Evaluation of the performance of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) throughout the entire electoral cycle, but especially at a time when the commission is preparing to hold next elections and implements reform, is an important task. At this time, Afghan citizens, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), political parties, international community and other stakeholders need to be provided with accurate and timely information about the performance of the electoral administration.
The Election and Transparency Watch Organization of Afghanistan (ETWA) has conducted an assessment to gauge the progress toward achieving the electoral reforms objectives. The assessment evaluated the activities of the Independent Elections Commission from inclusiveness, transparency and integrity perspectives and checked the electoral reforms’ compliance with recommendations of Special Electoral Reforms Commission—SERC and those of national and international elections observer organizations.
The findings of this assessment covered the following areas:
- The current structure of the IEC and its main activities (e.g. recruitment of the permanent staff, gender balance, legal reforms, usage of modern technology in upcoming elections, assessment of the polling centers)
- Assessing the IEC performance in light of the principle of inclusiveness
- Assessing the IEC performance in light of the principles of transparency and integrity
- Assessing electoral reforms process in light of recommendations of the Special Electoral Reforms Commission and those of the observer organizations
The assessment seeks to provide answers to the following questions: 1- how inclusive has the process been and whether the methods used for this purpose were effective 2- how transparent has the process been and whether the measures adopted in this regard were satisfying to the stakeholders 3- The extent to which the IEC considered recommendations by the Special Elections Reforms Commissions in the reform process.
Finally, the assessment provides a set of specific recommendations to the relevant institutions (e.g. the IEC and International Community) to enhance inclusiveness, transparency and integrity in the IEC performance and propose reforms to improve structure, impartiality and independence of the IEC.