Electoral reform is an integral part of democratic development.

In broad terms, electoral reforms are undertaken to improve the electoral process by promoting the electoral rights of citizens and by operationalizing key principles such as impartiality, inclusiveness, transparency, integrity and accuracy. Continuous reflection, reform and adaptation of the legal framework governing electoral processes that are based on experiences, reviews and assessments are necessary in both old and new democracies.

This policy paper explores EMB involvement in the area of electoral law reform in Africa and aims to provide guidelines for EMB engagement. More specifically, it presents EMBs with key issues that need to be taken into consideration in addition to hands-on experience and lessons learned from EMBs that have previously undertaken work in this area.


Publication date
15 December 2014
Mette Bakken
Number of pages
978-91-87729-77-5 (Print)


Key recommendations

Executive summary

1. Introduction

2. The electoral law reform environment

3. EMB roles

4. EMB approaches

5. Challenges and risks

6. Recommendations for EMBs engaging in electoral law reform

References and further reading

Acronyms and abbreviations


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Electoral Law Reform in Africa: Insights into the Role of EMBs and Approaches to Engagements

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