elements in the inter-election periods of the electoral cycle. Once the initial flurry of electoral activity has subsided, the relatively peaceful period after elections must be used to help better prepare everybody for the next stages in the election cycle. This includes capacity-building for the HNEC Commissioners and senior staff; review and possible revision of electoral boundaries and constituencies; training in dispute resolution; broad civic education activities with engaged civil society organizations; development of an updated, accurate voter registry; and elaboration of a code of conduct for candidates and parties. By using the post-election and pre-election periods for training to strengthen the HNEC; polishing regulations and procedures to eliminate disputes and confusion; working with candidates and parties to position themselves for their next contests; and helping develop the media and civil society to observe and report on the next elections in a more organized, professional manner, the level of professionalism is raised across the board. The UNEST model should be retained.

It is much easier to develop and update the national voter registry (with special consideration being given to, amongst others, IDP populations) and constituency boundary delimitation when there is no election looming on the immediate horizon, and no candidates or party agents feel obliged to harass the registry canvassers. By the same token, arrangements for recruitment of staff and procurement of materials, as well as for nationwide security on Election Day, are best developed and carried out without the time pressures or political excitement of impending voting. And with a new Election Assistance Project already in place, UNDP will be positioned to ramp up quickly, if necessary, to support HNEC as it conducts a Referendum or Election.

When a country is involved in such a high-profile transition from a well-known dictator to a nascent democracy, there is always great interest on the part of would-be outside donors. Governments are usually willing, even eager, to make their contributions via a basket fund and to give the lead to the political mission and UNDP, leaving the hard part of actual implementation to the expertise of the UN family. Non-governmental organizations, however, are less inclined to follow in the UN’s wake, instead developing or exploiting their own network of contacts. It then becomes all the more valuable to develop and maintain a matrix that takes into account which donor or organization is active in which aspect of electoral preparations, with which local counterpart, in which part of the country. This matrix, which should be developed by UNSMIL as per its coordination mandate, should be accessible to all. It will help demonstrate to the national partners that every effort is being made to respond to their needs. Should there be gaps, it can be used to coordinate recruitment of necessary resources or expertise.

5

Recommendations for Future UN Support to Elections in Libya (continuation)

Against this background, the evaluation team makes the following specific recommendations:

To UNSMIL and EAD:

• Since 2013, no Needs Assessment has been undertaken by EAD. After three elections, the parameters of electoral technical assistance have changed, as has the political and electoral environment. Based on the EAD/UNDP revised guidance note on the provision of UN electoral assistance, we recommend that a needs assessment mission or desk review be performed to take account of these changes, including how they may impact on the work of HNEC and the continuing financing of its operations. 

• Also in accordance with the revised guidance note, UNSMIL should clarify what is expected as regards UN electoral assistance: - UNSMIL should begin consideration of what roles it expects to play, and clarify what it expects from UNDP and others (UNOPS, IOM, INGOs) in providing integrated UN electoral assistance. - Conditions on the ground permitting and based on the UNEST concept, UNSMIL should conduct activities in Tripoli and other location(s) as agreed among the partners. - Similarly, UNDP should endeavor to carry out its training activities in Tripoli and other location(s) as agreed among the partners, and discontinue holding workshops in Tunis.

UNSMIL should establish an early and frequent dialogue with HNEC and other Libyan authorities on what will need to be done. 

UNSMIL should ensure that appropriate, experienced mission staff is available for UNEST well before any eventual elections. 

UNEST should, to the extent possible, be collocated with HNEC, to ensure the greatest possible transparency and reinforce national ownership of the electoral process

There should be a clear understanding on division of responsibilities within UNEST, among UNSMIL, UNDP, IOM, and eventually UNOPS or other organizations. 

6

Recommendations for Future UN Support to Elections in Libya (continuation)

• UNSMIL should make sure that UNDP is informed of developments on the political side, especially those which might have an impact, positive or negative, on the eventual electoral events.

• As part of its political negotiations, UNSMIL should help its Libyan interlocutors develop an understanding of key elements of civic education which are necessary to motivate and inform their voters, and should incorporate those elements into UNEST activities.

UNSMIL should encourage Libyan authorities to develop and implement a modern, effective (but inexpensive) national voter registration system, linked if possible with national ID cards or similar technologies. The voter registry should be a permanent and constantly updated document, to preclude the need for re-registration before each election

UNSMIL should consider supporting HNEC in the development of a code of conduct for political organizations, candidates, media outlets (including social media, if possible), and civil society. - Alternatively, several codes could be considered, for each sector. - This code should cover the pre-election period, the campaigns, electoral dispute resolution, and the post-election phase. - Participants should all be encouraged to sign this Code in public, to increase peer pressure for compliance.

UNSMIL should develop an early dialogue with Libyan actors in the security sector - in the Capital and in other power centers if necessary, and if possible throughout the territory - to increase their knowledge of electoral security issues, encourage their collaboration with HNEC, and help build their capacities in this field. 

As per its mandate, UNSMIL should take on all coordination efforts as regards electoral assistance and as part of this role should convene meetings of all relevant stakeholders to begin the process of developing the next UNDP electoral assistance project. 

The coordination efforts should include the maintenance of a matrix of donor contributions, identifying which elements of the project and ancillary activities are being covered by UNDP, UNOPS, IOM, UNSMIL, NGOs such as IFES, International observer organizations, CSOs, women’s groups, youth, media, etc. 

7

Recommendations for Future UN Support to Elections in Libya (continuation)

To UNDP and the Libya Country Office:

• Based on the recommendations and findings of the NAM or desk review, we recommend that UNDP, together with UNSMIL, take steps to formulate a successor project, replacing LEAP with a project aimed more at the entire electoral cycle concept. This should include many of the cycle’s post- and pre-election activities, such as: - The legal framework, including procedures and regulations for voting as well as provisions for possible establishment of political parties, - Discussion of electoral systems and constituency boundaries, - Planning for recruitment and logistics as well as electoral security, - Civic education programmes (especially concerning an eventual constitution) to raise public awareness and motivate increased voter turnout, - Development of an updated, nimble voter registration process, giving special consideration to, amongst others, the IDP populations, - Provision of advisory support and technical assistance to the HNEC in its relationship with domestic observation organizations, and - Continuing capacity building and regional networking for HNEC.

• Under the guidance of HNEC, - Reach out to Libyan civil society organizations to identify which are willing and capable, to participate in a domestic election observation consortium. Provision of appropriate training well in advance of the elections themselves. - Identify key figures among Libyan women (candidates and party leaders, doctors/nurses, activists) willing and able to take leadership positions in eventual gender mainstreaming activities. - Similar outreach to minority community leaders, youth, and local religious figures and to key players in the Libyan broadcast, print, and social media, to pre-identify likely partners for collaboration before and during any electoral events. 

• UNSMIL/UNDP should include in the drafting process for the new project - HNEC, - Other Libyan electoral stakeholders, as appropriate o representatives from potential donors, - UNSMIL, o And, at a later stage, relevant partners from international NGOs (NDI, IRI, IFES, International IDEA, etc.) and possible CSO partners.

• This successor project should have a short-term component (perhaps one or two years) and a longer, five-year component, to address differing phases of the eventual election process in the overall election cycle. - Provision should be expressly included for revision of this project no later than after two or three years, to reflect changed circumstances without requiring negotiation of a completely new project. - As much as possible, project activities should take place in Tripoli. - Donors should be encouraged to make contributions to either or both of these components, through a unified basket fund solely for the project. Donor earmarks for specific activities or procurement should ideally be kept to a minimum.

• Subject to a broader political analysis, donors and UNDP should consider provisions for interim budgetary support to HNEC, if needed, for payment of local salaries of key staff for a limited period, to ensure adequate personnel are on board should a short-notice election be called.

• Project Management should include o a Project Advisory Board, meeting at senior level perhaps once every quarter to determine activities, policy and procedures as required, o As well as a less formal, lower-level Technical Committee which would be empowered to meet once a month, or on an ad hoc basis as required, to take technical decisions on ongoing issues and activities. o Both these bodies should be supported by HNEC and/or UNDP, with accurate records before and after their meetings.

8

Recommendations for Future UN Support to Elections in Libya (continuation)

To HNEC (and other Libyan authorities):

• HNEC should participate actively, from their inception, in the drafting discussions for the new project, making sure that HNEC concerns, requirements and desires are well understood throughout the process. To this end, HNEC should identify specific persons at both senior level (Commissioners) and working level (HNEC staff) empowered to participate in the drafting and to accept suggestions, ad ref to HNEC leadership for final approval. 

• Likewise, HNEC should identify specific persons to participate in the eventual Project Advisory Board and the Technical Committee, and empower them to speak on behalf of HNEC and to take decisions on matters at their level of authority. 

• Specific requirements, especially those with financial implications, should be identified in early discussions and must be agreed among the parties preparing the project prior to its being finalized, based on UNDP rules and regulations. 

• All Libyan authorities should reiterate their support for the independence and autonomy of the HNEC. Nonetheless, adequate provision must be made in the Libyan national budget process, on an ongoing basis, for HNEC’s requirements in terms of personnel, infrastructure, and materiel. HNEC is welcome to pool some or all of these resources with that of international donors in the Project Basket Fund, as it sees fit.

• Libyan authorities should identify any other agency or Ministry at national and/or local level with which UNSMIL and UNDP should consult or coordinate regarding the electoral cycle, explaining how it relates to the role played by HNEC.

9

Recommendations for Future UN Support to Elections in Libya (continuation)

To Libyan Civil Society:

• All engaged citizens are called to participate actively, according to their respective roles, in the country’s electoral processes. Civil Society organizations in particular have a major role to play in developing and implementing procedures to increase public awareness of the constitutional and political issues being decided, to observe the elections, and to promote gender equality and youth and minority community participation

• Likewise, civil society is encouraged to step forward with requests or recommendations for activities which help boost the effectiveness of the election project, raise voter participation, and increase public confidence in the outcome. 

To International NGOs:

• There are well-defined areas in which international non-governmental organizations can be active in support of a country’s transition to democracy, and all interested organizations are encouraged to return to Libya (once the security situation permits) and participate in the country’s democratic development. 

• All such activities related to elections should be conducted in coordination with HNEC and UNSMIL, and UNDP should be informed of their nature and scope. 

1. Recommendation:

UNDP, together with UNSMIL, take steps to formulate a successor project, replacing LEAP with a project aimed more at the entire electoral cycle concept. This should include many of the cycle’s post- and pre-election activities.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

UNDP proposes a three-year electoral assistance project implemented through the UNDP and UNSMIL integrated electoral support team. The project, named “Promoting Elections for the People of Libya (PEPOL), is designed in the spirit of cooperation, national interest and ownership, and is to be implemented with HNEC as the co-chair of the project board which approves all project workplans.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Support HNEC in the planning, preparation and conduct of national and local elections and out of country voting.
[Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2018/08/29]
Program Coordination unit 2020/11 Completed First phase of activities; project document and cost sharing signing. This action is ongoing as part of the working plan of the project "Promoting Election for the People of Libya Elections "(PEPOL)" 2018-2020 History
Develop HNEC institutional and staff capacities and raise awareness on the requirements of electoral processes that are transparent, credible and promote inclusive participation
[Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2018/08/29]
Program Coordination unit 2020/11 Completed First phase of activities; project document and cost sharing signing. This action is ongoing as part of the working plan of the project "Promoting Election for the People of Libya Elections "(PEPOL)" 2018-2020 History
Promote public participation in electoral processes, targeting vulnerable groups with activities that enable them to exercise their right to vote.
[Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2018/08/29]
Program Coordination unit 2020/11 Completed First phase of activities; project document and cost sharing signing. This action is ongoing as part of the working plan of the project "Promoting Election for the People of Libya Elections "(PEPOL)" 2018-2020 History
Raising the electoral awareness of local partners, enabling them to perform their role effectively in the electoral process and contribute to a peaceful electoral environment
[Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2018/08/29]
Program Coordination unit 2020/11 Completed First phase of activities; project document and cost sharing signing. This action is ongoing as part of the working plan of the project "Promoting Election for the People of Libya Elections "(PEPOL)" 2018-2020 History
2. Recommendation:

Reach out to Libyan civil society organizations to identify which are willing and capable, to participate in a domestic election observation consortium. Identify key figures among Libyan women willing and able to take leadership positions in eventual gender mainstreaming activities. Similar outreach to minority community leaders, youth, and local religious figures and to key players in the Libyan broadcast, print, and social media, to pre-identify likely partners for collaboration before and during any electoral events

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

In partnership with HNEC, the UNDP will implement CSO oriented specific activities. HNEC has gained the confidence and support of many civil society organizations, including local organizations interested in election observation, as well as organizations promoting the rights of people with special needs. Also, the new PEPOL project seeks to promote public participation in electoral processes through interventions that target and enable vulnerable groups to exercise their right to vote.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Support the implementation of HNEC’s voter and civic education strategy through increased engagement with key stakeholders including representatives of vulnerable groups
[Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2018/08/29]
Program Coordination unit 2020/11 Completed First phase of activities; project document and cost sharing signing. This action is ongoing as part of the working plan of the project "Promoting Election for the People of Libya Elections "(PEPOL)" 2018-2020. History
Support and advocate for the strengthening of both the newly established women empowerment unit and supporting peoples with disability unit
[Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2018/11/27]
Program Coordination unit 2020/11 Completed First phase of activities; project document and cost sharing signing. This action is initiated as part of the working plan of the project "Promoting Election for the People of Libya Elections "(PEPOL)" 2018-2020. History
Support the design, development and implementation of inclusive civic and voter education and awareness campaigns and materials
[Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2018/11/27]
Program Coordination unit 2020/11 No Longer Applicable [Justification: This action is initiated as part of the working plan of the project "Promoting Election for the People of Libya Elections "(PEPOL)" 2018-2020. The elections were posponed for 2019, due to the revamped conflict from August. The CO closes 2018 by supporting HNEC on the design, development of the voter registration system. Only for 2018 this action is no longer applicable. However, the 2019 action plan attempts to include civic and voter education and awareness campaigns and materials. The new CPD evaluation plan 2019-2020 includes a project related evaluation. Actions will be upated in the ERC platform accordingly. ]
First phase of activities; project document and cost sharing signing. History
Generate data and analysis to enhance the electoral process including data on IDPs and out of country voters.
[Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2018/11/27]
Program Coordination unit 2020/11 No Longer Applicable [Justification: First phase of activities; project document and cost sharing signing. This action is initiated as part of the working plan of the project "Promoting Election for the People of Libya Elections "(PEPOL)" 2018-2020. The elections were posponed for 2019, due to the revamped conflict from Auguts. The CO closes 2018 by supporting HNEC on the design, development of the voter registration system. Only for 2018 this action is no longer applicable. However, the 2019 action plan attempts to keep supporting teh second sateg of the voter registration to generate data and analysis to enhance the electoral proces. The new CPD evaluation plan 2019-2020 includes a project related evaluation. Actions will be upated in the ERC platform accordingly.]
First phase of activities; project document and cost sharing signing. This action is initiated as part of the working plan of the project "Promoting Election for the People of Libya Elections "(PEPOL)" 2018-2020 History
3. Recommendation:

NDP should include in the drafting process for the new project HNEC, other Libyan electoral stakeholders, as appropriate representatives from potential donors, UNSMIL, and, at a later stage, relevant partners from international NGOs (NDI, IRI, IFES, International IDEA, etc.) and possible CSO partners.

Management Response: [Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

: The PEPOL project included a specific result seeking to raise the electoral awareness of local partners and institutions, enabling them to perform their roles effectively in the electoral process and contribute to a peaceful electoral environment.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Supporting HNEC’s Board and legal department to develop regulations and procedures that can facilitate conducting elections in accordance with international standards and principles
[Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2018/08/29]
Program Coordination unit 2020/11 Completed First phase of activities; project document and cost sharing signing. This action is ongoing as part of the working plan of the project "Promoting Election for the People of Libya Elections "(PEPOL)" 2018-2020 History
Support development of codes of conduct for key electoral stakeholders
[Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2018/08/29]
Program Coordination unit 2020/11 Completed First phase of activities; project document and cost sharing signing. This action is ongoing as part of the working plan of the project "Promoting Election for the People of Libya Elections "(PEPOL)" 2018-2020 History
Facilitate communication, planning and coordination between HNEC and authorities directly related to the electoral process.
[Added: 2017/11/24] [Last Updated: 2018/08/29]
Program Coordination unit 2020/11 Completed First phase of activities; project document and cost sharing signing. This action is ongoing as part of the working plan of the project "Promoting Election for the People of Libya Elections "(PEPOL)" 2018-2020 History
4. Recommendation:

Recommendations for Future UN Support to Elections in Libya

All our interlocutors agreed that there will need to be a successor project after LEAP, to pick up the threads of electoral assistance. UNSMIL of course retains its mandate to support electoral processes, but it is expected to rely on UNDP for delivery of key elements of that support. We therefore strongly recommend that work begin quickly on preparation of a new project. The preliminary work on this project should be prepared in a collaborative manner, with experts from EAD, UNDP, UNSMIL, HNEC, the donors, and key actors from the other stakeholders all participating in a well-structured but not overly formal process to assess the needs, assign them priorities, and devise measure to be taken to address them. In addition, a Needs Assessment Mission or desk review by EAD should be carried out.

Whereas it is still unclear when presidential and parliamentary elections may be held, the evaluation team has taken note of the request from the President of HoR to HNEC to prepare for such elections before February 2018. The team assumes that there may well also be a requirement for a constitutional referendum. UNDP’s next Election Assistance Project for Libya should focus at first more on elements in the inter-election periods of the electoral cycle. Once the initial flurry of electoral activity has subsided, the relatively peaceful period after elections must be used to help better prepare everybody for the next stages in the election cycle. This includes capacity-building for the HNEC Commissioners and senior staff; review and possible revision of electoral boundaries and constituencies; training in dispute resolution; broad civic education activities with engaged civil society organizations; development of an updated, accurate voter registry; and elaboration of a code of conduct for candidates and parties. By using the post-election and pre-election periods for training to strengthen the HNEC; polishing regulations and procedures to eliminate disputes and confusion; working with candidates and parties to position themselves for their next contests; and helping develop the media and civil society to observe and report on the next elections in a more organized, professional manner, the level of professionalism is raised across the board. The UNEST model should be retained.

It is much easier to develop and update the national voter registry (with special consideration being given to, amongst others, IDP populations) and constituency boundary delimitation when there is no election looming on the immediate horizon, and no candidates or party agents feel obliged to harass the registry canvassers. By the same token, arrangements for recruitment of staff and procurement of materials, as well as for nationwide security on Election Day, are best developed and carried out without the time pressures or political excitement of impending voting. And with a new Election Assistance Project already in place, UNDP will be positioned to ramp up quickly, if necessary, to support HNEC as it conducts a Referendum or Election.

When a country is involved in such a high-profile transition from a well-known dictator to a nascent democracy, there is always great interest on the part of would-be outside donors. Governments are usually willing, even eager, to make their contributions via a basket fund and to give the lead to the political mission and UNDP, leaving the hard part of actual implementation to the expertise of the UN family. Non-governmental organizations, however, are less inclined to follow in the UN’s wake, instead developing or exploiting their own network of contacts. It then becomes all the more valuable to develop and maintain a matrix that takes into account which donor or organization is active in which aspect of electoral preparations, with which local counterpart, in which part of the country. This matrix, which should be developed by UNSMIL as per its coordination mandate, should be accessible to all. It will help demonstrate to the national partners that every effort is being made to respond to their needs. Should there be gaps, it can be used to coordinate recruitment of necessary resources or expertise.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/25] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
There will be a second Phase of the LEAP project . This second phase is called Promoting Elections for the People of Libya (PEPOL)
[Added: 2021/04/15]
Country Director 2017/01 Completed
5. Recommendation:

Recommendations for Future UN Support to Elections in Libya (continuation)

Against this background, the evaluation team makes the following specific recommendations:

To UNSMIL and EAD:

• Since 2013, no Needs Assessment has been undertaken by EAD. After three elections, the parameters of electoral technical assistance have changed, as has the political and electoral environment. Based on the EAD/UNDP revised guidance note on the provision of UN electoral assistance, we recommend that a needs assessment mission or desk review be performed to take account of these changes, including how they may impact on the work of HNEC and the continuing financing of its operations. 

• Also in accordance with the revised guidance note, UNSMIL should clarify what is expected as regards UN electoral assistance: - UNSMIL should begin consideration of what roles it expects to play, and clarify what it expects from UNDP and others (UNOPS, IOM, INGOs) in providing integrated UN electoral assistance. - Conditions on the ground permitting and based on the UNEST concept, UNSMIL should conduct activities in Tripoli and other location(s) as agreed among the partners. - Similarly, UNDP should endeavor to carry out its training activities in Tripoli and other location(s) as agreed among the partners, and discontinue holding workshops in Tunis.

UNSMIL should establish an early and frequent dialogue with HNEC and other Libyan authorities on what will need to be done. 

UNSMIL should ensure that appropriate, experienced mission staff is available for UNEST well before any eventual elections. 

UNEST should, to the extent possible, be collocated with HNEC, to ensure the greatest possible transparency and reinforce national ownership of the electoral process

There should be a clear understanding on division of responsibilities within UNEST, among UNSMIL, UNDP, IOM, and eventually UNOPS or other organizations. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/25] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNSMIL conducted related assessments for election needs in Libya
[Added: 2021/04/15]
UNSML 2017/01 Completed
6. Recommendation:

Recommendations for Future UN Support to Elections in Libya (continuation)

• UNSMIL should make sure that UNDP is informed of developments on the political side, especially those which might have an impact, positive or negative, on the eventual electoral events.

• As part of its political negotiations, UNSMIL should help its Libyan interlocutors develop an understanding of key elements of civic education which are necessary to motivate and inform their voters, and should incorporate those elements into UNEST activities.

UNSMIL should encourage Libyan authorities to develop and implement a modern, effective (but inexpensive) national voter registration system, linked if possible with national ID cards or similar technologies. The voter registry should be a permanent and constantly updated document, to preclude the need for re-registration before each election

UNSMIL should consider supporting HNEC in the development of a code of conduct for political organizations, candidates, media outlets (including social media, if possible), and civil society. - Alternatively, several codes could be considered, for each sector. - This code should cover the pre-election period, the campaigns, electoral dispute resolution, and the post-election phase. - Participants should all be encouraged to sign this Code in public, to increase peer pressure for compliance.

UNSMIL should develop an early dialogue with Libyan actors in the security sector - in the Capital and in other power centers if necessary, and if possible throughout the territory - to increase their knowledge of electoral security issues, encourage their collaboration with HNEC, and help build their capacities in this field. 

As per its mandate, UNSMIL should take on all coordination efforts as regards electoral assistance and as part of this role should convene meetings of all relevant stakeholders to begin the process of developing the next UNDP electoral assistance project. 

The coordination efforts should include the maintenance of a matrix of donor contributions, identifying which elements of the project and ancillary activities are being covered by UNDP, UNOPS, IOM, UNSMIL, NGOs such as IFES, International observer organizations, CSOs, women’s groups, youth, media, etc. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/25] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Coordination within UNSMIL and UNDP is strengthened,
[Added: 2021/04/15]
UNSMIL and UNDP 2017/01 Completed
7. Recommendation:

Recommendations for Future UN Support to Elections in Libya (continuation)

To UNDP and the Libya Country Office:

• Based on the recommendations and findings of the NAM or desk review, we recommend that UNDP, together with UNSMIL, take steps to formulate a successor project, replacing LEAP with a project aimed more at the entire electoral cycle concept. This should include many of the cycle’s post- and pre-election activities, such as: - The legal framework, including procedures and regulations for voting as well as provisions for possible establishment of political parties, - Discussion of electoral systems and constituency boundaries, - Planning for recruitment and logistics as well as electoral security, - Civic education programmes (especially concerning an eventual constitution) to raise public awareness and motivate increased voter turnout, - Development of an updated, nimble voter registration process, giving special consideration to, amongst others, the IDP populations, - Provision of advisory support and technical assistance to the HNEC in its relationship with domestic observation organizations, and - Continuing capacity building and regional networking for HNEC.

• Under the guidance of HNEC, - Reach out to Libyan civil society organizations to identify which are willing and capable, to participate in a domestic election observation consortium. Provision of appropriate training well in advance of the elections themselves. - Identify key figures among Libyan women (candidates and party leaders, doctors/nurses, activists) willing and able to take leadership positions in eventual gender mainstreaming activities. - Similar outreach to minority community leaders, youth, and local religious figures and to key players in the Libyan broadcast, print, and social media, to pre-identify likely partners for collaboration before and during any electoral events. 

• UNSMIL/UNDP should include in the drafting process for the new project - HNEC, - Other Libyan electoral stakeholders, as appropriate o representatives from potential donors, - UNSMIL, o And, at a later stage, relevant partners from international NGOs (NDI, IRI, IFES, International IDEA, etc.) and possible CSO partners.

• This successor project should have a short-term component (perhaps one or two years) and a longer, five-year component, to address differing phases of the eventual election process in the overall election cycle. - Provision should be expressly included for revision of this project no later than after two or three years, to reflect changed circumstances without requiring negotiation of a completely new project. - As much as possible, project activities should take place in Tripoli. - Donors should be encouraged to make contributions to either or both of these components, through a unified basket fund solely for the project. Donor earmarks for specific activities or procurement should ideally be kept to a minimum.

• Subject to a broader political analysis, donors and UNDP should consider provisions for interim budgetary support to HNEC, if needed, for payment of local salaries of key staff for a limited period, to ensure adequate personnel are on board should a short-notice election be called.

• Project Management should include o a Project Advisory Board, meeting at senior level perhaps once every quarter to determine activities, policy and procedures as required, o As well as a less formal, lower-level Technical Committee which would be empowered to meet once a month, or on an ad hoc basis as required, to take technical decisions on ongoing issues and activities. o Both these bodies should be supported by HNEC and/or UNDP, with accurate records before and after their meetings.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/25] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
There will be a second Phase of the LEAP project . This second phase is called Promoting Elections for the People of Libya (PEPOL)
[Added: 2021/04/15]
UNDP 2017/01 Completed
8. Recommendation:

Recommendations for Future UN Support to Elections in Libya (continuation)

To HNEC (and other Libyan authorities):

• HNEC should participate actively, from their inception, in the drafting discussions for the new project, making sure that HNEC concerns, requirements and desires are well understood throughout the process. To this end, HNEC should identify specific persons at both senior level (Commissioners) and working level (HNEC staff) empowered to participate in the drafting and to accept suggestions, ad ref to HNEC leadership for final approval. 

• Likewise, HNEC should identify specific persons to participate in the eventual Project Advisory Board and the Technical Committee, and empower them to speak on behalf of HNEC and to take decisions on matters at their level of authority. 

• Specific requirements, especially those with financial implications, should be identified in early discussions and must be agreed among the parties preparing the project prior to its being finalized, based on UNDP rules and regulations. 

• All Libyan authorities should reiterate their support for the independence and autonomy of the HNEC. Nonetheless, adequate provision must be made in the Libyan national budget process, on an ongoing basis, for HNEC’s requirements in terms of personnel, infrastructure, and materiel. HNEC is welcome to pool some or all of these resources with that of international donors in the Project Basket Fund, as it sees fit.

• Libyan authorities should identify any other agency or Ministry at national and/or local level with which UNSMIL and UNDP should consult or coordinate regarding the electoral cycle, explaining how it relates to the role played by HNEC.

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/25] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Inclusive process with HNEC to design the new elections project
[Added: 2021/04/15]
UNDP 2017/01 Completed
9. Recommendation:

Recommendations for Future UN Support to Elections in Libya (continuation)

To Libyan Civil Society:

• All engaged citizens are called to participate actively, according to their respective roles, in the country’s electoral processes. Civil Society organizations in particular have a major role to play in developing and implementing procedures to increase public awareness of the constitutional and political issues being decided, to observe the elections, and to promote gender equality and youth and minority community participation

• Likewise, civil society is encouraged to step forward with requests or recommendations for activities which help boost the effectiveness of the election project, raise voter participation, and increase public confidence in the outcome. 

To International NGOs:

• There are well-defined areas in which international non-governmental organizations can be active in support of a country’s transition to democracy, and all interested organizations are encouraged to return to Libya (once the security situation permits) and participate in the country’s democratic development. 

• All such activities related to elections should be conducted in coordination with HNEC and UNSMIL, and UNDP should be informed of their nature and scope. 

Management Response: [Added: 2021/01/25] [Last Updated: 2021/01/30]

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Inclusiveness of INGO and NGOs in Libya for the election process
[Added: 2021/04/15]
UNSMIL and UNDP 2017/01 Completed

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