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CEPPS in Iraq

CEPPS Overarching Goals:

CEPPS commenced activities in Iraq in October 2018, just months after Iraq’s contentious 2018 parliamentary elections. The election featured Iraq’s lowest voter turnout of all time (official counts at 42%) and accusations of manipulation.

In response, CEPPS Iraq has supported Iraqi election officials, the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), as well as civil society in preparation for the country’s next round of elections, aiming for a credible process with well-informed, engaged voters.

In late 2019, electoral support took on new urgency as citizens protested for more government accountability which led to the reconstitution of the IHEC board, the overhaul of national election laws, and a newly confirmed national government. Since then, CEPPS has remained at the forefront assisting Iraq’s transition to a new election commission and new electoral law.

CEPPS Approach:

To promote a more credible process and results, CEPPS supports IHEC’s capacity to plan, budget, and implement both local and national elections effectively and efficiently. CEPPS is helping a newly formed IHEC board to navigate the complexities of a contentious and unconfirmed electoral law, ensuring the transition is effective.

Simultaneously, CEPPS partners with Iraqi civil society organizations (CSOs) and equips them with civic education technical skills to ensure that citizens have accurate, compelling information leading up to the next election cycle. This includes increasing technical capacity of Iraqi CSOs through trainings on sub-award programs and financial management, social media content creation and strategic campaign implementation, and how to lead an effective civic education training session with local constituents.

CEPPS Key Achievements in Iraq:

Increasing the effectiveness of electoral institutions and civil society in Iraq, by regularly engaging the IHEC and a diverse group of CSOs:

  • Regular advising of top IHEC officials on technical capacity issues and strategic planning
  • Consulting IHEC on the formulation and implementation of a new electoral law
  • Providing support and advice on the rollout of biometric card-based registration
  • Training CSOs in financial management, marketing, and other essential skills
  • Supporting CSOs as they creatively map out voter education campaigns
  • Connecting local CSOs to IHEC provincial officials
  • Preparing CSOs to implement effective online advocacy campaigns, virtual plays conveying the importance of civic engagement and voting, and effective online civic outreach via social media.
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