May 1, 2012, 3:19 p.m.
Elections provide an opportunity for peaceful competition between political ideas and an arena for social debate. Maintaining this opportunity requires attention to the entire election process and electoral cycle, not just Election Day. In An Integrated Approach to Elections and Conflict, IFES links the conflict cycle and the electoral cycle to highlight effective conflict-sensitive electoral management strategies. Overlapping the two cycles shows the breadth of activities that already focus on reducing election-related violence and encourages innovation to fill existing gaps. Recommendations center on electoral planning that merges technical expertise with a multi-stakeholder approach. Strategies are outlined first by stages within the conflict cycle and cross-referenced with stages in the electoral cycle. Merging conflict-reduction approaches with the electoral cycle allows a better understanding of the inter-dependent roles that stakeholders play in reducing violent conflict around an election. An Integrated Approach to Elections and Conflict draws on IFES' 25 years of experience in elections and the empirical research collected through IFES' Election Violence Education and Resolution (EVER) Program.