The International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) support to democratic development in Albania dates back to 1991, following the country’s first post-Communist election. From 1998-2002, IFES was the primary provider of electoral support by the international community, delivering targeted assistance to the government of Albania and the Central Election Commission (CEC). This support included a broad range of activities such as technical guidance to the CEC on election operations, management of a voter registration project, civic education programs for voters, trainings for local election officials and assistance in the publication of election results.
Under IFES’ Regional Europe program, Albanian authorities participate in a number of activities designed to improve election administration and integrity. This includes building capacity in cybersecurity and elections through IFES’ Regional Election Technology and Cyber-Hygiene course developed for election management bodies and other electoral stakeholders. Through the Europe and Eurasia Election Management Body Working Group on Social Media, Disinformation and Electoral Integrity, Albanian election officials participate in a regional body designed to address key challenges to information integrity in the electoral process.
IFES provides assistance to Albanian oversight bodies, such as the CEC, supporting anti-corruption efforts related to political finance oversight and election dispute resolution. Albania is a member of the IFES Europe and Eurasia Regional Electoral Jurisprudence Network, which convenes Western Balkan and Eastern Partnership stakeholders to exchange ideas, challenges and strategies related to electoral justice.
As part of a new project being implemented under the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening and the Center for International Private Enterprise, IFES is supporting the establishment of the United States-Albania Transparency Academy as a viable, independent body, to assist the efforts of the government of Albania in counteracting corruption. This program aims to strengthen transparency and the rule of law nationwide and rebuild Albanian citizens’ confidence in their democracy. The academy will serve as a convening place for the public and private sectors, including youth and civil society, to exchange information and ideas on how to build governmental accountability, transparency and responsiveness to citizens. The academy will facilitate improved transparency and accountability of public institutions to all citizens by bringing the private sector and government institutions together to meaningfully engage with citizens and citizen groups.
Current IFES programs in Albania are funded under the Global Elections and Political Transitions mechanism sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development.