Elections provide an opportunity for voters to choose their representatives.
Since independence, 11 national general elections have been successfully delivered by the national authorities of Solomon Islands. While there is a strong commitment to elections and democracy, the system faces some challenges and the Solomon Islands authorities requested the support of the United Nations (UN) to receive electoral assistance. These requests were followed by UN Needs Assessment Missions (3 occasions), which recommended the setting up of UNDP electoral assistance project.
The first phase of Strengthening the Electoral Cycle in the Solomon Islands Project (SECSIP) commenced in July 2013 and ended in June 2017. A successive project phase was launched in July 2017 and is expected to end in June 2021.
SECSIP is directly implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in close partnership with the Electoral Commission (SIEC) and its secretariat, the Electoral Office. It also supports the Political Parties Commission and its Office of the Registrar. It has received financial assistance from Australia, the European Union and UNDP.
SECSIP supports the national authorities in the planning and implementation of inclusive, credible and sustainable electoral processes. SECSIP contributes to the institutional development of the electoral bodies, the enhancement of capacities on-going electoral legal reform.
The project follows an electoral cycle approach that is firmly integrated into broader aspects of democratic governance. It is structured around five development outputs:
Output 1: Sustainable voter registration system created to strengthen the inclusiveness and integrity of the electoral cycle
Output 2: More efficient and effective administrative procedures designed and implemented for SIEC to fulfill its mandate.
Output 3: National authorities and local networks have better capacity to train and educate the population on voter awareness and civic engagement.
Output 4: Electoral, legal and administrative reform supported to contribute to a stronger electoral commission and representative democracy.
Output 5: Increased capacity of communities to promote women’s political participation.
Ultimately, the project has developed synergies and partnerships with a range of national and international partners to ensure that a broader enabling environment is supported contributing to democratic development.