Election Management

IFES works with election management bodies (EMB) around the world on all aspects of election administration and across all phases of the electoral cycle, ranging from pre-election preparation to the announcement of results. This includes drafting electoral laws and regulations, establishing electoral boundaries, conducting voter registration, managing election technology, procuring electoral equipment, training election officials and poll workers, and implementing Election Day procedures. IFES also advises EMBs on how to engage with political parties, stakeholders and citizens through public information and outreach programs and on measures to improve the openness and transparency of their work. In addition, IFES works with EMBs as they strengthen long-term institutional capacity through improved strategic and operational planning, organizational management, internal rule-making, budgeting, procurement processes, human resource systems, knowledge management, and communications and outreach.

Electoral Integrity and Transparency

Legitimacy of an election, and by extension public confidence in democratic governance, largely depends on the actual and perceived integrity of the electoral process. More specifically, if citizens believe the electoral process is defective, dishonest, or less than free and fair, they may not accept the outcome. IFES has developed an electoral integrity portfolio that is based on international standards and principles and builds on 25 years of real world experience in strengthening the effectiveness of election management bodies (EMBs). IFES programs increase integrity in electoral processes by developing, improving and enforcing political finance regulations; assisting nations in developing appropriate legal structures and effective election complaint adjudication systems; and strengthening the ability of EMBs to proactively combat electoral fraud through risk assessments and strategic, practical and operational fraud-control plans. Our programming also encourages the development of core strategies to empower communities to achieve more peaceful elections. IFES’ approach to promoting election security includes a mix of conflict analysis, prevention, mitigation and resolution methods throughout the electoral cycle to reduce violence in any given context.

Citizen Participation

An informed citizenry is a crucial component of a healthy and resilient democracy. IFES engages in a variety of civic education activities, including informing voters of their rights and responsibilities and empowering them to have a voice in the way they are governed. IFES works to build skills of democratic citizenship around the world, and places special emphasis on encouraging full participation of all citizens, including women, the disabled population, youth and other underrepresented groups. IFES uses a variety of innovative methods to reach these groups in rural and urban areas, including radio, television, electronic media, mobile cinemas, caravans and boîtes à images (picture boxes), to raise understanding and awareness of voting, elections, government, the  constitution and other legislation, and the rights and responsibilities  that each and every citizen has in a democracy.

Inclusion and Empowerment

Democratic institutions flourish when all groups of society are represented. IFES initiatives around the world seek to increase the participation, influence and representation of traditionally underrepresented groups in political processes and governance structures. Rooted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, IFES programs use targeted and innovative implementation approaches to educate and empower individuals, strengthen capacity of civil society and local communities, and partner directly with government bodies to achieve full inclusion. This includes cutting-edge programming focused on promoting full political and civic participation of women, persons with disabilities, youth, and underserved populations, including minorities, indigenous populations and the poor.


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