Australian National University and IFES Sign Memorandum of Understanding
On March 1, 2016, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Australian National University’s (ANU) College of Arts and Sciences (CASS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU). The MoU was signed by an IFES delegation led by President and CEO Bill Sweeney and an ANU delegation led by CASS Associate Dean for Research Ann Evans, and is aimed at fostering research collaboration on electoral integrity and security.
“This MoU will enable greater knowledge-sharing and opportunities to conduct research in an area of great policymaking importance. As the last few years have shown, establishing robust electoral institutions and the ability of citizens to participate in free and fair elections is an ongoing and difficult challenge. The MoU will help ANU scholars partner with IFES policymakers to better understand how to meet this challenge,” ANU Lecturer Richard Frank said at the signing ceremony.
IFES’ electoral integrity portfolio focuses on three principle areas – election dispute resolution, fraud and malpractice mitigation, and political finance regulation, including measures to address the abuse of state resources for electoral campaigns – that build on international standards and nearly three decades of experience strengthening the effectiveness of election management around the globe.
IFES defines electoral violence as any harm or threat of harm to any person or property involved in the election process, or the process itself, during the election period. The risk of violence is present in nearly every election. Over the last three decades, IFES has developed context-specific electoral assistance strategies to enable hundreds of electoral management bodies, civil society organizations, political parties, community leaders and security agencies to better manage that risk.
Regarding the MoU, President Sweeney noted, “As IFES continues to expand its thought leadership, partnerships with institutions like the Australian National University will bolster our ability to conduct substantive research, undoubtedly benefiting our global programming. Electoral integrity and violence are two key areas of focus for IFES and our collaboration with ANU will enhance our ability to work with election management bodies around the world to ensure credible and transparent elections.”