United States Embassy Niamey
October 7, 2015
U.S. Government Elections Support in Niger
Five years after the return of their country to democratic rule, Nigeriens will go back to the polls in early 2016 for presidential, parliamentary, and local elections. The 2016 elections in Niger are an excellent opportunity for the country to reaffirm its support for a peaceful electoral process and continued democratic transition.
The United States supports strong democratic institutions and believes that these are best achieved in an environment of sustained political stability allowing for the success of credible, competitive elections. The United States Government is providing support for the electoral process in Niger through a number of foreign assistance activities.
The U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States Embassy in Niamey will be providing approximately $2.45 million for the immediate elections preparations through four projects:
- USAID in partnership with the Overseas Development Institute and LASDEL, is conducting a six-month Political Economy Analysis Action Research (PEA) project ($150,000) that aims to provide a better understanding of the informal dynamics that drive the behavior behind electoral accountability and public administration in Niger. The project conducts research on elections and citizen priorities and facilitates the distribution of the research findings and dialogue around these issues to the Nigerien public, key local stakeholders, political parties, and international organizations. In addition, the project works with local researchers to build their capacity to conduct action-oriented research on how the government and political parties can respond to public priorities.
- USAID, in collaboration with the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), launched a five-year project: Mitigating Electoral Violence through National Early Warning Systems (NEWS). NEWS aims to mitigate electoral violence through national early warning systems. This regional project ($500,000 in Niger) monitors, analyzes, and reports elections-related violence during the electoral process in order to create a more secure and peaceful environment for Nigerien citizens.
- USAID is also supporting broader participation in the democratic process through the launch of a new project entitled the Participatory Responsive Governance Project (PRG). One of the activities included in PRG is focusing on supporting efforts government and citizen responsiveness to public needs in order to increase citizen confidence in the state. This 16-month activity of up to $1.8 million will center on mobilizing political parties to respond to the priorities of Nigerien citizens. The PRG also focuses on supporting the inclusion of marginalized groups such as youth and women in the political and electoral process, increasing political parties’ understanding of the electoral process, and improving media coverage of political party platforms during the electoral process.
- The United States Embassy in Niamey has also awarded a grant of almost $25,000 to the Niger YALI Association to conduct an outreach caravan that raises public awareness about civic responsibilities and youth participation in the electoral process.