The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is working in Armenia under the “Strengthening Electoral Processes and Political Accountability in Armenia” agreement, funded by the United States Agency for International Development. The project aims to promote the integrity of elections and foster broader citizen engagement in elections and political processes. IFES provided direct support to the Central Election Commission (CEC) for the preparation and conduct of snap municipal and national elections in 2018. IFES supported the CEC on snap elections in Yerevan and, later in the year, on early parliamentary elections by training poll workers and assisting with voter education and motivation campaigns. Via its on-site presence and strategic outreach to domestic and international partners, IFES is a critical player in Armenia, with programming centered on four pillars: electoral code and legal reform, accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities, civic engagement and education, and election management body (EMB) capacity building.
Electoral Code and Legal Reform
Through direct collaboration with the National Assembly secretariat and the three main parliamentary political parties, IFES is a key, nonpartisan international interlocutor in Armenia offering comparative analysis and international good practices. Initial electoral legislative reforms have focused on campaign and political finance and political party regulation, with further amendments anticipated to address electoral justice, electoral security and the creation of an inclusive electoral atmosphere.
EMB Capacity Building
IFES supports the CEC in building operational capacity to conduct technically sound elections. Based on its onsite needs assessment, IFES will assist the CEC in institutionalizing changes, updating procedures and increasing staff skills and competencies.
Accessibility and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
IFES works with the CEC and disabled people’s organizations on expanding accessibility and inclusion. IFES and local partner Agate are beginning programming in partnership with the CEC to deliver a national polling station audit followed by collaborative trainings, policy development assistance and outreach targeting voters with disabilities.
Civic Engagement and Education
IFES will soon pilot a civic education course, Democracy: From Theory to Practice, at five universities in and around Yerevan. Interactive classroom management and innovative civic education tools will also be introduced to primary and secondary schools.