Client: UNDP Support to the Timorese Electoral Cycle (UNEST)

Project: Timor-Leste Community Leader Elections (Suco) 2009

Voter and Civic Education campaign

Posters & leaflets

Products: Posters, leaflets, banners, stickers, training manuals and flipchart

Language: Tetum


Timor-Leste is divided into 13 districts, 65 sub-districts, 442 sucos (villages) and 2225 aldeias (hamlets). The Suco election determines the community leaders of each village. The country has a strong tradition of community power structure and decision-making process, albeit with almost a complete absence of women’s participation. Traditionally, the political, ritual and conflict mediation in communities has been the domain of men.


To ensure women’s participation in decision-making, the National Parliament and the Government adopted affirmative action policies for the 2009 Community Elections through the reservation of seats for women. This resulted in a large number of women elected in the village councils.


To increase voter’s participation and awareness in the 2009 Community Elections I designed and developed an electoral campaign focusing on voting rights, the role and responsibilities of the voters, the relationship between elections and democracy and the secrecy of the ballot. The project gave particular emphasis to the empowerment of women as candidates and the importance of their vote.

Photographs: Karen Kelleher Carneiro, Martine Perret,

Toby Gibson, Andres del Castillo



“Karen, your particular contribution has been extremely visible and welcomed. It was unanimously agreed the voter and civic education materials designed and produced with your support has greatly contributed to the high level of participation in the Elections.


We would like to take this opportunity to thanks you warmly for all the hard work and unlimited commitment for the success of these elections.”


- UNEST Management Team

© 2018 KelleherDesign

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