Two IFES election specialists participated in the United Nations Development Programme's Asian Electoral Regional Community of Practice Meeting, held in Manila on 26-28 September.
Vasu Mohan, IFES Deputy Director for Europe and Asia, and Beverly Hagerdon Thakur, IFES Chief of Party in the Philippines, attended the two-day conference and spoke on two of the panels.
Mohan discussed how electoral violence can be addressed by interventions throughout the electoral cycle, within global and regional contexts. He spoke about IFES' approach to mitigate election violence which includes collecting data systematically and monitoring violence while working with key institutions such as the electoral management body and law enforcement, and community-based mechanisms. Mohan also addressed politically motivated violence against women during the electoral cycle – and the important role of women as voters, candidates, election administrators, security providers and observers.
Other panelists in included Bryony Lau, International Crisis Group; Abdullah Ahmadzai, Chief Electoral Officer, Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan; and Adhy Aman, International IDEA.
Thakur focused on political party financing and reform in Asia on the last day of the conference. Her presentation compared various issues related to political finance across the region by considering regulatory bodies, legislation in place, persistent challenges and steps taken in response to those challenges.
The conference was attended by members of electoral commissions and civil society from across the Asia Pacific, including Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Bhutan, Thailand, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Timor Leste.