The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is currently supporting the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq (IHEC) in voter outreach efforts, election technology, and adapting voting processes to ensure displaced people can vote. IFES has worked in Iraq since 2003 to provide technical electoral assistance to key stakeholders and provided advice to Iraqi and international authorities on incorporating electoral processes into the post-conflict transition and establishing a legal and institutional framework for elections, including the creation of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI). IFES played a central role in the development of the IECI through technical assistance in key areas such as legal and regulatory issues, operational planning, voter education and public outreach, and finance and administration.
IFES subsequently adopted an advisory role toward the IHEC, providing technical advice as requested by the IHEC on long-term strategic planning, institutional capacity building, and transfer of knowledge by improving the IHEC’s voter education activities and conducting technical training to ensure the IHEC’s longterm stability. Trainings emphasized legal and financial skills, international standards in internal management, and administrative processes. IFES also worked with Iraqi civil society organizations on community peace building and reduction of election violence as well as with organizations representing underrepresented populations to promote those populations’ civic education and political participation.