The Election Commission of India today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Washington based International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) at New Delhi for developing and strengthening democratic institutions and processes. The focus of the MoU is making available the knowledge and experience of ECI to election managers and practitioners around the world through the Commission’s India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management, IIIDEM. IFES has been involved in election assistance and democracy promotion in around 100 countries across the world.
The MoU was signed by Dr S Y Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner and Mr William Sweeney, President and CEO, IFES. The Foundation is already working with IIIDEM for development of curriculum for international participants.
The MoU aims to promote working partnership between ECI and IFES for joint initiatives, exchange of information and experiences, training and research and assistance. It also aims at promoting exchanges, assignments and visits of practitioners and experts.
Signing the MOU, the Chief Election Commissioner, Dr S Y Quraishi offered India’s expertise in election management and related democratic processes to all democratic countries and hoped that the outreach of IFES would facilitate IIIDEM to meet its goals. Election Commissioners, Mr VS Sampath and Mr HS Brahma underlined the role of systematic training and capacity building in conduct of elections worldwide.
Mr William Sweeney applauded the strength of India’s electoral system and its management and said that countries across the World were looking to learn from the Indian experience. He observed that the recently shown willingness of the Election Commission of India to share its skill and knowledge resources has generated demand from several countries, who are in actual need of it.
IIIDEM, which was launched in the middle of June last year, is already offering courses to international election practitioners and managers at their request, besides training domestic election officials at regular intervals. It proposes to hold special courses for SAARC Election Commissions and make global offer of election management courses under the ITEC programme of Ministry of External Affairs.