Afghanistan Elections and Civic Education Lessons Learned Survey
February 28, 2015
In 2014, Afghanistan held presidential and provincial council elections, which resulted in the National Unity Government (NUG) with Dr. Ashraf Ghani as President and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah as the country’s Chief Executive Officer. The six-month election process was punctuated by serious allegations of electoral fraud and political stalemate, causing uncertainty in the country about the future of its government.
DI conducted a nationwide public opinion survey in Afghanistan on the heels of the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG) in 2014 in order to understand the Afghan public’s attitudes about democracy and the elections, the impact and reach of civic education efforts, and confidence in political institutions, among other things. DI found that Afghans are optimistic about the future of their country and of their government. However, at the same time, Afghans recognized significant flaws in the 2014 electoral process and there is a strong call for electoral reform. Ninety-two percent of Afghans believe there is a need for electoral reform before holding parliamentary elections. The survey also reveals successes in recent civic education efforts and identifies opportunities for improvement. In this report, DI presents the key findings from this survey and uses its previous research from 2012 and 2013 as points for comparison, where possible.
Since 2009, Democracy International (DI) has worked to support the strengthening of Afghanistan’s electoral processes, both through international election observation missions as well as by supporting domestic advocacy for electoral reform. Currently, DI implements USAID’s Afghanistan Electoral Reform and Civic Advocacy program (AERCA). AERCA’s two primary components are to support Afghan-led advocacy efforts for electoral and democratic reform and to conduct research that can inform and encourage the debate on reform. To contribute to the achievement of these objectives, DI has conducted some of the most comprehensive public opinion research on Afghan democracy to date.
To see visualizations of key data from this survey, visit: http://afghanistansurveydata.com/.