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NDI began working in Zambia in 1991 during the country’s first multiparty presidential election since the 1960s, and first political transition of power. Since then, the Institute has worked with Zambian political party leaders, citizen election monitoring organizations and civil society partners to support political party strengthening, election observation efforts and the inclusion of traditionally marginalized groups such as women, youth and persons with disabilities in political and electoral processes. 

Over the last two decades, NDI has worked with citizen election monitoring organizations and political parties to observe five presidential elections (2001, 2008, 2011, 2015 by-election, and 2016) and parliamentary by-elections. NDI partnered with the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) and the Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) to conduct parallel vote tabulations (PVTs) for the 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2016 electoral cycles. NDI also helped local partners organize nationwide civic and voter education activities; monitor the voter registration process; undertake public opinion research; and build the capacity of political parties to better reflect and respond to citizen policy priorities. 

Today, NDI works with local partners to promote evidence-based policy development, accountability in governance, transparent and credible electoral processes and citizen participation -- particularly among traditionally marginalized groups -- in political and electoral processes. Ahead of the 2021 elections, NDI is partnering with the Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) to observe electoral processes with support from USAID, and is providing capacity building and technical assistance to a range of civil society partners to advocate for more transparent, accountable and inclusive political and electoral systems in Zambia.

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