Core Concepts - Internal UNDP Assessment
Electoral assistance programmes are often accompanied by a significant increase in non-core resources. Since most programmes are conducted under direct execution or implementation modalities, UNDP country offices need to consider assessing internal capacities to mobilize, manage and report on resources. Even if conducted under national execution/implementation modalities, UNDP country offices still need to assess their internal capacities, particularly when large programmes are involved.
Capacities to juggle potentially significant increases in managerial, programmatic and operational workloads should also be factored in. This is especially important in post-conflict settings where national EMBs may be newly constituted, understaffed and/or equipped with limited capacities.
Other capacity demands come when UNDP manages pooled resources contributed by the international community. It may also be asked to recruit and fund temporary national and international elections support staff, and carry out procurement of major election equipment.
Aspects to assess
In preparing for increases in resources and activities, UNDP country offices should consider an internal capacity assessment that:
Since this process might lead to comprehensive changes in the country office, it is essential to start preparing staff as early as possible. To help design and manage the change process, offices might consider involving UNDP’s Management Consulting Team. In some cases, such as Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, donors have been willing to contribute resources to UNDP specifically to bolster in-house capacities.
Country cases: Democratic Republic of the Congo
In the 2005/2006 electoral process in the Democratic Republic of Congo, UNDP—in partnership with the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) and other donors contributing to the electoral support basket fund—provided critical technical, financial and material support to the national EMB. The programme became an example of the potentially huge scale of this kind of intervention. Programme resources rose from US $66 million in 2004 to US $272 million in 2006. During this period, UNDP issued over 1,220 national and international contracts, involving more than 350 international experts and carried out procurement activities totaling approximately US $200 million.
This support enabled the registration of 25.7 million voters throughout the country, and the organization and holding of a constitutional referendum, and presidential and National Assembly elections. About 300,000 electoral agents were trained and 50,000 voting stations established. Joint donor programmes managed by UNDP equipped and trained the National Congolese Police to ensure the security of the electoral process, and key judicial bodies such as the Supreme Court of Justice and courts of appeal in the provinces.
In 2007, UNDP and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, based on a request from the UK’s Department for International Development, assessed UNDP capacity development needs to manage and implement the 2007-2011 governance programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It probed a variety of managerial, programmatic and operational issues, and prepared a detailed budgeted action plan that may be a useful reference point for other country offices. See the final report and other documents for preparing the assessment.