Service Line: UN Volunteers for electoral support

Guaranteeing fair and transparent electoral processes is a key UNV priority. Elections in fragile post-conflict environments require special organization, citizen mobilization, and technical and logistical arrangements. UNV can deploy mixed teams of international and national UN Volunteers to supervise voting stations, strengthen and mobilize communities and make sure inclusive elections take place.
In Timor-Leste, more than 2,000 UN Volunteers helped to ensure a fair and transparent electoral process. (UNV, 2009)

This service line offers a pattern of proven and effective methods to facilitate electoral organization. UNV teams are usually deployed on site and engage in training, community mobilization and logistical arrangements. They often develop strong networks of up to 1,000 additional volunteers to monitor electoral processes, depending on the country's needs.  Boosting social engagement at the grassroots level, volunteers work directly with the communities to disseminate information, promote active citizenship and broaden democratic engagement. At the same time, volunteers create networks that facilitate cooperation between stakeholders such as administration officials and authorities, security personnel, civil society organizations and human rights associations. UN Volunteers support national and international electoral observers and create an environment of trust.

UNDP staff and UN Volunteers from around the world joined our Afghanistan Country Office staff and election team to advise the Independent Elections Commission of Afghanistan on vote audit procedures. This effort, supported by the action of volunteers, made it possible for the eventual election result to be regarded as credible. 

Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator (2009-2017)

This service line builds upon successful assistance missions in Timor-Leste, Mali, Afghanistan, Kenya, South Sudan, India, Burkina Faso and many others. In Burkina Faso, 14 international UN Volunteers and 48 national UN Volunteers were recruited and sent out to different regions, including remote areas. With this volunteer support, the Commission Électorale Nationale Indépendante and all its administrative levels managed to organize free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections. Voter turn-out reached 59.9 per cent.

By promising to be committed to a cause out of one’s own free will and motivation, a volunteer connects the individual self with the society thereby benefitting and making a difference to both. Since participation in the electoral process in India is not mandatory but voluntary, it is imperative to evoke the spirit of volunteerism to contribute to the task of nation-building.

Sugandha Nagar, UN Volunteer Communication and Coordination Associate, in charge of supporting electoral management at UNDP in India

UNV works with partners to integrate qualified and highly motivated UN Volunteers into development programs and promote the value and global recognition of volunteerism. UNV mobilizes a much-needed resource for qualified young people, who are ready to make their energy and skills available for UN partners to draw upon in the pursuit of peace and development.

Broad consultations with UN entities led to the establishment of UNV service lines. These embody a set of standardized volunteer services based on standard Descriptions of Assignments dedicated to facilitate developmental efforts across UN entities.

Download our brochure on the UNV Service Line: UN Volunteers for Electoral Support

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> Last update: 27 July 2018