Since 1998, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has been engaged in Cambodia with the aim of building the capacity of institutions to conduct credible and fair elections. IFES supports both the election commission and civil society to strengthen Cambodia’s electoral framework, and works to improve the engagement of women and persons with disabilities in the political process. IFES established a Working Group on Political Finance, which developed a draft political finance law and code of conduct. During the 2013 elections, the group increased awareness of political finance reform, and through its work, five political parties voluntarily committed to financial disclosure.
In collaboration with the Open Institute, IFES developed an interactive voice response system to provide information to voters, which received 645,166 calls during the 2013 election period. IFES also sought to increase public awareness about how and why to participate in voter registration update processes through public opinion research and voter education campaigns directed at countering misconceptions. In collaboration with local partner VBNK, IFES developed the Women’s Leadership Program, which trained 490 women from 14 provinces to build their leadership capacity in elections.
IFES has also partnered with the Electoral Reform Alliance (ERA), an alliance of 20 civil society organizations, to support and advocate for electoral reform. In order to raise awareness about election laws and develop recommendations for electoral reform to ensure political participation of women and persons with disabilities, IFES is collaborating with the Cambodia Disabled People’s Organization (CDPO) and the Committee to Promote Women in Politics (CPWP).