Electoral Management Design: The International IDEA Handbook (2006)

This publication is only available in electronic format
27 November 2006
91-85391-65-4 (Print)
Alan Wall, Andrew Ellis, Ayman Ayoub, Carl W. Dundas, Joram Rukambe, Sara Staino

Building trust and professionalism in the management of electoral processes remains a major challenge for electoral management bodies (EMBs), institutions and/or bodies responsible for managing elections.

The ‘credibility gap’—the diminished public confidence in the integrity and diligence for many electoral institutions and their activities—is a common problem for EMBs around the world.

Many EMBs face basic design questions as they seek to work better: how should EMBs be structured to ensure that they can act independently? How do EMBs relate to stakeholders such as the media, political parties and donors? How can EMBs evaluate their performance and use experience to build sustainable elections?

This Handbook is written for electoral administrators, electoral administration designers and other practitioners involved in building professional, sustainable and cost-effective electoral administrations which can deliver legitimate and credible free and fair elections.

In 2014, International IDEA published a revised edition of this Handbook, featuring updated information and data. 


Acronyms and Abbreviations

Chapter 1. Who Organizes Elections?

Chapter 2. The Legal Framework: The Context for an EMB’s Role and Powers

Chapter 3. The Powers, Functions and Responsibilities of an EMB

Chapter 4. The Composition, Roles and Functioning of an EMB

Chapter 5. Planning and Implementing EMB Activities

Chapter 6. The Development of Professional Electoral Management

Chapter 7. The Financing of EMBs

Chapter 8. Stakeholder Relationships

Chapter 9. Assessing EMB Performance

Chapter 10. The Sustainability of EMBs

Chapter 11. EMB Networks

Chapter 12. Reforming Electoral Processes

As both emerging and established democracies across the world strengthen their commitment to enhanced electoral reforms and professionalism in electoral administration, the need for a single source of information on the common themes and issues faced by all electoral administrators has never been more manifest. This Handbook is an essential tool for building the institutional capacity, sustainability, and professionalism of electoral management bodies and will help to ensure the sustainability of electoral structures and increase the legitimacy of, and public confidence in, electoral processes. The knowledge and expertise shared in this Handbook provide valuable ideas and practices for improving the performance of electoral management bodies. I am certain that this informative and practical new edition will benefit anyone with an interest or a stake in the successful administration of democratic elections.
Jean-Pierre Kingsley
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada

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