Évaluation finale - Assistance électorale

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2015-2020, Tunisia
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
Completion Date:
Management Response:
Evaluation Budget(US $):


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Title Évaluation finale - Assistance électorale
Atlas Project Number: 00088815
Evaluation Plan: 2015-2020, Tunisia
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 09/2020
Planned End Date: 11/2020
Management Response: No
UNDP Signature Solution:
  • 1. Governance
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 3.2.2 National and local systems enabled and communities empowered to ensure the restoration of justice institutions, redress mechanisms and community security
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 $): 15,000
Source of Funding: CS Resources
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 13,800
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Geoffrey Weichselbaum Evaluator gweichselbaum@gmail.com
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: TUNISIA

1. Outline a gender strategy in the project document or develop it in the early stages of the project implementations to offer clear directions on how to support national counterparts in their
addressing of gender equality with the aim of ensuring equal rights for women and men, as well as the equal visibility, empowerment, responsibility and participation in all spheres of public and professional life.


2. Outline an explicit theory of change: the project document underlying theory of change was valid but not explicitly outlined. A theory of change should be integrated in future project documents to assess whether the allocated resources contribute to the project objective(s), outputs and effects.


3. Review the program framework to reflect new realities: a review of the overall project intended outputs, indicative activities, and other relevant elements would have reflected the new reality that emerged at the middle of the project implementation, especially the challenges faced by the ISIE.
Although some project documents mentioned that new reality (the Project Board meetings, annual work  plans, project quarterly and annual reports), adapting the program document would have aligned better the ISIE new reality with the TEAP. It would have offered a better support planning framework and offered a better foundation for the TEAP project evaluation.


4. Take into account the lessons learned from the difficulties to raise funds. The fundraising strategy should ensure that all relevant UNDP instances at national, regional and HQ levels, as well as the UN EAD, are actively involved to avoid discontinuity of funds. This includes raising awareness of funding partners on the value of supporting electoral authorities through an electoral cycle approach. The uncertainties and ultimately TEAP funds discontinuity led to gaps in filling advisors’ positions, resulting in increased workload on the existing advisors. Filling these positions would have allowed for better support in particular to the ISIE external communication and public outreach activities.


5. Project strategic guidance: national counterparts and funding partners expressed satisfaction with the strategic directions formulation through the preparations and holding of the Board meetings.
However, the Italian cooperation representative would propose that the UNDP plays a larger role in funding partners’ coordination on election related matters. The Swiss cooperation representatives noted that they would welcome being more closely associated with decisions on major project orientations.


6. Coordination amongst electoral support implementers: that coordination was ‘organic’ in the words of one interviewee but not regular and systematic. It relied on prior professional relationships of these organizations representatives. It is advised to start again regular formal coordination meetings with electoral stakeholders and direct electoral support implementers in Tunisia. This would also be necessary in view of the changing staff and arrival of new players, such as the Council of Europe new project funded by the EU in support of independent authorities, including the ISIE and the HAICA.


1. The TEAP project was a valuable and relevant electoral support project over the 2015-2020 period, in a context of fluid democratic transition. The project provided technical assistance, training and equipment to help the ISIE and the HAICA, two new independent institutions, to better implement their mandate. The support to longer-established institutions such as the Court of Auditors and the Administrative Tribunal, although at a smaller scale, was equally beneficial. This took place through targeted interventions both at the level of ICT infrastructure and solutions as well as technical expertise and exchange between practitioners.


2. The project intervention supported the holding of democratic local and national elections in 2018 and 2019, in a context of political and at time legal uncertainties that complicated the work of electoral authorities. In particular for the ISIE, the support around elections came at a time of important internal challenges that could have had very negative repercussions on the elections conduct.


3. The main impact of results is always imprecise due to the length of the period covered by this evaluation and multiple factors influencing impacts, but key TEAP accomplishments include:
• Supported through the ISIE the adoption of a legal framework based on international human rights obligations for local democratic elections, advised on the amendment of other aspects of the election law, sometimes with limited times and high political stakes. Advised the HAICA on important draft laws such as those on the future audio-visual Authority, and other legislations impacting elections. This support benefited the Parliament that called the project for hearings and analysis.
• Supported the drafting of ISIE regulations and ISIE/HAICA joint decisions on the audio-visual media during campaigns, with a view of being replicable for future elections.
• Produced a large number of targeted user-friendly publications, such as memos, guides, training manuals, questions and answers documentation that have a high sustainability value.
• Provided electoral equipment in 2018 and 2019 that the electoral stakeholders could not purchase due to lack of funds or inadequate procurement procedures.
• Facilitated some strategic solutions for the ISIE, such as the strategic plan (whose
implementation was limited) and the drafting and adoption of the internal staff rules in 2016 that contributed to stabilize human resources questions.
• Provided structural ICT solutions (ICT security, ERP, …) and thematic technical tools that will sustainably improve the quality of aspects of the elections such as the control of campaign finances, media monitoring, disinformation monitoring, etc.
• Even if that was not the intended outcome, many of the IT solutions will contribute to better
collaboration inside and between electoral institutions, at times of reduced physical interaction and social distancing due to the Covid19 pandemic.
• On the shortcomings side, due to the challenges inside the ISIE, the project could not deliver on supporting the external communications, civil and voter education outreach aspects which were highlighted by election observers’ groups as deficient during 2018 and 2019 elections.
• A number of institutional capacity building activities could not be held as a result of the ISIE
internal challenges, resulting in the limited strategic planning capacities, limited technical
capacities transfer to ISIE HQ staff, while trainings at ISIE and IRIE levels around elections were effective, as attested by electoral observers groups assessments.


4. The overall project management was good and could benefit from the accumulated experience from the previous SEPT project. Project international and national staff are recognized by all interviewees as very professional and able to adapt to changing situations. This constituted a key positive assessment of the project evaluation. Lack of continuous collocation with the ISIE was not an issue, while in reality there were periods when project advisors were working for weeks, especially around elections, in the ISIE premises. TEAP is therefore a good example of the importance of positive and close interaction with national counterparts.


5. An indication of good national ownership of the process was the overall maturity of working relationship with the project advisors and consultants where national stakeholders seemed in many cases to know what they needed and how the TEAP project could support these needs.


6. A review of the program framework with an adaptation of the overall intended outputs and indicative activities could have been undertaken to reflect the new reality of the ISIE that emerged in mid 2017 at the middle of the project implementation and affected TEAP ability to fully pursue the two project outputs.


7. TEAP fundraising has been a challenge that brought uncertainties, which have affected the project efficiency, although the project team showed a lot of professionalism and sought the least damaging solutions during the one-year period between 2018 and 2019 when the project downscaled due to lack of funds.


8. After more than eight years of international electoral support, there is no exit strategy in place to phase out the assistance over time. In view of the multiple challenges posed by the evolving reality of the democratic transition, it is still premature to significantly reduce this assistance. As noted in previous points, new challenges have emerged at a time when institutions and democratic culture still need to grow deeper roots.


Stay engaged and support electoral stakeholders in order to further develop and integrate the progress already achieved through TEAP and other international electoral support projects. Continue to implement a differentiated approach to different stakeholders, in line with their capacities of integration, their needs and requested assistance.


2. At the same time, help national stakeholders such as the ISIE that needed direct support that substituted missing capacities during 2018 and 2019 elections to move away from that model,
which bears the risks of counter productive dependency. While continuing to keep the right distance in order not to become part of internal differences, be ready to continue advising and providing solutions to the ISIE, including through trainings and legal reforms, to overcome internal managerial and organizational challenges. At the same time, continue strategic support actions such as institutional strategic planning and its implementation.


3. Continue following an electoral cycle approach to future support in order to ensure that it contributes to long-term incremental capacity increase. This will also ensure that the project operates in synchronisation with larger democratic transition developments that impact the electoral support.


4. Continue supporting high value actions reinforcing institutional structures and mechanisms such as ICT solutions and infrastructure. Integrate into that support needs arising from prolonged situations of social distancing and more limited human interactions as a result of Covid19 pandemic.


5. Integrate into future support, legislative, regulatory, institutional and practical changes related to the recommendations from national and international election observation missions. A number of recommendations have been similar for the 2018 and 2019 elections43 and therefore require urgent action in order to improve future elections. Some of the most urgent include to:
• Strengthen the ISIE by adopting an organizational chart and revising the rules of procedure to strengthen the separation of responsibilities of the Council and the executive body;
• Evaluate the feasibility of Article 143 of the Election Law which relates to the ISIE power to cancel results;
• Clarify the notions of “political advertising”, which is largely prohibited, and of “electoral propaganda” authorized;
• Simplify the regulations concerning the access of candidate lists to audiovisual media during the legislative campaign;
• Adopt precise time limits for the control of campaign spending financing adapted to the electoral calendar and strengthen the Court of Auditors;
• Revise electoral dispute procedures in order to free them from excessive formalities while clarifying the calculation of deadlines;
• In order to promote gender equality, adopt in election Law horizontal parity at the level of the heads of lists for legislative elections;

• Strengthen the transparency on financing of paid political advertising on social networks as well as the location of account administrators, and guarantee the obligations to protect users' personal data online.


6. Continue close coordination with other international democracy support organizations, and formalize coordination with other organizations specifically those supporting electoral stakeholders. In the case of the ISIE, that includes the UNDP, IFES, international IDEA and more recently the Council of Europe.


7. Develop a realistic fundraising strategy for TEAP 2 in order to avoid the pitfalls of the TEAP 1 fundraising by ensuring that all relevant national and international UNDP levels as well as UN AED are mobilized and that funding partners understand the need for longer term electoral support in the framework of a still fragile democratic transition.


7. Develop more systematic approaches through TEAP and national counterparts strategies in order to better support gender equality, in legal and regulatory frameworks as well as in practice.


8. Develop specific activities aimed at furthering inclusion of voters and their participation in political life, such as for women, the youth, handicapped as well as other vulnerable groups. These elements are commented in the following section related to TEAP 2 project.


9. Develop specific activities aimed at addressing in law and practice the role of social media prior and during electoral periods, as well as projects countering disinformation. These elements are commented in the following section related to TEAP 2 project.

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