Elections are an essential element of democratic processes and key moments for holding state institutions accountable. Inclusive and transparent elections which allow the non-violent and open competition among different interests offer the possibility for redistributing access to power. Of course this goes not without political risks. If elections are poorly designed and stirred by confrontational electoral campaigns, they can result in violent conflicts and single party dominance.
SDC is substantially engaged in election support, at national and subnational levels, along the following principles: [A] to view elections not as "one-shot events" but engage with a long-term perspective along the whole electoral cycle; [B] to understand elections as important but not the only means for democratic transformation. Electoral assistance needs complementary activities and to be connected with other good governance or democratisation programmes; [C] to strengthen domestic ownership and capacities; [D] to diversify collaboration modalities in order to minimize risks. Election support must start with careful political risk analysis and strengthen domestic capacities in preventing and mitigating electoral violence. This is particularly important in post-conflict scenarios.
Election support has been a recurrent ddlgn learning topic over the past years with several learning inputs.
You can find resource documents and interesting links here below and information on ddlgn learning under the subtopic
Note to the management for the retreat of 30 January 2014
New programs on electoral assistance starting from 2014 onwards
Support to elections - Overview of SDC projects and small actions for the period 2012/2013
The objectives of this document are to highlight the comparative advantages of SDC interventions and elaborate synergies under a “whole of government approach” with other Swiss institutions active in the field of election support.
Worthwhile human stories
This Toolkit is designed to guide UNDP colleagues and other electoral practitioners at different stages of electoral cycle projects, by explaining core concepts at each stage, procedures to be followed, and linking to useful tools that are available both in UNDP and outside of UNDP. This is a living Toolkit that evolves over time by addressing new issues and presenting fresh resources.
Recalling its commitment to strengthen democracy and assist countries in their process of democratic consolidation, the Community of Democracies has established a Working Group on Elections to serve as a platform for dialogue and action on election-related issues, bringing together government representatives and national electoral institutions, as well as regional and international organizations active in the field.
The focus of the EC - UNDP Joint Task Force is on identification, formulation, implementation support and monitoring of all the EC-UNDP projects of electoral assistance. The lessons learnt are consolidated and codified so that they can effectively feed into the implementation of the new electoral assistance projects (and) into the joint EC-UNDP trainings on Effective Electoral Assistance.