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IFES CELEbrates 2021 Summit for democracy and year of democratic action


"Now is the time to pursue big ideas to address systemic challenges. Now is the time to think of solutions not to single acts of repression, but to the ability of malign actors to act with impunity."

Anthony N. Banbury, IFES President

The Summit for Democracy was a whirlwind of insightful virtual events that spanned Dec. 8-10, 2021. The run-up to the Summit was equally dynamic, with a rich array of official and unofficial events held around the globe over the last two months. Throughout these activities, IFES’ core priorities were front and center, including the importance of safeguarding voting rights and election results, combatting corruption, advancing diverse political leadership and civic engagement, and ensuring the use of technology for good.

Watch the Summit for Democracy

Ahead of the Summit, IFES President Anthony Banbury joined Amb. Derek Mitchell of NDI and Dr. Daniel Twining of IRI to discuss the role of these three organizations in strengthening democracies.

Consortium for Elections & Political Processes: Democracy Roundtable

IFES rallied together with likeminded organizations to promote "Five Messages for the Summit for Democracy."

Learn more about the "Five Messages"

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Summit for Democracy Side Event: Disability-Inclusive Democracy in Action: Opportunities and Challenges
Friday, Dec. 3, was International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and in celebration IFES participated in Disability-Inclusive Democracy in Action: Opportunities and Challenges, an official Summit for Democracy side event. This important event – co-hosted by the governments of the United States, Norway and the United Kingdom – was moderated by President Biden's Special Advisor on International Disability Rights, Sara Minkara.  

Virginia Atkinson, IFES Senior Global Advisor on Inclusion, hosted the first session on "Exercising the Right to Vote." The panelists in this session discussed ways electoral management bodies can and do make electoral activities inclusive of people with all types of disabilities.

Watch the recording

A group of district and provincial elections officers from across Zambia participated in a reflection session hosted by IFES.


In the face of a national economic crisis, widespread political violence and the most polarizing campaign in the history of modern Zambia, the Electoral Commission of Zambia delivered a peaceful election, managed record levels of voter turn-out and ushered in an orderly transition of power.

Learn more about this important election.

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Today marked the final day of the #SummitForDemocracy and the start of a

Vice President of USPSA Solomon Islands Campus, Maverick Peter Seda, with other student members, ahead of IYD 2021


In partnership with the University of South Pacific Student Association (USPSA), IFES, with support from USAID, launched the interactive virtual webinar series "Youth Advocacy for Inclusive COVID-19 Response and Recovery." Young advocates throughout the Pacific Islands collaborated to develop an inclusive policy platform for Pacific youth, identifying three key priority areas: education, disability rights and youth participation.

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gambian election

Election Faqs


On Sunday, Nov. 28, Kyrgyzstan’s voters elected deputies of the Jorgoku Kenesh (Parliament). Following the 2021 constitutional reform, voters selected the 90 members of the seventh convocation of the Parliament. These elections are the first to be held since significant changes were made to Kyrgyzstan’s electoral legislation and Constitution.

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The Gambia

On Saturday, Dec. 4, The Gambia held a secure and successful presidential election. Voters chose from six candidates for a five-year, renewable term. The December 2021 election was the first presidential election held since the departure of former president Yahyah Jammeh, who ruled from 1994 until 2017.

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Work with IFES

IFES has exciting opportunities available globally and at our headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, including:

  • IT Services and Asset Analyst - Part Time
  • Senior Global Cyber and Information Integrity Advisor
  • Senior GL & AP Manager
  • Deputy Regional Director, Americas
  • Country Director - Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Country Director- Ecuador
  • Electoral Technology and Integrity Advisor- Nigeria
  • Senior Technical Advisor-Ukraine

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IFES Mentions

IFES programs, experts and research are regularly featured in the media. We value the opportunity to highlight democracy assistance and further our mission to build democracies that deliver for all. Please see the Newsroom on IFES.org for more.

Politico highlighted the CEPPS democracy roundtable in their Global Insider daily newsletter and mentioned IFES president Tony Banbury's participation on behalf of IFES. Voto Digital reported on IFES' release of the "Five Messages for the Democracy Summit." in conjunction with the Democracy Summit. ReliefWeb published a report on violence targeting women in politics by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), which references IFES findings.

Semana reported on the establishment of the International Electoral Observation Mission, which included IFES.

Democratic Republic of the Congo:
Actualite reported on IFES' Mountaga Sylla meeting with CENI President Denis Kadima.

STN Honduras reported on the Association of Journalists of Honduras (CPH) training their members on electoral issues in collaboration with IFES. Proceso Digital reported on the National Electoral Council thanking the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of El Salvador and IFES for the loan of electoral equipment.

The Election Commission of India published a notice on the release of international training modules on election management in collaboration with IFES.

The Network for the Affirmation of the Non-Governmental Sector reported on the XIV National Anti-Corruption Conference, where IFES' Magnus Ohman was a panelist.

Al Taghyeer reported on a meeting between the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission Sudan (UNITAMS) and pro-democracy organizations, including IFES.

La Presse reported on the efforts of the Youth Council of M'saken, carried out through the IFES-supported ‘Reporters of Local Democracy’ program.  

Zimbabwe: The News Hawks reported on the suspension of a mobile voter registration program and referenced a 2013 IFES report.

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Follow the Global Impact of Covid-19 on Elections
Elections around the world have been impacted by COVID-19. IFES continues to track the latest information on election postponements, adjusted election dates and risk-mitigating strategies adopted during elections.
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Use #COVIDxDemocracy on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and visit IFES' online hub, COVID-19: A Survival Guide for Democracies. If this e-newsletter was forwarded to you, please sign up here to get it in your inbox.
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