EPP: Sustainable Voter Registration Methodologies
Voter registration

In 2009 and 2010 EISA and the UN Electoral Assistance Division (EAD) completed a project, funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, aimed at the development of sustainable voter registration methodologies and the promotion of sustainable and cost effective voter registration models, particularly in developing and post conflict countries. It did this by analysing the relative costs, sustainability and effectiveness of low, medium and high tech approaches to voter registration. EISA was aware that a model that worked for one country would not necessarily be equally effective in another. Nevertheless, the knowledge generated by the project and the experience shared enable election administrators and donors to make more informed decisions about their work in the field of voter registration.

Voter registration

2010: Book publication

In 2010 EISA published the analytical findings and the case studies in book form as Voter Registration in Africa: A Comparative Analysis (ed Astrid Evrensel, EISA, 2010).

2009: Groundwork

Online database

All available material and documents on voter registration methodologies in Africa were identified and an online database of voter registration materials on Africa was created to enhance the capacity of Election Management Bodies and other electoral stakeholders to use resources and access a range of available materials in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic, on voter registration methodologies. More than 1400 documents could be found at http://www.vrafrica.org.

Case study research

To assess the registration systems in depth experts conducted field research in Mozambique, Malawi, DRC, Rwanda, Liberia, Ghana and South Africa. The research was later extended to cover two additional countries, namely Liberia and Senegal. These nine were chosen to represent the broad spectrum of different voter registration methodologies in use, the different regions of Africa as well as three of the major African languages: English, French and Portuguese. For comparative reasons and cross cutting analyses, two non African countries were included, Afghanistan and East Timor.


Towards the end of the year, in November 2009, EISA held a two-day workshop on the Development of Sustainable Voter Registration Methodologies in Johannesburg, South Africa. The workshop discussed the findings of the research on the said project. The workshop brought together various stakeholders such as international voter registration experts and representatives from electoral management bodies, CSOs, and donor organisations.