Voter Education Project Final Report

Author/s: Bougainville Women's Federation & International Women's Development Agency

The Limited Preferential Voting system was first introduced in the 2007 National Election of Papua New Guinea and used for Autonomous Bougainville Government elections. This is a relatively new system to Bougainville and so at the Community Government elections, Bougainville continues to use First Past the Post system. Limited Preferential Voting is a more complex system and can be intimidating for low literacy voters. The Voter Education Project was targeted at the ‘lost generation’ of Bougainville (people aged 35 to 45 years).

It was designed to prepare voters for the Community Government elections, the 2017 National Election of Papua New Guinea and subsequent elections. The project’s monitoring data, observations from election observers and the election results all indicated that the voter education workshops increased voters’ confidence in understanding the Limited Preferential Voting system, casting their votes correctly, and understanding their right to freely choose their preferred candidate.

Bougainville Women’s Federation and International Women Development Agency partnered to implement the Voter Education project in Bougainville from 1 May 2016 – 31 December 2017, with AUD$ 451,888.25 funding from Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development. The project aimed at providing education on voting rights and responsibilities to people across Bougainville. It focused on the historically disenfranchised cohort of people (aged between 35-45 years with limited education) who grew up during the Crisis, known as the ‘lost generation’.

The project targeted women and men with specific emphasis on the engagement of women in communities. This is because the experiences of post-conflict trauma and disadvantage suffered by the ‘lost generation’ intersects with more generalised patterns of women’s disenfranchisement from democratic processes in Bougainville and across the Pacific.  The project strengthened the partnership and increased networking between the Bougainville Women’s Federation and the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commission to have a broader reach in the community and supported consistent messaging.  To read more, please see the Final Project report.

For a summary of the project, go here: 

  • Language published in: English