Myanmar: Support to the 2020 Elections

Switzerland contributes to credible, transparent, inclusive and free of violence or intimidation national elections in 2020 through a partnership with International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). Swiss support will facilitate inclusive reform of the electoral framework, strengthen the capacities of the Union Election Commission as well as increase information and access to electoral process with a focus on women and marginalized groups

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Democratic participation and civil society
01.12.2019 - 31.03.2022
CHF  1’500’000
Background The 2015 elections were a critical milestone in the transition from military power to civilian-led rule, they were the first free and fair elections in more than 50 years. Rising levels of competition among new and merging political parties suggest that the 2020 elections will be more contentious than the 2015 elections. As a result, it will be a bigger stress test for Myanmar’s electoral legal framework and operations. With slow legal reform, it is important for election officials to address critical vulnerabilities prior to Election Day: the Union Election Commission is mandated to conduct every five years general elections and related by-elections and has been newly composed after 2015 elections and needs support in organizing the next general elections; many voters still lack information on how to vote and don’t understand their critical role for legitimisation of authorities. 
Objectives The 2020 parliamentary elections are credible, transparent and inclusive, as an important milestone in the democratic transition of Myanmar. 
Target groups

The electorate (in particular women, marginalized voters and first time youth voters)

The Union Election Commission (UEC) Civil society supporting the electoral process

Media outlets covering the elections

Medium-term outcomes

1. The electoral framework is consolidated in line with applicable international and regional best practices and local analysis.

2. Capacity of Union Election Commis-sion as an institution and its election officials are enhanced to deliver credible and inclusive elections.

3. Voters have greater information on and access to the electoral process, particularly marginalized groups including women, ethnic commu-nities, youth, migrant workers and persons with disabilities. 


Expected results:  

1.1.   Key electoral processes are strengthened for future electoral events targeting 12 legal reforms to revise electoral procedures.

2.1.   UEC management practices are strengthened through linkages to the strategic plan and 

Results from previous phases:  

Swiss support to 2015 general elections was with 3 partners: IFES, Norwegian Peoples’ Aid for civil society strengthening and ANFREL for regional election observation. Main results were:

a) Improved technical capacity and operational effectiveness of UEC, b) establishment of more inclusive UEC human resources policies and procedures, c) development of a gender equality audit and strategy, d) increased accessibility of polling stations, e) improved voter registration procedures and voter list, f) establishment of electoral resource centre and electoral knowledge network with CSOs, g) education of marginalized citizens in particular women, youth and ethnic minorities, and h) training of media outlets and production of media monitoring reports.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • Other international or foreign NGO North

Other partners
Contribution to International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
Coordination with other projects and actors Swiss support will be closely coordi-nated with Human Security Division. Switzerland will further coordinate with Electoral Support Group, Local Governance Donor Coordination Group (currently co-chaired by World Bank and Switzerland), Joint Peace Fund, Political Officers and Heads of Mission meetings that include Australia, UK, EU, US, Norway, Denmark and UNDP. 
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’500’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’526’055