Electoral Conflict and Security
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems' (IFES) approach to electoral conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution is rooted in international instruments and standards, which protect the right of all people to participate in the electoral process in a peaceful and safe environment. Reframing electoral security as human-centered, in line with IFES' mission to support citizens' right to participate in free and fair elections, allows for a more holistic approach to security that covers all phases and activities of the electoral process and adheres to international standards and norms governing elections. Drawing on 30 years of experience working in over 145 countries (many experiencing post-conflict transitions), IFES has developed a number of conflict-sensitive electoral security approaches and tools including:
- Electoral Violence Education and Resolution (EVER), deployed to reduce election violence through monitoring and reporting;
- People Against Violence in Elections (PAVE), a series of trainings designed to help participants identify root causes of electoral violence, develop skills to foster dialogue and cooperation on nonpartisan projects between opposing groups and diffuse tension where possible, promote social harmony and a nonviolent political culture, become “peace ambassadors” who prevent, detect, deter and/or mitigate electoral violence;
- PAVE Youth, an off-shoot of the PAVE program targeting youth as voters, civic/voter educators, and peace ambassadors;
- Violence Against Women in Elections Framework (VAWE) framework, which helps electoral stakeholders address violence against women throughout the electoral cycle using a full set of mutually reinforcing tools; and
- Enabling a Peaceful Environment to Administer Credible Elections (ePeace), an electoral security trainings for election officials and law enforcement officers, encouraging collaboration and shared responsibility for electoral security between all stakeholders and upholding human-rights principles in electoral security; this includes a how-to-establish a Joint Electoral Security Operations Center module.
As a learning organization, IFES has an internal Knowledge Management Initiative Working Group on Election Conflict and Security to help grow the research, tools and technical expertise we offer our partners worldwide.