Bangladesh Election Commission, a constitutional body responsible primarily for the task of conducting elections for the Parliament and local bodies, faced serious difficulties in holding the 9th Parliamentary Election scheduled to be held on 22nd January 2007 due to lack of confidence on the Electoral Roll. Ultimately situation led the election to be canceled.
The country had gone under emergency and a new Caretaker Government was formed. The Election Commission was reformed and it was decided to prepare an electoral roll with photographs to ensure more accuracy and acceptability in order to hold a free, fair and credible election. A committee of Experts looked into the issue of preparing a photo voter list and recommended for it to be feasible.
The international development partners also appreciated the need for electoral reforms and expressed their willingness to assist in the preparation of an electoral roll with photographs. Thus, the project Preparation of an Electoral Roll with Photographs came into being under the aegis of Bangladesh Election Commission incepted from July 2007 to continue until June 2010.
Lessons learnt in a Pilot Project conducted at Sreepur Municipality in Gazipur district in June 2007 have been critically reviewed and incorporated into the project framework. The Project was approved in the ECNEC meeting held on 20 August 2007 and Project Document between the Government of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Election Commission and UNDP was signed on 29 August 2007.