Core Concepts - Making Connections: Electoral Cycles
The Electoral Cycle Approach
In planning, implementing and monitoring electoral assistance, looking through the lens of the electoral cycle helps in identifying effective entry points for longer-term support. It provides better opportunities to sustainably address systemic issues such as capacity development; institutional strengthening; the participation of women, minorities, indigenous people and other disadvantaged groups; and the use of appropriate and cost-effective technology in electoral processes.
This strategy does not preclude short-term support specifically geared towards an electoral event. It does, however, favour connecting this assistance to other elements of the electoral process. Using an electoral cycle perspective may allow better identification of needs, including for urgent short-term requests, and facilitate advance planning.
Regardless of whether the programme is oriented around a single election or crosses different phases of the electoral cycle, all interventions should stem from an overarching vision and strategy for what needs to be achieved.
Keeping an eye on the larger governance picture
A programme that addresses the institutional and professional capacity of an EMB in complete isolation, for example, may not contribute much to building acceptance and trust among other stakeholders. There may be a need to reach out to voters, political parties, the media, civil society, and other actors and institutions of democratic governance.