IFES The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) supports citizens' right to participate in free and fair elections. Our independent expertise strengthens electoral systems and builds local capacity to promote sustainable democracy.
As the global leader in democracy promotion, we advance good governance and democratic rights by: Providing technical assistance to election officials Empowering the underrepresented to participate in the political process Applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle Since 1987, IFES has worked in over 135 countries – from developing democracies, to mature democracies.
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The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) supports citizens' right to participate in free and fair elections. Our independent expertise strengthens electoral systems and builds local capacity to promote sustainable democracy.

IFES and DFID - UK Department for International Development have a strong working history together. As the UK House of C...
05/22/2020
IFES Advises the UK House of Commons on the Impact of COVID-19

IFES and DFID - UK Department for International Development have a strong working history together. As the UK House of Commons International Development Committee asks for input on how to address COVID-19, IFES responds. #COVIDxDemocracy

Read our recommendations:

On May 8, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) submitted its first-ever written evidence to the Parliament of the United Kingdom (UK) in support of the House of Commons International Development Committee (IDC) inquiry on the impact of the novel coronavirus. The UK’s Departmen...

05/22/2020
USAID/Georgia

COVID-19 disproportionately impacts marginalized people like Tatia.

Learn how she and other young women with disabilities in 🇬🇪 Georgia have been impacted: https://www.ifes.org/multimedia/amplifying-voices-disability-rights-advocates-georgia-during-covid-19

#COVIDxDemocracy #CEPPS USAID - US Agency for International Development

კორონა ვირუსის პანდემიის დროს აუცილებელია გვახსოვდეს ის პრობლემები, რომელთა წინაშეც დადგნენ შეზღუდული შესაძლებლობების მქონე ადამიანები. თვითოეულ ჩვენგანს შეგვაქვს წვლილი კორონა ვირუსის საწინააღმდეგო ღონისძიებებში, ვგეგმავთ როგორ გავაგრძელებთ ცხოვრებას პანდემიის შემდეგ, თუმცა აუცილებლად უნდა გვახსოვდეს შეზღუდული შესაძლებლობების მქონე ჩვენი მეზობლების, მეგობრების და თანამოქალაქეების საჭიროებებზე ზრუნვაც.
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COVID-19 is forcing all us to confront the particular challenges that face persons with disabilities. As we do our part to combat COVID-19 and make plans for life after the pandemic, it's important that we consider the needs of our neighbors, friends, and fellow-citizens who have disabilities.

US Embassy Tbilisi, Georgia
IFES Georgia
NDI Georgia
საერთაშორისო რესპუბლიკური ინსტიტუტი საქართველო - IRI Georgia
UNICEF Georgia
Lasha Shakulashvili

The Kofi Annan Foundation will host a virtual discussion this Friday, May 22 at 16:00 CEST,  to discuss the threats to d...
05/20/2020

The Kofi Annan Foundation will host a virtual discussion this Friday, May 22 at 16:00 CEST, to discuss the threats to democracy and elections caused by COVID-19.

Learn more and register: https://kofiannan.ch/2XbXVVc

#COVIDxDemocracy #KAFDialogues

COVID-19 poses a substantial risk to elections and the fabric of democracy around the world. To draw attention to this r...
05/20/2020
Open Letter: Democracy must not become the silent victim of the Coronavirus pandemic - Kofi Annan Foundation

COVID-19 poses a substantial risk to elections and the fabric of democracy around the world. To draw attention to this risk, IFES President and CEO Anthony Banbury signed on to the Kofi Annan Foundation’s open letter, which outlines key steps that global democracies need to take to ensure hard-won democratic rights and protect the integrity of elections.

📃 Visit the foundation’s website to read the letter, available in English and French.

#COVIDxDemocracy

The Kofi Annan Foundation has published an open letter to draw attention to the substantial risk the COVID-19 pandemic poses to elections and democracy around the world.

As the U.S. Congress considers how to address the COVID-19 crisis, IFES is advocating for a robust international respons...
05/18/2020
Congress: A Robust International Response to COVID-19 Is Needed

As the U.S. Congress considers how to address the COVID-19 crisis, IFES is advocating for a robust international response. IFES joined with other InterAction members and partners in a letter to congressional leadership calling for at least $12 billion in foreign assistance, including critical support for democracies at risk around the globe.

#COVIDxDemocracy

As the U.S. Congress considers how to address the COVID-19 crisis through a fourth supplemental appropriations bill, IFES is advocating for a robust international response. On April 22, IFES joined with other InterAction members and partners in a letter to congressional leadership calling for at lea...

With governments imposing a variety of emergency restrictions to combat COVID-19, IFES is adapting to ensure the critica...
05/16/2020
Democratic Stakeholders Adapting in MENA

With governments imposing a variety of emergency restrictions to combat COVID-19, IFES is adapting to ensure the critical work of promoting and protecting democracy continues in countries like 🇱🇾 Libya and 🇹🇳 Tunisia.

#COVIDxDemocracy

by Suzanne Abdallah and Eric Hodachok Across the Middle East and North Africa, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) works with local partners to strengthen the integrity and credibility of election processes and democratic institutions. This mission has become even more critical...

Public corruption is like a thread 🧵 that, if pulled, can undermine the entire democratic tapestry. IFES outlines four a...
05/15/2020
COVID-19 Corruption: Key Risks to Democratic Institutions

Public corruption is like a thread 🧵 that, if pulled, can undermine the entire democratic tapestry. IFES outlines four areas of public corruption that are at heightened risk due to the COVID-19 crisis.

#COVIDxDemocracy

by Chelsea Dreher and Alexandra Brown Public sector corruption during crisis heightens risks to democratic norms and institutions, which may already be under siege. There is compelling evidence that pervasive corruption can cause low levels of public trust and democratic participation. During a cris...

“The COVID-19 crisis has exacted a devastating toll on human lives, economies and health systems around the world. It al...
05/11/2020
IFES COVID-19 Briefing Series: Safeguarding Health and Elections

“The COVID-19 crisis has exacted a devastating toll on human lives, economies and health systems around the world. It also is a dangerous time for democracy.” ~ IFES President and CEO Anthony N. Banbury

The new IFES COVID-19 Briefing Series tackles seven fundamental areas of concern for democracy, human rights and governance in the wake of the pandemic. The first paper, Safeguarding Health and Elections, answers the question: How can elections be held safely during COVID-19 and other public health crises? It should be of interest to election officials and DRG practitioners, policymakers and supporters everywhere.

“Holding elections amid public health crises is possible, but considerable planning is needed to avoid exacerbating an already dire situation.”

@ManagementSciencesForHealth #COVIDxDemocracy

Democracies thrive on assembly, transparency and confidence in elections and government institutions—all of which are put at risk by the COVID-19 pandemic. The global health crisis erupted during an already troubling global decline in democracy. Already more than 50 countries have postponed or can...

This Wednesday, join IFES, our Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening partners and USAID’s Michell...
05/04/2020
A Recovery for Everyone: Putting Gender at the Center of Democracy & Governance Responses to COVID-19

This Wednesday, join IFES, our Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening partners and USAID’s Michelle Bekkering for an online conversation about gender and democracy, human rights and governance responses to COVID-19.

#COVIDxDemocracy

Learn more and RSVP 👇

Opening Remarks: Michelle Bekkering, USAID Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3) Panelists:

👏 After many years promoting equal rights, justice and inclusion for indigenous populations, IFES welcomes USAID - US Ag...
04/21/2020

👏 After many years promoting equal rights, justice and inclusion for indigenous populations, IFES welcomes USAID - US Agency for International Development's new policy.

Together, we build democracies that deliver FOR ALL, even during this difficult time of COVID-19.

#COVIDxDemocracy #WeAreIndigenous #DemocracyIs

USAID has a new framework for engaging with Indigenous Peoples to ensure our programming aligns to the greatest extent possible with Indigenous Peoples’ own priorities and aspirations.

Learn more about the USAID Policy on Promoting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples here: usaid.gov/indigenous-peoples.

Persons with disabilities face additional risks from COVID-19. In Southeast Asia, IFES is supporting local disabled peop...
04/20/2020
Advocacy Success for Disability-Inclusive Responses to COVID-19 in Southeast Asia

Persons with disabilities face additional risks from COVID-19. In Southeast Asia, IFES is supporting local disabled people’s organizations to keep governments inclusive and accountable.

In Malaysia 🇲🇾 advocacy techniques from IFES' policy platform are making a difference:
The National Council For The Blind Malaysia used them to successfully advocate for sign language in government communications, food deliveries for at-risk groups and an inclusive unemployment policy.

#COVIDxDemocracy AGENDA - General Election Network for Disability Access

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Community is now being confronted with a humanitarian crisis as the result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which provides a critical opportunity to uphold its commitments to the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons....

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health crisis: It is also a political crisis that urgently requires political and go...
04/16/2020
Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 through Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance Assistance

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health crisis: It is also a political crisis that urgently requires political and governance solutions.

A new white paper from IFES, the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute (IRI) focuses on six critical issues during this crisis.

#COVIDxDemocracy #CEPPS USAID - US Agency for International Development #DemocracyIs

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health crisis: It is also a political crisis that urgently requires political and governance solutions. Authoritarians are using the emergency to consolidate power and repress political opposition. The Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (...

We’re constantly adding new resources to our online hub, COVID-19: A Survival Guide for Democracies. This week's content...
04/15/2020
COVID-19: A Survival Guide for Democracies

We’re constantly adding new resources to our online hub, COVID-19: A Survival Guide for Democracies. This week's content includes legal considerations related to postponing or modifying elections, guidelines on using indelible ink during the pandemic and more.

#COVIDxDemocracy

IFES experts weigh in with critical analysis and innovative solutions during this time of uncertainty.

📺 What we're watching: Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections – a documentary that raises important questions ...
04/09/2020

📺 What we're watching: Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections – a documentary that raises important questions about technology in elections. 🗳

IFES is committed to ensuring that technology, information and data positively serve elections and democracy. IFES works with partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Ukraine to strengthen their election cybersecurity. This work continues and is adapting to the COVID-19 crisis.

#COVIDxDemocracy #COVID19 IFES Regional Europe Office IFES Georgia IFES Ukraine

IFES' Anthony Banbury in Devex: "Even while COVID-19 poses serious risks to societies around the world, it also offers t...
04/08/2020
Opinion: Elections and COVID-19 — what we learned from Ebola

IFES' Anthony Banbury in Devex: "Even while COVID-19 poses serious risks to societies around the world, it also offers the opportunity for democratic governments to demonstrate their commitment to serving the interests of those whom they govern. The clearest expression of this commitment is by holding free and fair elections."

IFES was on the front lines, supporting safe elections in Liberia during the Ebola crisis, as our CEO led the UN mission for the Ebola emergency response. He shares some of the lessons learned on Devex as guidance for holding elections and averting a democracy crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

IFES remains committed to working with our partners to build democracies that deliver for all, especially during times of crisis.

#COVIDxDemocracy #DemocracyForABetterFuture

Over 40 countries around the world have elections scheduled in the remainder of 2020. To avoid a democracy crisis sparked by COVID-19, governments should heed the lessons from Liberia’s experience with elections and Ebola.

#COVID19 has us all interested in online services, including internet voting, but what are the risks? Read more 👇#COVIDx...
04/07/2020
Considerations on Internet Voting: An Overview for Electoral Decision-Makers

#COVID19 has us all interested in online services, including internet voting, but what are the risks?

Read more 👇

#COVIDxDemocracy

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased interest in and demand for moving services online, including voting. In the context of elections, the introduction of new technologies presents both new opportunities and enormous risks.

On March 30, 🇭🇺 Hungary passed a COVID-19 law that largely suspends the democratic process, giving Prime Minister Viktor...
04/03/2020
Emergency Powers and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Protecting Democratic Guardrails

On March 30, 🇭🇺 Hungary passed a COVID-19 law that largely suspends the democratic process, giving Prime Minister Viktor Orban sweeping new powers to govern by decree. While some have already issued a death certificate for this fraught democracy, the Hungarian people have not yet conceded. The global community of democracies cannot be silent as opportunistic "strongmen" seek to take advantage of this emergency to empower themselves.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is an enormous crisis for individuals, states and the global order at a time when the rule of law and fundamental rights are already under attack,” write IFES experts Katherine Ellena and Erica Shein in a new brief.

Visit https://www.ifes.org/covid-19 for this and other analysis.

#COVIDxDemocracy

by Katherine Ellena and Erica Shein

All electoral activities planned for the near future will be affected one way or another by COVID-19. Election commissio...
04/02/2020
Low Voter Turnouts, Fear, Disinformation and Disrupted Supply Chains: How Election Commissions Are Unprepared for COVID-19

All electoral activities planned for the near future will be affected one way or another by COVID-19. Election commissions need sound advice and technical assistance to navigate the complexity of each election context, coordinate with the relevant health authorities, consider all relevant public health and political factors, and make sensible decisions to safeguard voters and electoral processes.

#COVIDxDemocracy

by Dr. Fernanda Buril and Dr. Staffan Darnolf

#COVIDxDemocracy | IFES experts weigh in with critical analysis and innovative solutions during this time of uncertainty...
03/31/2020
COVID-19: A Survival Guide for Democracies

#COVIDxDemocracy | IFES experts weigh in with critical analysis and innovative solutions during this time of uncertainty.

IFES experts weigh in with critical analysis and innovative solutions during this time of uncertainty.

This new context of COVID-19 presents challenges, yes, but also opportunities. IFES remains committed to our vision of #...
03/24/2020
IFES retira su personal de la JCE y suspende los viajes internacionales

This new context of COVID-19 presents challenges, yes, but also opportunities. IFES remains committed to our vision of #DemocracyForABetterFuture.

Este nuevo contexto de COVID-19 presenta retos, sí, pero también oportunidades. IFES sigue comprometido a nuestra visión de #DemocraciaParaUnFuturoMejor.

En una medida que atañe a la República Dominicana y debido a la pandemia del coronavirus, la Fundación Internacional para Sistemas Electorales (IFES) ...

As the world confronts the urgent threat of COVID-19, IFES has taken necessary steps, such as mandatory telework, to pro...
03/19/2020
Message from President and CEO Tony Banbury: IFES’ Response to Coronavirus

As the world confronts the urgent threat of COVID-19, IFES has taken necessary steps, such as mandatory telework, to protect the well-being of our staff and partners. We continue to work tirelessly in support of transparency, electoral integrity and accountability to empower citizens to determine how they are governed. Together we build democracies that deliver – even, if not especially, in a pandemic.

Dear friends and colleagues, Like organizations and communities around the world, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has been deeply impacted by the novel coronavirus crisis and has had to quickly and significantly adjust our way of working. The novel coronavirus presents an u...

03/19/2020
🇻🇺 Vanuatu just opened its polling stations for the 2020 general elections. Voters’ concerns include the economy and the...
03/18/2020

🇻🇺 Vanuatu just opened its polling stations for the 2020 general elections. Voters’ concerns include the economy and the Pacific Islands Forum, which will be hosted by Vanuatu in August.

📑 Read IFES' Frequently Asked Questions for a primer on this important electoral process: https://www.ifes.org/faqs/elections-vanuatu-2020-general-elections

During a recent workshop on election dispute resolution for judges, IFES' Katherine Ellena presented on comparative expe...
03/13/2020

During a recent workshop on election dispute resolution for judges, IFES' Katherine Ellena presented on comparative experiences from other jurisdictions, alongside judicial partners from Kenya and South Africa. IFES is proud to support such efforts to guarantee the integrity and legitimacy of elections in 🇪🇹 Ethiopia and around the world.

#DemocracyIs #Justice

The Federal Supreme Court of Ethiopia (FSCE) and National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) recently held a workshop on the topic of elections dispute resolution with support from USAID and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. Supreme Court President Meaza Ashenafi and Solomon Areda Waktola, deputy president of the FSCE, attended alongside high-level judges from Ethiopia federal courts to share information on the legal framework and election dispute resolution process, and learn about similar experiences from visiting high-level electoral and judicial officials from Kenya and South Africa to share best practices and discuss key issues.

South Africa Electoral Court Chairperson Judge B. H. Mbha and Kenya’s Chairperson of the Judicial Committee on Elections Justice Mbogholi Msagha provided comparative examples on adjudicating election cases. The invited judges also shared their experience on how to best design training opportunities for judges who will be adjudicating elections cases in Ethiopia.

If you're applying to one of our summer fellowship opportunities, don't forget that today's the deadline! Don't miss you...
03/13/2020
Fellowships

If you're applying to one of our summer fellowship opportunities, don't forget that today's the deadline! Don't miss your chance to get hands-on experience in elections and democratic governance promotion 👇

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) annually awards two to four Democracy Studies Fellowships to bring outstanding graduate students to Washington, D.C., to engage in democracy development research. Based at IFES’ Center for Applied Research and Learning, fellows have access ...

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