Risk Management in Elections

This publication is only available in electronic format
Published: 
23 November 2016
Language: 
English
Pages: 
68
ISBN: 
978-91-7671-075-3
Author(s): 
Sead Alihodžić

Elections are complex undertakings. Regardless of where they take place, election management bodies (EMBs) face numerous risks in organizing them.

These risks are linked to the legal, operational, technical, political and security aspects of electoral processes. When risks become certainties, the consequences can be serious in both well-established and transitional democracies.

Risk management has been endorsed by many professions for dealing with complex tasks, and is now emerging as an area of increased importance for EMBs, electoral assistance providers and democracy researchers.

This Policy Paper demonstrates the importance of institutionalizing risk management in elections. It discusses key terminological and methodological aspects of risk management in order to derive election-specific definitions, and outlines the key ingredients of risk management in elections.

The paper takes stock of existing electoral risk-management practices, based on the results of a global survey of 87 countries carried out by International IDEA, and case studies provided by EMBs in Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, India, Mexico and South Africa, as well as a comparative case study of Kenya, Nepal and Nigeria.

Contents

Acknowledgements        

Key recommendations

Executive summary

1. Introduction

2. Terminology and methodological considerations

3. The state of risk management in elections worldwide       

4. Implementation options           

5. Conclusions and recommendations        

References        

Annex A. Case Studies    

1. Electoral risk management: an Australian perspective      

2. Electoral risk management practices in Bosnia and Herzegovina    

3. An overview of Elections Canada’s risk-management activities      

4. Management of conflict and security risk for elections in India      

5. Electoral risks in Mexico’s 2015 electoral processes         

6. Electoral risk management practices in South Africa        

7. Electoral risk management in Kenya, Nepal and Nigeria   

About the authors          

More International IDEA Policy Papers    

Related Content

Jun
22
2017
Sergio Bitar, member of the Board of Advisers of International IDEA received the Guillermo O’Donnell Award and Lectureship by the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) in Lima, Peru, on 29 April 2017. In this photo, Mr. Bitar is joined by the members of the award’s committee, Prof. Gabriela Ippolito-O'Donnell and Prof. Kevin Midlebrook. Photo credit: LASA. 

Sergio Bitar, member of the Board of Advisers of International IDEA received the Guillermo O’Donnell Award and Lectureship by the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) in Lima, Peru, on 29 April 2017. In this photo, Mr. Bitar is joined by the members of the award’s committee, Prof. Gabriela Ippolito-O'Donnell and Prof. Kevin Midlebrook. Photo credit: LASA. 

News Article
May
31
2017
Election Commissioner Luie Tito F. Guia receiving explanation from Sead Alihodzic about incremental and comprehensive approaches towards institutionalization of ERM during a break [Photo: Adhy Aman/International IDEA]

Election Commissioner Luie Tito F. Guia receiving explanation from Sead Alihodzic about incremental and comprehensive approaches towards institutionalization of electoral risk management during a break .[Photo: Adhy Aman/International IDEA]

Feature Story
May
29
2017
International IDEA team paid a courtesy call to Election Commission of Thailand Chairman, 22 May 2017 – from left to right: Mr Sead Alihodzic (International IDEA); Mr Supachai Somcharoen (Chairman); Mr Adhy Aman (IDEA); Police Colonel Jarungvith Pumma (Acting Secretary-General); Dr Cholaraj Phewban (Inspector-General) [Photo: International IDEA]

The International IDEA team visited the Election Commission of Thailand Chairman on 22 May 2017 . From left to right: Sead Alihodzic (International IDEA); Supachai Somcharoen (Chairman); Adhy Aman (International IDEA); Police Colonel Jarungvith Pumma (Acting Secretary-General); Cholaraj Phewban (Inspector-General) [Photo: International IDEA]

Feature Story