In many countries, the abuse of state resources (ASR) in elections is not sufficiently regulated, or there are significant disparities between what is written in the law and what happens in practice. These gaps may leave the electoral system vulnerable to manipulation by those in positions of power, undermine competitiveness, and reduce public trust in election outcomes. More broadly, ASR in elections can derail much-needed development, infrastructure, or social welfare projects and harm consolidation of the rule of law. Although the concept of abuse of state resources is indirectly highlighted in a handful of public law documents, the issue remains understudied and poorly understood. Additional research conducted under this project supports the democracy and governance community of practice to develop effective ASR frameworks and enforcement mechanisms.
CEPPS/IFES addressed the core research questions through the following activities:
The ASR methodology will be used by practitioners, including international and citizen (domestic) civil society actors, implementers, and advocates, to assess the effectiveness of ASR frameworks, develop meaningful recommendations and advocacy strategies, and inform subsequent program design. An abbreviated companion document, Abuse of State Resources Research and Assessment Framework: Guidelines for the Democracy and Governance Community of Practice, is also available online.
Abuse of State Resources Research and Assessment Framework: Guidelines for the Democracy and Governance Community of Practice
This condensed version of the full assessment tool is intended as a less time- and resource-intensive option for international and citizen (domestic) civil society actors, implementers, and advocates to use in conducting an initial assessment of the effectiveness of the ASR legal framework in a given country.