Election Monitoring and Reform
Previous presidential elections have highlighted shortcomings in the Honduran electoral system, particularly in the transmission of election results. In response, NDI began working in Honduras in 2008 to help safeguard the integrity of the election processes.
NDI supports the Honduran civil society consortium Let’s Do Democracy (Hagamos Democracia, HD) to conduct systematic election observation including parallel vote tabulations (PVT) or “quick counts,” a form of independent verification of the election process and results run by outside election observation organizations. HD conducted quick counts for the presidential races in the 2012 primary and is planning on doing the same for the 2013 general elections. The Institute also supports Honduran civic organizations to monitor key aspects of the electoral process, including incidents of electoral violence, compliance by parties with new gender quotas, and campaign financing and spending.
2008 – 2009 Elections
NDI supported HD in observing the 2008 primary and 2009 general elections, including the deployment of volunteer election monitors to a random sample of more than 1,000 polling stations to conduct a quick count. The data provided statistically valid and reliable results for the presidential election and on the quality of the election-day process. HD accurately projected the 50 percent turnout, as well as Lobo’s victory.
NDI also deployed an international election assessment mission for the 2009 general elections consisting of 21 experts from the United States, Latin America and Europe. The delegation’s report noted that, while election authorities had taken some meaningful steps to increase transparency, further reforms were needed to update the voter registry and to overcome the country’s divisions. The full report is available on NDI’s website.
Voter Registry Audit
To increase voter confidence in the credibility of elections, NDI supported HD in analyzing the accuracy of the Honduran voter registry. The study, available on NDI’s website, included actionable recommendations for improving the registry. NDI will provide additional assistance to HD in 2013 to conduct a public awareness campaign promoting the implementation of the report’s recommendations.
Promoting Reconciliation and Leadership
To foster reconciliation following the coup, NDI began a program in April 2011 to increase dialogue between political parties, citizens and civil society, and to help marginalized groups participate in the political process. NDI has held more than 20 “democracy dialogues” in cities nationwide to facilitate respectful discourse on public policy reforms and to promote reconciliation and inclusion. One dialogue event, co-sponsored with the United Nations Development Programme, focused on promoting women’s political participation by familiarizing women political activists with proposed legislation to raise the quota for women on parties’ candidate lists. Participants contributed to the advocacy effort that resulted in Congress passing a law raising the quota for women’s participation from 30 to 40 percent for the 2013 elections and to 50 percent in 2017.
In 2011, NDI released a study on barriers to political participation in Honduras based on a public opinion survey conducted with HD. The study found very low levels of citizen confidence in most Honduran institutions and attributed citizen distrust to the political crisis, the coup and the demoralizing effects of pervasive corruption. The full study, which includes comparative analysis with other countries in Central America, is available on NDI’s website.
NDI has led more than 40 workshops to assist all nine political parties to become more effective, representative and transparent, with an emphasis on increasing the participation of youth and women. NDI supports an annual leadership academy for young leaders from political parties and civil society groups. Additionally, NDI is supporting a series of leadership academies for women running for office in 2012 and 2013. These leadership academies provide traditionally underrepresented groups with tools to help them become knowledgeable and effective political leaders and candidates.
Improving Citizen Security
NDI conducts a course to help members of civil society and political parties create citizen security policy in Honduras. The course teaches participants what citizen security is and what they can do to improve it. NDI also assists municipal citizen security committees develop local public policies to address security problems. For more information, please see the Central America Citizen Security information sheet for more information.
For more information about these programs, use our contact form or contact:
Kira Ribar, senior program officer
Salvador Romero Ballivián, resident director