The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) begun implementation of the “Improved Election Management Program” (IEMP) in Sri Lanka in September 2015, in partnership with the Election Commission (EC) of Sri Lanka to share international standards, principles and best practices. Key activities under the IEMP include:
- Conducting an Electoral Integrity Assessment to identify and assess vulnerabilities in Sri Lanka’s electoral system to fraud, malpractice and systematic manipulation, and providing recommendations for measures that various institutions and groups can take to mitigate these vulnerabilities;
- Organizing strategic planning workshops and providing technical assistance to support the EC’s development of a comprehensive strategic plan that strengthens its ability to operate as an independent manager of the electoral process and establishes electoral priorities in the lead up to national elections in 2020;
- Providing trainings to the EC and other electoral stakeholders to increase their knowledge of electoral administration, inclusion of women, persons with disabilities and other minorities in the electoral process, and development of a comprehensive voter education strategy; and
- Working with women’s and disability-rights advocates to develop recommendations for Sri Lanka’s Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms to promote inclusion of disadvantaged groups as part of the constitutional reform process.
IFES’ past activities in Sri Lanka included supporting the Department of Elections to establish the Automated Electoral Rolls Systems in 2007, which digitized the manual voter registration process after a tsunami destroyed all the records in a district election office; equipping the minority population – including Tamils, religious minorities and internally displaced people – with the tools and knowledge to claim their democratic rights and exercise their responsibilities as citizens; and building the capacity of Muslim women’s organizations to promote Muslim women’s rights to engage as active, public participants in Sri Lanka’s democratic process.