Democracy & elections

Donor support for post-conflict elections

In post-conflict environments, the international community has an important role to play in supporting the successful planning, delivery and embedding of elections within a wider context of support to political systems and democratisation. This rapid review provides an overview of lessons for donors in the field of electoral assistance in post-conflict societies in recent ...» more

Dominant party systems and development programming

There is a lack of applied thinking or rigorous empirical investigation into how donors and the international community can work with dominant party systems to promote more responsive state-society relations, or other forms of development progress. Frequently cited examples of existing research are not based on recent, systematic comparative research and focus mainly on ...» more

Religious leaders and the prevention of electoral violence

There is limited literature specifically on the role of religious leaders in countering electoral and political violence, even less on ways in which to engage leaders in taking on such a role. While highlighting particular initiatives involving religious leaders during electoral cycles, this report also draws on literature that discusses the engagement of religious actors more ...» more

Factors supporting the emergence of democracies

This review of empirical case studies in this report suggests that, rather than a single theory to explain democratic transitions, a combination is usually applicable. In all cases it was a mix of factors that supported the emergence of democracies, due to time frames (some short-term, some long-standing) and also origin (some domestic, some external). This report draws on the ...» more

Political economy of conflicts in Kyrgyzstan since the 2000s

A fundamental finding, widely shared among authors, is that it is not only the national level that matters, but also regional and local ones, in violent and non-violent conflicts. In recent and older history, local conflicts sometime develop into national ones. Other key findings of the literature review include: The root causes of both conflicts are largely similar and ...» more

Do citizens reward good service? Voter responses to basic service provision in southern Africa

Daniel de Kadt and Evan S. Lieberman

This study tests the accountability hypothesis that dramatic improvements in key basic infrastructural service areas – water provision, sewerage, and refuse collection – lead to increased electoral returns to the incumbent. The findings from four Southern African countries reveals a negative relationship between change in service provision and change in incumbent vote share, ...» more

Fighting for votes: Theory and evidence on the causes of electoral violence

Olivier Sterck

This paper proposes a theoretical model of electoral violence which is tested and validated empirically. The paper studies if electoral violence is driven by (i) political competition (ii) the distribution of violent supporters and (iii) the ethnic distribution. The paper develops a model which predicts that electoral violence is more likely to emerge if two conditions are ...» more

The three political economies of electoral quality in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands

Terence Wood

This paper focuses on electoral quality and malpractice in the Melanesian countries of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon Islands. It argues that the electoral malpractice the countries experience is a product of three interacting political economies: national, international and local. It aims to offer a more comprehensive understanding of the origins of these electoral issues ...» more

NIMD Country Programme evaluation

Laure-Hélène Piron

The Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy commissioned an institutional evaluation of the period 2011–2014, with a focus on three country programmes (Georgia, Guatemala and Mali). The first objective of the evaluation was to assess the extent to which NIMD achieved results in the period 2011–2014. The second objective was to assess the extent to which the NIMD ...» more

Making development work: The quality of government approach

Bo Rothstein & Marcus Tannenberg

This report synthesizes the current knowledge on why some countries have developed into prosperous societies while others have not, and puts forward conclusions for development policy. The report summarises qualitative as well as quantitative studies that have shown that quality of governance (QoG) factors, such as control of corruption, the rule of law, and administrative ...» more

Voluntary voter registration

Voter registration is not just the technical implementation of an activity; it is a holistic political, administrative and practical process. Successful voluntary voter registration schemes tend to be: Responsive to local conditions including the political, economic and social context of the country hosting the election Realistic and affordable given the financial and ...» more

Reaching boiling point: high school activism in Afghanistan

Antonio Giustozzi & Ali Mohmmad Ali

This research paper explores patterns of politicisation in Afghanistan’s high schools.  It reveals how the ban on political activities within schools has had little impact, and explores how the reproduction of the political establishment within schools poses a potential risk to Afghanistan's future stability. It suggests two ways to address this: (1) revoking the ban in order ...» more

Disability inclusion in the voter registration processes

Cambodian Disabled People's Organisation

Despite a number of laws protecting people with disabilities, elections in Cambodia are not yet inclusive. This report identifies challenges, good practice and steps that Cambodia's government, election administrators and civil society can take to protect the political rights of persons with disabilities. It calls for the NEC to address the challenges faced by person of ...» more

Political risks facing African democracies: Evidence from Afrobarometer

Michael Bratton and E. Gyimah-Boadi

Where are African countries headed politically? How resilient are Africa’s governments, regimes, and states? What are the characteristics of political risk? This paper looks at whether it is possible to identify early-warning (or “leading”) indicators of risk to African political systems.As a proposed entry point, the authors suggest that Afrobarometer survey data may be used ...» more

Women’s voice and leadership in decision-making: Assessing the evidence

Pilar Domingo, Rebecca Holmes, Tam O’Neil, Nicola Jones, Kate Bird, Anna Larson, Elizabeth Presler-Marshall, Craig Valters

This report reviews the global evidence on the processes of change that enable women to have substantive voice and leadership in decision-making. It answers two core research questions: what are the enabling factors for women and girls’ voice, leadership and access to decision-making? what do we know about whether and how women and girls’ voice, leadership and/or presence in ...» more

Developmental regimes in Africa: Initiating and sustaining developmental regimes in Africa

David Booth (Ed.)

This report synthesises findings from the Developmental Regimes in Africa project. Among the findings is that leadership transitions that maintain economic growth seem to require the presence of either a governing party with a tradition of consensual decision-making, or a state bureaucracy that can insulate policy from political leadership changes. Analysis suggests that ...» more

Did Aid Promote Democracy in Africa? The Role of Technical Assistance in Africa’s Transitions

Clark Gibson, Barak Hoffman, Ryan Jablonski

This paper argues that while aid has increased resources available for patronage in earlier periods, it also increased the extent to which donors paid attention to government spending and corruption, making it more costly for governments to use foreign aid for patronage. Specifically, it argues that when donors invest in policies that increase monitoring, measured using ...» more

Elections and democracy support

The two main types of international elections support—technical aid for election administration and election monitoring—both got significantly underway in the second half of the 1980s and then mushroomed in the 1990s as democracy spread globally. Both remain active areas today though they are not, as many people in the developing world often think, the largest…» more

Votes and Violence: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Nigeria

Paul Collier, Pedro Vicente

This paper investigates the 2007 Nigerian election violence based on a nationwide field experiment based on anti-violence campaigning. The campaign was randomised across neighbourhoods and villages of six states of Nigeria. These states represent the main socio-economic regions of the country. The campaign was conducted in half of those locations before the 2007 elections by a ...» more

The Politics-Bureaucracy Interface: Impact on Development Reform

Niheer Dasandi

This paper provides an in-depth review of the existing research on the relationship between political and bureaucratic leaders in developing countries, the factors that shape this relationship, and the impact it has on the success and failure of reforms. It finds that political-bureaucratic relations are an important factor in reform success or failure. Politicians and ...» more