The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is currently implementing “Building Electoral and Accountability Capacities, Orderly Norms, and Democratic Governance,” a three-year program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS). IFES is supporting the Independent National Election Commission (CENI) and the judiciary to build their capacity to resolve election disputes. Additionally, IFES is working with civil society to engage constructively in inclusive, peaceful, efficient and transparent election dispute resolution.
From 2013-17, IFES worked to strengthen legislative and political processes following Guinea’s first-ever democratic and pluralist legislative elections in 2013. Although the program was planned for local elections, a political crisis that began in May 2014 and the 2014 Ebola epidemic complicated Guinea’s democratic transition. In response, IFES reoriented its programs to address these new challenges.
With support from the European Union through the United Nations Development Programme, IFES partnered with Guinea’s Regional Councils of the Organizations of Civil Society of Guinea and the Prefectural and Communal Councils of Civil Society Organizations to strengthen civil society’s capacity to promote democracy, dialogue and citizen participation. This was done by creating Civic and Electoral Education Centers (CECE) in Conakry’s five municipalities. Civil society organizations held open-door days, broadcast radio spots and held roundtables on topics like civic engagement. CECEs were opened in each of the seven regional capital cities under IFES’ USAID-funded program, which hosted the first-ever meetings between citizens and deputies during a 2014 parliamentary recess. With funding from the Department of State, CECEs in six regional capitals also hosted awareness-raising meetings with community leaders on the Ebola crisis.
From 2015-17, IFES implemented its CEPPS “Support Guinea 2015 Local and Presidential Elections” project, which supported public dialogue and citizen engagement. IFES worked with civil society organizations and electoral stakeholders to extend geographic reach and enhance outreach capacity and sustainability of existing civic and voter education. Through this project, IFES also supported the CENI’s design and production of various materials, procedures and trainings.