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Center for Democracy & Election Management


  • Center for Democracy & Election Management
    (202) 885-1527
    Fax: (202) 885-1366

Mailing Address

Training: International Elections

2008 Institute

CDEM partners with leading organizations, scholars and experts to offer training in areas of interest to those involved in elections around the world.

CDEM partners have included the U.S. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Association of Secretaries of State, the Women & Politics Institute at American University, the Carter Center, IFES, the Open Society Institute, Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Organization of American States, the Lawyer's Committee of Civil Rights under Law, the New York City Campaign Finance Board, the United Nations Development Program, and Rock the Vote.


The Center for Democracy and Election Management will organize its Spring Election Management Institute April 10-19, 2012 for practitioners, scholars and students of elections from the U.S. and other established democracies. The program will concentrate on topics in election management and observation around the world, drawing on comparative experience from the United States as well as numerous case studies from around the world. Recognizing the variety of electoral systems, methods of managing elections, and regional principles of observing elections, the program will be adapted as much as possible to the needs and backgrounds of participants, while demonstrating generally applicable best practices and international standards. Participants will contribute examples from their home countries and countries of interest to encourage an exchange of experiences and expertise throughout the program.

CDEM’s 2012 program will consist of workshops, briefings, training modules, discussions and site visits. The goal is to make the program as interactive and participatory as possible and to provide participants with a combination of theory and hands-on experience in electoral matters. The briefings and training modules will be delivered by experienced speakers, including academics from American University and other top universities in the U.S. and from around the world, as well as election administrators, public officials, election experts and consultants.

Program Information and Application (.pdf)

Election Management Institute, Fall 2009 and Spring 2011

In December 2009 and April 2011, CDEM provided hands-on, practical training to improve and promote best practices in election management and observation. The programs offered election practitioners the possibility to hone their electoral skills by participating in workshops offered by renowned electoral academics and experts, and visit relevant electoral institutions in the Washington, D.C., area, New York and Maryland.

Informational brochure (.pdf)Final Program Agenda 2011 (.pdf)

U.S. Election Exchange Program, Fall 2008

In early 2008, CDEM, in partnership with American University's Women & Politics Institute and Meridian International, was awarded a grant from the U.S. State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) to conduct an Election Exchange Program with 50 women from the Middle East and North Africa. This program will couple an intensive seminar in election management, campaigns, and leadership development held at AU with site visits by the participants to two U.S. cities during which they will interact with local election officials and political campaigns. The goal of the U.S. Election Exchange program is to provide the women with theoretical and experiential knowledge of the U.S. election process, best practices in election management, and political skills training to assist them in roles of political and electoral leadership in their own countries. The program will take place from mid-October through the November U.S. election and continue as participants organize elections and candidate training sessions in their home countries in 2009.

Election Management Training Institute, Summer 2008

In the summer of 2008, CDEM conducted an Election Management Training Institute for a group of 25 representatives from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Yemen. The participants were members of parliament, election practitioners, civil society and media representatives, and public administrators. The Institute was sponsored by the U.S. State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). The Institute used hands-on group work sessions to facilitate the sharing and application of comparative ideas and experiences and to promote electoral self-assessment and the development of an electoral reform plan.

CDEM also arranged for the participants to interact with their embassy representatives, representatives from the U.S. presidential campaigns, to observe the special congressional elections in Montgomery County, and to attend a panel discussion and a screening of the HBO movie "Recount."

Agenda (.pdf) | Speaker bios (.pdf) | Photo Gallery: Training, Closing

Election Management Institute, Winter 2007

In the Winter of 2007, CDEM organized a week-long institute on democracy and elections for twenty election practitioners from Yemen, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain with a grant from the U.S. State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). This MEPI grant is part of a long term effort by CDEM to work in electoral reform in the U.S. and abroad. The Institute drew upon experiences in U.S. election reform (notably through the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform) and the many experiences we have had internationally in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Our Institute on Election Management in the Summer of 2006 served as a model, but we prepared for the 2007 Institute with an extended visit to four countries in the Persian Gulf in July 2006.

Final Report (.pdf)

Institute on Democracy and Elections: Challenges for the 21st Century, Summer 2006

American University's Center for Democracy and Election Management offered a 10-day intensive summer institute on elections--how to conduct them, how to ensure they are free and fair, and what to do if they are not--in the Summer of 2006. Through its comparative approach, the institute helped participants learn about the best and worst practices, the latest technology, and the most effective and impartial management systems.

Participants took part in high-level discussions led by eminent election experts—scholars, election professionals, election observers, and journalists who have worked on elections in the U.S. and throughout the world. These experts addressed the full range of challenges in elections, from the design of election systems to the regulation of campaign finances, evaluation of voting technologies, and overall assessment of the electoral process.

Final Report (.pdf) | Special Report on Nigeria (.pdf) | Presentations (.pdf) | Speaker Bios (.pdf)