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UNDP is committed to long term, sustainable support to democratic development across the world and has supported its institutionalization in many African countries. UNDP has supported the elections process in Tanzania in 2000, 2005 and 2010 through building capacities in democratic institutions and supporting key democratic processes, and is now providing support for the upcoming elections in 2015.

The UNDP Democratic Empowerment Project (DEP) is a three-year project (2013-2016) designed to provide technical support and capacities to strengthen well-established partnerships between UNDP, UN agencies, the Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) - National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC), the Police, Judiciary, Registrar of Political Parties, civil society and the media, in an effort to enhance their capacity to contribute to credible, free and fair elections.

The project seeks to promote democracy and contribute to the realization of the following four outputs: i) Capacity of the key democratic institutions (EMBs, Judiciary, Registrar of Political Parties) enhanced to support and promote legal and institutional reform in the context of the on-going constitutional reform process and beyond; ii) Capacity of the EMBs to conduct credible elections enhanced through strategic, technical and operational support and improved EMB engagement with stakeholders (i.e. political parties, CSOs, and the media) to foster a democratic environment; iii) Inclusive participation in elections and politics enhanced through the empowerment of women, youth and People With Disabilities (PWDs); and iv) National peace infrastructure enhanced to mitigate and prevent election-related conflicts.

Several development partners have committed to support the project either through the One UN Fund or through a UNDP coordinated Joint Donor Basket Fund, which has assisted greatly in the start-up of the project, and in ensuring that high quality technical personnel are on board to deliver project results.

So far, UNDP has supported ZEC in updating Zanzibar’s voter register, conducting voter education, producing voter cards, and providing technical assistance for upgrading and maintaining the voter registration systems. In total, 29,660 new voters were registered and 6,792 voters’ information was updated. The registration process concluded in November 2013 and the preliminary voters list has been compiled and is scheduled for display in March 2014.