About the Database
One of the most compelling concerns that election practitioners face today is how to make use of the unique opportunities presented by the development of modern information and communication technologies (ICTs). ICTs can help to speed up and streamline several procedures in the electoral cycle, such as voter registration, casting ballots, processing of results and many other processes. However, technologies can also create complex challenges to election operations. When ICTs are correctly used, based on well-identified needs and the adoption of a proper implementation strategy, the outcome can be very beneficial.
Some countries use ICTs effectively to improve electoral processes, but others face problems. The most cited causes of failure in ICT use include unrealistic expectations of ICTs to meet demands, adoption of inappropriate technologies, and lack of qualified staff to work with ICTs.
In order to help election practitioners and stakeholders to better understand the use of ICTs in elections, International IDEA has conducted a global comparative study to learn how ICTs are being used in several stages of electoral process. The main purpose was to document the global patterns of usage of ICTs in elections, the problems and challenges countries are facing, and the types of technologies being used. The study led to the development of an online database, which presents the comparative data in an interactive way.
The database consists of five parts covering the use of ICTs in the following areas:
- Voter registration and identification
- Processing of results
- Use of open source technology in election administration
- Online data publication by electoral management bodies (EMBs)