Since 1994, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has played a key role in the emergence of democratic electoral processes and institutions in Ukraine, working to promote good governance and democratic rights in Ukraine’s shifting political landscape. Over the last two decades, IFES has developed a reputation as a reliable source for impartial analysis and high-quality technical assistance in the fields of electoral and political finance law reform, election administration, civil society capacity building and public opinion research. Currently, IFES is implementing three separate programs in Ukraine to promote the above goals. Highlights include:
Training electoral management bodies: In order to improve the effectiveness of Ukraine's Central Election Commission (CEC), IFES works to train Ukrainian election staff and develop good practice guides for use in elections. Since 2014, IFES has trained over 100,000 election commissioners and poll workers nationwide, and has helped develop training materials for all levels of election administration, including instructional manuals, videos, and other resources.
Electoral Law and Political Finance Reform: IFES helps promote good governance and reduce corruption. To do this, IFES interacts directly with Ukrainian members of Parliament (MPs) to provide recommendations on draft laws and coordinates with civil society to help bring MPs’ attention to specific election-related issues. Relatedly, IFES works with Ukrainian civil society and the CEC to help enforce campaign and political party finance laws.
Supporting civil society activism and enhancing inclusion of underrepresented populations: IFES works to strengthen the influence and capacity of Ukrainian civil society to serve as an advocate for citizens' rights, as well as a check-and-balance on Ukrainian governmental institutions. Through partnership with local organizations, IFES helps produce high-quality, non-partisan research, analysis and recommendations on electoral and legal issues. Furthermore, IFES collaborates with many of Ukraine’s vulnerable populations, including internally displaced persons and individuals with disabilities. For example, IFES helped educate internally displaced persons on registration for the 2014 parliamentary elections, held workshops with civil society to promote inclusion of persons with disabilities, and organized technical discussions, roundtables and public forums for diverse groups, including those in conflict-stricken Eastern Ukraine.