Creative launches global consortium to promote democratic ideals and governance
The group will address issues ranging from voter suppression to disinformation
March 11, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an era when democracy is under attack and populism, nationalism, and authoritarianism are on the rise, Creative Associates International has brought together leading development organizations in a consortium designed to support democratic elections and political processes across the globe.
Called the Electoral and Political Processes International Consortium (EPPIC), the core group includes the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Equal Access International, Institute for War and Peace Reporting and FHI 360. Other partners include the Kofi Annan International Training Center and Development Seed, as well as academic and technology-focused organizations.
Leveraging its collective experience in 126 countries and more than 100 projects, EPPIC will work with both local and international partners to address issues that range from electoral security and political violence to disinformation and a lack of voter education.
“These are among the biggest and more recent challenges we see facing democracy, which have led to voter suppression and a lack of inclusivity,” says Jeff Fischer, Senior Electoral Advisor at Creative. “Blending our expertise in this area with the other members’ ensures a holistic, results-driven approach to solving these issues.”
The consortium will provide programming assistance to a range of state and non-state entities to foster the development and consolidation of democratic systems of governance.
For election administration, EPICC partners are practiced in electoral design and capacity building, electoral security, election technologies, civic and voter education programs and electoral justice, among other areas. For political party development, the consortium will provide training on ethical campaign practices, recruitment of women candidates and party leaders, campaign finance reform and strategic communications.
The consortium is also well positioned to provide training on international election standards and ethical monitoring techniques, as well as the use of technologies to assist with observation and reporting. Locally led observation missions will complement these efforts.
COVID-19 presents another layer of complexity to protecting democratic processes. The consortium members have developed trainings on organizing elections safely in the context of COVID-19 and built the capacity of local and regional organization to implement activities directly.
“We’ve seen how effective the use of innovative technologies, such as the Ushahidi crowdsourcing platform, can be in addressing such challenges and allowing citizens, especially women and the marginalized, to engage in political processes safely,” says Tihana Bartulac Blanc, Senior Program Director in Democracy, Governance, and Electoral Integrity Practice Area at Creative.
In addition to their experience with traditional election support activities, EPICC partners also promote political empowerment of women, youth, and other traditionally marginalized groups, such as religious or ethnic minorities and LGBTI community.
The consortium members are also actively engaged in programming to counter new threats to electoral integrity such as disinformation campaigns, fake news, online harassment and cyberattacks on election and political targets.
“Electoral processes can be divisive and violent when political stakes are high,” says Therese Pearce Laanela, Head of the Electoral Processes Unit at International IDEA. “Contested elections and electoral integrity failures rip social fabric in ways that threaten development goals by undermining citizens’ political rights and citizen confidence in their institutions. This is where we will actively support projects with tools designed for electoral trust-building and risk management in complex, politically charged environments.”
ABOUT CREATIVE ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL
Creative Associates International works with underserved communities by sharing expertise and experience in education, elections, economic growth, governance and transitions from conflict to peace.
Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has active projects in nearly 30 countries. Since 1977, it has worked in nearly 90 countries and on almost every continent. Recognized for its ability to work rapidly, flexibly and effectively in conflict-affected environments, Creative is committed to generating long-term sustainable solutions to complex development problems.
Creative has grown to become one of the leaders among the U.S. private sector implementers of global development projects.
ABOUT OUR PARTNERS
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is an intergovernmental organization that works to support and strengthen democratic institutions and processes around the world, to develop sustainable, effective and legitimate democracies. It has regional offices in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific and Africa and West Asia. The organization is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.
Equal Access International is an international organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. and working in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. A communications for social change non-governmental organization that combines the power of media with community mobilization, EAI creates customized communications strategies and outreach solutions that address the most critical challenges affecting people in the developing world such as women & girls’ empowerment, youth life skills & livelihoods, human rights, health and civic participation & governance.
Institute for War and Peace Reporting is an independent organization that works with media and civil society to promote positive change in conflict zones, closed societies and countries in transition around the world. IWPR does this by supporting local reporters, citizen journalists and civil society activists in volatile countries. It has coordinating offices in the United States and the Netherlands, and a global headquarters in London.
FHI 360 is an international nonprofit working to improve the health and well-being of people in the United States and around the world. We team with governments and civil society to create jobs, educate children, provide lifesaving health care, strengthen democratic governance, and bring about positive social change. We do this by using research and evidence to design and deliver programs that change behaviors, increase access to services and improve lives. Our staff of more than 4,000 professionals works in more than 60 countries around the world. Their diverse technical expertise and deep understanding of local conditions provide a 360-degree perspective that allows us to develop customized responses to the toughest human development challenges.