IFES Launches New Tool to Promote Disability-Inclusive Election Observation

Americas, ICT, News, October 26 2018

red 'I voted' sticker on someone's finger

Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash

INTERNATIONAL: According to the World Health Organization, one out of every seven people in the world has a disability, yet citizens with disabilities remain underrepresented in political life as voters, election observers, candidates and election officials. Mainstream observer groups often do not hire people with disabilities to serve as observers and only include basic, if any, questions on access for people with disabilities in their checklists. To ensure election observations account for the various barriers that women and men with disabilities encounter, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), along with disabled person’s organization (DPO) partners around the world, has developed an Election Access Observation Toolkit.

Drawing upon IFES’ experience conducting dozens of election access observations in countries around the world and international and regional standards for inclusive elections, the Election Access Observation Toolkitprovides DPOs and election observer groups with the background and tools to effectively incorporate a disability rights perspective into domestic and international observation missions. The toolkit, supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, United States Agency for International Development and Global Affairs Canada, gathers lessons learned from election access observations conducted by IFES and DPOs in a wide range of country contexts, including Indonesia, Haiti and Kosovo. The toolkit includes:

  • Step-by-step instructions for DPOs and national or international observer groups to collect data via standalone disability-focused observations;
  • Detailed checklists for long- and short-term observations and guidance on how to contextualize to national laws and policies;
  • An illustrative list of disability-inclusive questions that could be added to the observation checklists of mainstream observers; and
  • An extensive appendix of resources, such as observer reports from election access observations.

Case studies demonstrating good practices from around the world are highlighted throughout the toolkit. The publication is currently available in English and will be translated into Arabic, Farsi and Pashtu in the near future.

Download the Election Access Observation Toolkit.

Learn more about IFES’ disability inclusion programming and visit ElectionAccess.org for the latest on disability rights and inclusive political participation.

Source: IDA CRPD Forum

Re-posted with permission

Share this post: