Protecting Elections

Protecting Elections Meeting in March 2023 at International IDEA in Stockholm, Sweden.
Inspired by its work on electoral risk management, democracy resilience, and conduct of elections during emergencies and crises, International IDEA will develop an Integrated Framework for Protecting Elections that promote the use of risk management, resilience-building, and crisis management methods. While these concepts are indispensable in many sectors that face high risks, the original research conducted by International IDEA confirms that they remain mostly unexplored in the field of democracy and electoral assistance.

The project has two main objectives namely 1) to develop a set of gender-sensitive global public goods, including a guide for practitioners, an assessment tool, a training curriculum and toolbox, that can inspire, enable and empower Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) and other stakeholders in protecting the integrity of electoral processes; and 2) to improve the capacity and practices of  EMBs and other stakeholders in countries that test, pilot, and use the framework to protect electoral integrity in the face of various risks and crises.

This landing page includes information and materials on the protecting elections project which started in January 2023 and is expected to be finalized in December 2025. The page was first published on 09 May 2023 and will be updated on a regular basis. 

The project is supported by the Government of Canada.

For more information on background research, see discussion paper: Protecting Elections: Risk Management, Resilience-building and Crisis Management in Elections.

Project Updates

  • 17-18 June 2024 a Protecting Elections workshop was organized together with the Finnish Ministry of Justice in Helsinki, Finland. Read more about it in the event article (June, 2024). 
  • In early June, a mission was conducted to Sri Lanka to explore the Election Commission's interest in taking part in the project's implementation phase. After presenting the project's objectives and activities, the team received positive feedback and a formal partnership is now being considered (June, 2024). 
  • 7-9 May 2024 a Protecting Elections Capacity Development Workshop was jointly organized in by International IDEA and the Office of the Election Commissioner (OEC) of Mauritius. The workshop took place in Port Louis and served as a sequel to the event held in February earlier this year. The objective was to further empower national stakeholders in protecting electoral integrity. For more details see the event article (May, 2024).
  • Using the curriculum developed as part of the project, International IDEA hosted a "Protecting Elections Capacity Development Workshop" for 11 members and senior management of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Ukraine. The training was an opportunity to test the project resources while at the same time support the CEC in strengthening their knowledge and skills in electoral risk management, resilience-building and crisis management (April, 2024). 
Protecting Elections Risk Heat Map
  • As part of the project, a standard risk heat map has been adapted and developed to improve the understanding of overlaps and transitions between risk management, resilience-building and crisis management practices in elections. The 'Protecting Elections Risk Heat Map' has thus far proven very helpful in International IDEA's efforts to structure the conversation and organize workshops with national stakeholders on on risk management, resilience-building and crisis management. 
  • In anticipation of the International Women's Day 2024, an article discussing the interconnections between gender equality and electoral integrity, as well as the project's efforts to advance both objectives, was published on International IDEA's website (March, 2024)
  • 21st of February the first Protecting Elections' Workshop was organized in Port Louis together with the Office of the Election Commission (OEC) of Mauritius. The workshop brought together a  diverse group of representatives from state agencies to jointly map challenges to electoral integrity in the country, and possible actions to deal with related risks, threats, and crises. For more information on the findings and ways forward, see event article (February, 2024). 
Commissioner Rahman presenting the findings of the Election Commission. Photo by Lume Production Company Ltd / International IDEA.
Commissioner Rahman presenting at the Protecting Elections' Workshop, Mauritius 

  • In the beginning of 2024, a mission was organized to Panama to explore the Electoral Tribunal's (ET) interest to engage with the project. After fruitful discussions with the full panel of magistrates, interest was shown in participating in the project's implementation activities. More details about the discussions and the way forward can be found in the event report (February, 2024)
  • As the project moves into its implementation phase, tests and pilots of the Integrated Framework resource package will be initiated in four countries across the world. After a successful consultation mission to Mauritius in November 2023, partnership has been formalized with the Office of Electoral Commission  (OEC) to engage as pilot country. The first activity will be a Protecting Elections Workshop organized in Port Louis in mid February 2024. More information will be shared following the workshop (February 2024). 
Project Manager, Sead Alihodzic, introducing the project at the SADC-ECF Annual General Conference, Cape Town.
Project Manager, Sead Alihodzic, introducing the project at the SADC-ECF Annual General Conference, Cape Town. 


Case Studies

Timor-Leste: Resilient Elections Built on Experience (Case Study, August 2023)

Varieties of Electoral Integrity Risk: Protecting Elections in Brazil (Case Study, September 2023)

Protecting Electoral Integrity: The Case of South Africa (Case Study, November 2023)

 Protecting Elections: The Case of Kenya (Case Study, March 2024)

Kenya case study

Related International IDEA Analysis, Publications and News



For additional information about the project please contact International IDEA via:



Key contacts

Sead Alihodzic
Principal Adviser, Elections, Conflict and Risk Management
Erik Asplund
Senior Programme Officer, Elections and Crisis
Julia Thalin
Associate Programme Officer, Electoral Processes
Therese Pearce Laanela, Head of Electoral Processes
Therese Pearce Laanela
Head of Electoral Processes
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