Since 1987, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has worked in over 145 countries to advance good governance and democratic rights. Although IFES is not currently engaged in programming in this country, previous work, research and/or other relevant items are highlighted below.
IFES implemented programming supporting free, fair and credible elections in South Sudan from the nascent country’s independence on July 9, 2011, through 2013. With $70 million USD funding from the United States Agency for International Development, IFES provided technical and material support between 2009 and 2013 for Sudan's 2010 general elections, as well as Southern Sudan’s 2011 referendum on self-determination. The program aimed to strengthen the capacity of the election management body in Sudan to administer credible elections and referenda, and provide other support as needed to ensure the success of these key political processes. IFES’ technical assistance under the “Sudan Election Administration Support Program” was instrumental to these complex endeavors, which included the design and production of voter registration forms, creation of civic and voter education materials, ballot design, procedure elaboration, and the production and distribution of multiple training manuals for polling staff and election officials. IFES also devised and built an Information Management System, contributed to the establishment of two data centers that processed results from approximately 3,000 Referendum Centers, and oversaw multiple internationally-tendered procurements.
Following the Southern Sudan referendum, IFES was instrumental in establishing and equipping the country’s first ever National Elections Commission, as well as the National Constitutional Review Committee. IFES worked closely with both bodies to establish their respective by-laws, administrative procedures, financial management structures, training materials and other essential institutional building blocks.
IFES’ key areas of work in South Sudan include:
- Technical support to election management body
- National election administration building
- Voter registration
- Civic and voter education
After years of struggle and conflict, elation permeates South Sudan as it commemorates its independence on July 9, 2011.
From Juba, Parvinder Singh, IFES’ Acting Country Director in Sudan, tells us of the independence celebrations, the challenges that lie ahead for the world’s newest country, and how South Sudan can solidify its democracy.