Support to Electoral Reforms in Macedonia

The project aims toward more inclusive and democratic election processes managed by a strengthened election administration, closely monitored by citizens. A three-fold strategic approach has been designed to: 1. Build the capacities of the election administration; 2. Support more citizen oriented policies and party programmes through policy dialogue with political actors and 3. Ern power the citizens with knowledge and skills to hold parties accountable and to make their interests and demands heard.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
North Macedonia
01.01.2018 - 31.12.2023
CHF  5’968’000
Background The Republic of North Macedonia has had a problematic and disappointing record of conduct of elections with significant levels of ballot tampering and stuffing, voter intimidation, and poor administrative procedures. In addition the political parties are centralized, male-dominated and decision-making is neither transparent nor participatory. They have continued to dominate the political and social life and have crowded out opportunities for civil society/citizens to influence reform. Furthermore the professionalism of the overall election administration needs to improve their conduct of electoral tasks and responsibilities. This has been noted by the international community which is seeking that North Macedonia undertakes urgent electoral reform.
Objectives Democratic and credible election processes that facilitate political participation and social integration by enabling voters to select their representatives and hold them accountable.
Target groups
  1. The three-level election administration, comprising of SEC1, 80 MECs2 and the commission of the City of Skopje, and around 3,500 EBs3 are the direct target group impacted by the project through training, coaching and implementation of policies.
  2. The political parties will also be at the receiving end of the project.
  3. Not only the target groups, but also beneficiaries are the voters, citizens of North Macedonia, with a special focus on youth, women, and persons with disabilities who will benefit from increased inclusiveness of political and electoral processes, and greater awareness about their needs.
Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Strengthened institutions conduct fair and efficient election processes.

Outcome 2: lnternally democratized political parties present citizen-oriented policies and election programs.

Outcome 3: Empowered citizens hold political parties and elected officials accountable.


Expected results:  

  • SEC implements strengthened innovative systems and tools for election management.
  • Officials at central level administering key election processes acquire greater practical knowledge and skills.
  • Political party policies are informed by improved party research, analytical and legal drafting skills.
  • Political parties increase outreach to local communities, including vulnerable groups to advance policy solutions.
  • Profile demographic reports are developed for more effective civic education.
  • Active citizens and civil society are mobilized to promote civic education, inclusion, monitoring and advocacy in local communities.

Results from previous phases:   Since 2008, Switzerland has been regularly supporting election monitoring and other related activities successfully assisting national election monitoring. However this support has been implemented through short term support to CSOs during election cycles and has never involved consistent support to the institutions that organize elections. During the Entry Phase, preparatory consultations/workshops and policy dialogue with the key stakeholders, have been conducted. The key stakeholders confirmed their interest in the project which will answer to their demand in the following areas: a. the political parties need to be internally democratized; b. the administration has to build the capacity for proper and professional implementation of elections; c. citizens need to be empowered to hold political parties and elected officials accountable.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
  • Other international or foreign NGO North

Implementing partner

Other partners
International Foundation on Electoral Systems (IFES) is the main contractor responsible for the overall implementation of the programme. National Youth Council of Macedonia (NYCM) is sub-contractor of IFES.
Coordination with other projects and actors The Electoral Reforms in North Macedonia programme will seek synergies primarily with the Civil Society Support Facility (Civica Mobilitas) programme, Parliament's Support Project (PSP}, as weil as with Empowering Municipal Councils.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    5’968’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    5’318’395 Total project since first phase Budget inclusive project partner CHF   12’150’000
Project phases Phase 1 01.01.2018 - 31.12.2023   (Current phase)