1. Considering Entry Points:
The first step in planning electoral assistance is recognizing that every programme takes place in a unique context; there is no single entry point. In most cases, however, maximizing programme effectiveness depends on considering the entire electoral cycle, and building on links across different phases.
2. Context Is Key:
Considering the environment in which elections will take place should happen early in the planning stage. Activities need to correspond to different variables in stable, transition and post-conflict contexts.
3. Getting Started:
Two issues to consider are the timing of assistance, and the composition of the team of stakeholders who will design and implement it.
4. Planning Basics:
Formulating a programme can begin once initial approvals and assessments are in place. The planning cycle should be oriented around certain basic elements, and carefully coordinated with strategies adopted by the EMB.
5. Building Partnerships:
Elections are complex and expensive processes. Partnerships help optimize resources, avoid gaps and duplication, and minimize possible conflicts of interest.
6. Thinking Through Budgets:
Mobilizing donors should begin even before planning is fully underway so they have a strong stake in the programme. Programme budgets should be integrated within the EMB budget in order to avoid duplication, and ensure transparency and accountability.