International Foundation for Election Systems
The International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) was founded in 1987 as a not-for-profit NGO and is based in Washington, DC. It fosters "democratic initiatives", extending loans and grants to various "developing" countries, and it provides "targeted technical assistance to strengthen transitional democracies". IFES notes: "the end of the Cold War in 1989 created opportunities… to respond to an overwhelming demand for technical non-partisan expertise in democracy and governance."
IFES describes its role as follows:
- As one of the world's premier democracy and governance assistance organizations, IFES provides targeted technical assistance to strengthen transitional democracies. Founded in 1987 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, IFES has developed and implemented comprehensive, collaborative democracy solutions in more than 100 countries.
- 1 Summary of activities
- 2 Actions around the world
- 3 Election Guide
- 4 Handing out prizes
- 5 Lecturing on how elections should be conducted
- 6 IFES Principals and Staff
- 7 Countries where IFES has been active
- 8 Affiliations
- 9 Contact, References and Resources
Summary of activities
This is how IFES describes its activities:
- Emerging democracies often lack the institutional capacity and political will to manage elections or educate their citizens about democratic politics. To meet these needs, IFES provides comprehensive assistance to governments, political parties and civil society organizations in election planning and administration, electoral law development, and voter education. IFES seeks to bring transparency to elections by involving civil society in the process (in observer training, negotiations with national election commissions, etc.) and by incorporating anti-fraud mechanisms, such as political finance instruments, transparent ballot boxes, or inking voters’ fingers.
- Since 1987, IFES has accumulated abundant election-related experience by offering these services in scores of countries, including numerous pre-election technical assessments, onsite technical assistance programs, poll-worker training, equipment procurements, and voter registration and education programs. Over time, we have built a cadre of more than 1,500 democracy and governance experts capable of addressing almost any election situation.
The IFES also assists journalists in covering elections.
Actions around the world
- IFES Africa Programs
- IFES Asia Programs
- IFES Eurasia Programs (former Soviet republics)
- IFES Latin America Programs
- IFES Middle East Programs
IFES has produced the Election Guide website, which enables the monitoring of elections, the election process, and information about parties. The website was paid for by "a generous grant" from USAID.
Contact and personnel
Handing out prizes
In October 2007, IFES awarded the "Charles T. Manatt Democracy Award" to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza.
Lecturing on how elections should be conducted
Besides handing out prizes, many of IFES's operatives lecture on how elections should be conducted. The emphasis is on the process or mechanics of elections and not on the nature of the political system. IFES is suggesting that money-dominated elections yield corruption and vote rigging. However, the US has a money-intensive election system - raising questions of double standards.
IFES Principals and Staff
- William J. Hybl, Chairman
- Jean-Pierre Kingsley – President and Chief Executive Officer
- Peter G. Kelly, Vice-Chairman
- Richard Soudriette, IFES President and member of the US State Dept. "advisory committee on democracy promotion"
- Leon J. Weil, Secretary
- Joseph Napolitan, Political consultant; president and CEO of Napolitan Associates; founder of the American Association of Political Consultants and co-founder of the International Association of Political Consultants; author of numerous articles and books on political campaigns; campaign advisor to various candidates both in the U.S. and abroad.
- Judy Black
- Don V. Cogman
- Judy G. Fernald
- Tyrone Freeman
- Frederick P. Furth
- Jeffrey Glassman
- Steny Hoyer -- (US Congress Rep. (MD))
- Patricia Hutar
- Lesley Israel
- Barbara Kennelly
- Maureen Kindel
- Jean-Pierre Kingsley
- Kathleen M. Linehan
- Robert L. Livingston
- Jane Bergman Norton
- Andres Pastrana — Former President of Colombia (1998-2002)
- R. Scott Pastrick
- Michael Pinto-Duschinsky
- T. Timothy Ryan, Jr.
- Robert H. Tuttle
IFES Senior Field Staff
|IFES Field-Based Senior Staff|
|Bradley Austin – Senior Field Development Manager, East/South Africa||Dickson Bailey – Project Director, IFES Albania and Kosovo (Elections)||Dan Blessington – Chief of Party, Azerbaijan|
|Elizabeth Côté – Chief of Party, Guinea||Almami Cyllah – Chief of Party, Liberia||Peter Erben – Deputy Director and Senior Advisor, Center for Transitional and Post-Conflict Governance|
|Ched Flego – Chief of Party, Armenia||Ben Goldsmith – Chief of Party, Egypt||Beverly Hagerdon Thakur – Chief of Party, Philippines|
|Paul Harris – Chief of Party, Yemen||Leone Hettenbergh – Chief of Party, Uganda||Richard John – Chief of Party, Iraq|
|Edward Kibirige – Chief of Party, Burundi||Charles Lasham – Chief of Party, Nigeria||Dr. Cecile Marotte – Chief of Party (Victims of Violence), Haiti|
|David Mikosz – Chief of Party, Kyrgyz Republic||Katherine Müller --Chief of Party, Tajikistan||Theo Noel – Chief of Party, Kenya|
|Mauricio Claudio López-Rivera – Chief of Party, Timor Leste||Carmina Sanchis-Ruescas – Chief of Party, DRC||Hermann Thiel – Chief of Party, Lebanon|
|Rodolfo Ticao – Senior Program Manager, Iraq||Marcin Walecki – Senior Political Finance Advisor, Center for Transitional and Post-Conflict Governance||Peter Williams – Chief of Party, Afghanistan|
|Jennifer Wilson – Chief of Party, Kazakhstan|
Countries where IFES has been active
IFES states that has assisted more than 100 countries around the world.
Major activity occurred here:
|Countries where IFES has major operations|
|Dominican Republic||East Timor||Ethiopia|
- Center for Transitional and Post-Conflict Governance – Organization belonging to IFES
- Council for a Community of Democracies
- Eurasia Foundation
- Freedom House
- International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Canadian NGO)
- International IDEA
- International Republican Institute
- National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)
- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
- Soros Foundation
- United States Agency for International Development (USAID) (main funding source).
- U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) funding 
Contact, References and Resources
- 1101 15th Street, N.W., Third Floor
- Washington, D.C. 20005
- 202.828.8507, Telephone
- 202.452.0804, Fax
- Website: www.ifes.org
- About IFES, IFES website, accessed 6 Apr 2010
- About IFES, Election Guide website, accessed 6 Apr 2010
- Europe & Eurasia, IFES website, accessed 6 Apr 2010
- About IFES, Election Guide website, accessed 6 Apr 2010
- Elections services, IFES website, accessed 6 Apr 2010
- Arab journalists can apply for workshop on elections, International Journalists' Network, 17 January 2008
- About Us, Election Guide website, accessed 6 Apr 2010
- IFES Honors OAS Secretary General Insulza With Its Annual Democracy Award, Media Newswire, October 2007. (Accessed: 9 October 2007)
- Achara Ashayagachat, Close monitoring by public urged, Bangkok Post, 17 November 2007.
- Navbahor Imamova, Uzbekistan to Hold Presidential Elections in December, VOA News, 7 November 2007
- FAQs, IFES website, accessed 6 Apr 2010
-  Source