Iyo Menya "If Only I Had Known"

April 22, 2010

Starting at the end of May and through early September, Burundi will hold its first set of elections since all rebel movements laid down their arms and officially ended Burundi’s long civil war. “If Only I Had Known,” (“Iyo Menya”) produced by New Generation and IFES, with the support of USAID and the Studio RAM recounts the firsthand stories of former youth combatants of Burundi’s long civil war. Manipulated by political interests and false promises, well-known Burundian ex-combatants in the film explain the terrible acts they were led to commit as youths and how their lives were consequently devastated. Other young Burundians share inspiring stories of how strong family ties helped them resist political manipulation, stay out of the conflict and build bright futures.


The video is a powerful reminder to all Burundians of the cost of war. It offers a word of caution as it points out the danger of treacherous and misleading political promises and divisive discourse to young people.  As one of the contributors points out, it is in everyone’s best interest to express a common patriotic spirit and engage in peaceful elections.


Towards the goal of having a peaceful poll, IFES-Burundi has helped launch Amatora Mu Mahoro (Elections in Peace), Burundi’s first‐ever nationwide election violence prevention system. The system identifies areas susceptible to electoral violence as well as successful peace initiatives around the country. It aims to support appropriate responses and promote the peaceful holding of Burundi’s 2010 elections.


Civil Society, Civic Education, Election Disputes, Election Observation, Elections

Multimedia Index

Reflections on Democracy Promotion

September 15, 2014

In this podcast, Svetlik discusses challenges and opportunities involved in organizing credible elections and ensuring all citizens have a voice in the way they are governed. Svetlik also describes the most memorable moments of IFES’ work over the past 27 years.

All Electoral Integrity and Transparency, All Election Management

Building Tomorrow: Fostering Citizenship and Democracy through Service Learning

August 27, 2014

Service learning is a unique approach to civic education for young people, incorporating both community service and academic learning objectives. This model is designed to enhance the learning process for the student, instill civic responsibility by providing an avenue for meaningful engagement, and strengthen communities. As a result, both the young person and the community benefit from the experience.

Youth Engagement

Nurturing Democracy in the Maldives

August 21, 2014

In June, The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) held a “Democracy Camp” for 40 youths, aged 14-16, from around the country.The primary goal of the camp is to enhance the participants’ knowledge on civic education, rights and responsibilities of a citizen, democracy, human rights and other pressing social issues. For this episode we hear the voices of Nihaya Ahmed, a camp participant, and IFES Chief of Party Dan Malinovich. 

Youth Engagement, All Inclusion and Empowerment

Promoting Participation By Electing Youth: The London Youth Advisory Council

August 21, 2014

The London Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) of Ontario, Canada is comprised of young people who are elected to their positions by the general public. Each councilor represents a ward, or region, of the city of London, Ontario. For this episode of Dialogues on Democracy, IFES Youth Advisor Augusta Featherston spoke with Ward 4 Councilor Nicole Worozbyt and Adam Fearnall, Council Director of London Youth Advistory Council (LYAC) about the impact their council has had on their community and how some of these lessons can be expanded to new programs.

Youth Engagement, All Inclusion and Empowerment

Service Learning: Fostering Citizenship and Democracy

August 12, 2014

Service learning programs provide participants opportunities to apply their skills and education to community-level issues. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) incorporates service learning in a variety of programs, from our university courses in Georgia to democracy camps in the Maldives. For this podcast IFES Youth Adviser Augusta Featherston spoke with her counterpart Susan Stroud, Executive Director of Innovations in Civic Participation, about service learning trends and how it can foster the foundations of democracy.

Youth Engagement, All Inclusion and Empowerment

Elections Worth Dying For? A Selection of Case Studies from Africa

August 08, 2014

The book Elections Worth Dying For? A Selection of Case Studies from Africa examines the roots of violence within election processes in Africa from a variety of perspectives. Watch this special book launch event. IFES' event, took place during the week of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, underlines the importance of engaging in questions of potential election violence and how to best mitigate it through a series of broad-ranging case studies.

Election Security, All Electoral Integrity and Transparency

Modern Applications of Election Technology

July 16, 2014

IFES supports the use of technology to promote sustainability in the democratic process, working with election management bodies to utilize various technologies that are appropriate in local context.

Citizen Participation in Natural Resource Management in Niger

July 08, 2014

It is critical to the security and economic development of Niger that citizens' voices are heard. IFES is working with local partners to increase awareness of the risks and rights of workers in the extractive resources industry, including uranium, oil and gold. IFES is also working to develop partnerships between civil society organizations and government to ensure citizens understand and participate in resource management decisions.

All Citizen Participation

Equal Access at the United Nations

June 24, 2014

IFES served as an observer to the 7th Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. IFES has the ability to observe deliberations by the member states on implementation of the disability treaty as well as to host side-events open to states and civil society. IFES Vice President of Programs, Michael Svetlik, moderated this side event on political participation of persons with disabilities.

Guarding Against Fraud

June 19, 2014

Since its release, IFES has been using the seven standards outlined in GUARDE in a variety of challenging contexts around the world. In this episode IFES experts discuss their experiences using GUARDE standards to address issues of election integrity and transparency in Afghanistan, Cambodia and the Maldives. 

Election Dispute Resolution and Complaints Adjudication, All Electoral Integrity and Transparency