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Strengthening EMBs' resilience through electoral risk management

February 13, 2018 • By Sead Alihodzic
Vote counting for the 2012 Timor-Leste presidential elections at a polling station in Dili. Photo Credit: Sandra Magno/ UNDP Flickr.

Electoral risk management (ERM) should be institutionalized by electoral management bodies (EMBs) as a means of strengthening their capacity to deliver credible elections. To this end, experts recommend the promotion of the ERM concept within a broader electoral assistance scheme.

On 23–24 January 2018, International IDEA hosted a roundtable, ‘Risk Management in Elections: Strengthening Resilience of Electoral Management Bodies, bringing together over 30 EMB representatives, international electoral assistance providers, civil society, government organizations, and risk management consultants. 

The roundtable aimed to build a shared understanding between participants about where to situate ERM within a broader electoral practice and international assistance efforts, share good practices relating to ERM advocacy and capacity building, and cultivate a community of practice around ERM.

Representatives of EMBs from Kenya, Canada, Nigeria, Mexico, Botswana, and India and of A-WEB, EISA, IFES, International IDEA, the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency and C4 Strategies presented their practical experience. Through this, and open discussions, the group yielded several important recommendations. To mention a few, participants suggested:

  • further standardizing related tools;
  • building donor understanding of the concept;
  • broadening discussion and promotion efforts to regions;
  • developing further knowledge resources and capacity building instruments on ERM;
  • promoting the establishment of ERM units; and
  • fostering multi-stakeholder collaboration.

Most participants also expressed interest in continued collaboration on the ERM topic. 

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About the authors

Sead Alihodzic
Principal Adviser Elections, Conflict and Risk Management
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