Although credible elections can support nations in their democratization processes, seriously flawed or failed elections pose a potent risk to political stability. Electoral leaders therefore operate in a unique and challenging space. They may be required to carry out their mandates at the epicenter of fundamental transitions that involve all sectors of society, enormous political pressure, and uniquely complex challenges to the independence of the institutions they helm. Strong electoral leadership is essential to resolving protracted challenges that prevent meaningful reforms, undermine EMB independence, and subvert the electoral process. Despite these imperatives, there is virtually no area of study dedicated to the topic of electoral leadership either in its own right or as distinct from election management.
Quantitative data and qualitative analysis is needed to test existing assumptions, better understand electoral leadership from a comparative perspective, and tailor training programs for electoral leaders.
To address this gap in understanding, CEPPS/IFES will:
The curriculum will be used to support senior electoral leaders (both new leaders and those who have managed elections in the past). The curriculum modules will emphasize the skills needed for electoral leaders to strengthen institutional independence, deliver elections within the context of a crisis, resist manipulation of elections by political actors, and foster institutional resilience and capacity.
IFES’ iEXCEL Executive Curriculum helps electoral leaders develop the skills needed to deliver peaceful and fair elections in times of crisis, resist political manipulation, and foster institutional resilience and independence. The curriculum was developed to reflect lessons from past leaders who have shepherded elections through extraordinary times such as health crises and transitions of power.
Hear directly from some of the exceptional leaders whose experiences helped shape the training, including: