Transparent and accountable systems of political finance that enhance the integrity of the political process and ensure a level playing field for parties and candidates are important for emerging, consolidating, and established democracies. Clearly defined and enforced regulations may reduce competitive advantages for wealthier candidates, quell vote buying and the abuse of state resources, and increase public confidence in the political system. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) has worked in more than 45 countries to strengthen political finance regulation and oversight. In countries around the globe, IFES collaborates with all key domestic stakeholders – including parliaments, government institutions, civil society groups and media outlets – to cultivate effective and appropriate transparency and accountability measures.
Through initiatives like the Training in Detection and Enforcement (TIDE) program – which addresses the specific needs of political finance enforcers – IFES aims to increase the effectiveness of global political finance enforcement and reduce opportunities for corruption in the electoral process. IFES also supports civil society groups to monitor and increase public awareness about how money is raised and spent by political parties and election campaigns. IFES grounds its programs in research conducted at a national, regional and global level, and examines the interconnectedness of political finance and other electoral issues, such as electoral violence, electoral integrity and the political participation of women.