The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has provided support to Kosovo for genuine and democratic elections since 1998. IFES has led a wide range of programs in Kosovo focusing on topics such as technical election assistance, political and campaign finance monitoring, public outreach, civil society work and civic education. When Kosovo declared independence in 2008, election management capabilities were transferred from international institutions to the Kosovan Central Election Commission (CEC). IFES programming in Kosovo has shifted accordingly to adjust to the new electoral management system.

IFES provided assistance to Kosovo for its first democratically-run national elections as an independent state in 2009. IFES worked with the CEC to help build capacity, develop a voter list update strategy, election management support and results tabulation assistance, and a structural review of the CEC Secretariat. IFES supported the CEC in implementing electoral and constitutional reform in 2011 and continued supporting the CEC’s electoral and constitutional reform processes throughout 2012. More recently, in 2013, IFES implemented its “Kosovo Elections Support Project” supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which aimed to increase the capacity of the CEC, the Count and Results Center, and the Election Complaints and Appeals Panel (ECAP) over the course of two electoral cycles. IFES worked with these organizations in 2014 on a short-term project focused on increasing access and inclusion for both persons with disabilities and women and to develop a system that would monitor electoral violence and violations. IFES received further funding in 2015 to increase political and electoral access for youth.

In August 2016, IFES started working on a new project, entitled “Strengthening Election Administration Activity in Kosovo,” and continues to work with the CEC and ECAP to provide a credible and inclusive electoral process. The two goals of his new project are to support institutions to efficiently and independently accomplish their roles and responsibilities, and to support the CEC, CEC Secretariat, and ECAP to effectively conduct local and parliamentary elections.

Program Highlights

Supporting the CEC: IFES supports the CEC in devising its training plan. IFES has conducted workshops for the CEC on civic and voter education training and working with stakeholders. IFES also works with the CEC’s Training Management Group.

ECAP Training Plan Implementation: IFES has supported the ECAP in creating and finalizing its training plan. IFES plans on supporting the ECAP with the implementation of 12 training programs in 2017, and has begun planning the first two training programs scheduled for early in this year.

Supporting ECAP with Case and Appeals Management System (CAMS): IFES supported the ECAP in developing the CAMS, which was fully functional for the second-round mayoral by-elections in Gllogoc/Glogovac on December 18, 2016. IFES had a representative at the ECAP providing technical support during this process.

Election Staff Management System (ESMS): In addition to CAMS, ESMS was also used successfully in the December 18 mayoral by-elections. This was the first time that the system was piloted and it effectively generated contracts and reports for over 100 temporary workers.