Accountability

The strength of democracies is dependent on the continued consent of the governed. This consent can be conferred or withdrawn during regular elections and other legal proceedings. Elected officials, as well as others who serve in democratic governments, have an inherent responsibility to uphold the constitution, fundamental human rights and the laws that have been adopted through democratic procedures and institutions. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) views accountability as an essential principle of democracy that is based on an explicit set of rules and ethical standards and reflects the popular will. IFES promotes accountability in the electoral process and beyond through the development and enforcement of laws and regulations governing political and campaign funding; oversight of the use of administrative resources by elected officials; and the application of codes of conduct that support professionalism and high standards of ethical behavior among election administrators and other electoral stakeholders. Our work with both State and non-State actors also enhances transparency in the relationship between citizens and government officials and supports the power of citizens to sanction, impose costs or to remove government officials for unsatisfactory performance or actions by democratic means.