IFES@30: 30 Years Advancing Good Governance and Democratic Rights

Publication Date: 
4 Jan 2017

News Type:

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is proud to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2017. Throughout the last three decades, IFES has supported citizens’ rights to participate in free and fair elections. Our independent expertise strengthens electoral systems and builds local capacity to deliver sustainable solutions.

As the global leader in democracy promotion, we advance good governance and democratic rights by:

  • Providing technical assistance to election officials
  • Empowering the underrepresented to participate in the political process
  • Applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle

To mark our 30th anniversary, we will feature 30 human interest stories throughout the year that illustrate the positive impact of IFES’ work. We encourage you to share these stories and personal voices and also invite you to explore our website and learn more about our programs.

Since 1987, IFES has worked in over 145 countries – from developing democracies, to mature democracies.

Featured Story: First-Time Voter, Thundar Myo Nyunt, Myanmar

Featured story image

Myanmar’s November 2015 elections marked an important milestone in the country’s democratic transition. Over 90 parties and 6,000 candidates vied for seats in the polls and this was the first time observer missions were accredited, with 10,000 domestic and 1,000 international observers monitoring the vote. The opposition National League for Democracy, led by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, won 77 percent of the seats, and the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party graciously conceded defeat in what has been hailed as a historic moment for democracy in Myanmar.

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) provided technical assistance to the Union Election Commission in preparation for the vote and worked with civil society to inform voters and advocate for inclusive, credible and transparent elections.

For many voters in Myanmar, such as Thundar Myo Nyunt from IFES Myanmar, the November 8 general elections were their first opportunity to vote. After voting, she excitedly said, "I'm just so excited to vote for the first time, I'm really elated!"

Read more stories

Irena Hadžiabdić,
IFES Board Member, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Irena Hadžiabdić, IFES Board Member, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, United States
Women’s Empowerment, IFES Democracy Award

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, United States Featured Image

Beverly G. Hagerdon, Chief of Party, Sri Lanka
Field Team, IFES Chief of Party

Beverly G. Hagerdon, Chief of Party, Sri Lanka

Azamat Karabotoev, Kyrgyzstan
Youth Engagement, IFES Democracy Camp

Azamat Karabotoev, Kyrgyzstan Featured Image

Dr. Nicholas Kerr, University of Alabama, United States
2009 Charles and Kathleen Manatt Fellow

Dr. Nicholas Kerr, University of Alabama, United States Featured Image