The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has been active in Mali since the country’s historic 1992 elections, providing technical assistance in electoral management and implementing civic and voter education programs. In its recent programming, IFES has provided targeted training and support to Mali’s election management bodies, including the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization and the National Independent Election Commission. IFES has equipped local officials and poll workers in sustainable strategies and new tools for election management and administration, in addition to offering legal, technological and logistical support in all stages of the electoral process.
In the context of its civic and voter education programming, IFES has used a number of innovative methods and tools to reach voters throughout the country. In light of the high levels of illiteracy and the geographic diversity of the country, IFES has employed the use of boîte à images, or “image boxes,” a methodology that uses a series of images to inform the citizenry on their rights and responsibilities in a democratic polity. IFES has also partnered with a number of Malian civil society organizations and local media to deepen its impact in each community, and has made strides in promoting women’s participation in the electoral process through its local engagement, and continues to work toward increased voter and civic awareness.