IFES@30: 30 Years Advancing Good Governance and Democratic Rights

Publication Date: 
4 Jan 2017

News Type:

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is proud to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2017. Throughout the last three decades, IFES has supported citizens’ rights to participate in free and fair elections. Our independent expertise strengthens electoral systems and builds local capacity to deliver sustainable solutions.

As the global leader in democracy promotion, we advance good governance and democratic rights by:

  • Providing technical assistance to election officials
  • Empowering the underrepresented to participate in the political process
  • Applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle

To mark our 30th anniversary, we will feature 30 human interest stories throughout the year that illustrate the positive impact of IFES’ work. We encourage you to share these stories and personal voices and also invite you to explore our website and learn more about our programs.

Since 1987, IFES has worked in over 145 countries – from developing democracies, to mature democracies.

Featured Story: 2015 IFES Photo Contest Winner

Featured story image

Nena Lukin, Slovenia

An image of two Fulani women patiently queueing to register to vote in Nigeria’s 2015 historic elections received top honors in the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) 2015 Photography Contest. In Kwara state, where the photo was taken, people of Fulani ethnicity are a minority among the much larger Yoruba and Hausa groups.

IFES selected six photographs of elections and other civic activities as finalists in the democracy-themed 2015 contest. More than 100 images were entered in the competition, which was open to all levels of photographers and accepted submissions that captured the essence of IFES’ core areas of work: electoral integrity, participation and inclusion, accountability, and women’s empowerment.

Nena Lukin won both the Grand Prize, selected by a panel of professional photographers, and the IFES Choice Award, selected by IFES staff, with the photograph “Fulani Women Queuing,” which depicts two generations of Fulani women waiting in line to cast their ballots.

"I am deeply honored to be the Grand Prize winner of the IFES 2015 Photography Contest. For years I have been finding inspiration in photographing disadvantaged, marginalized and vulnerable groups, raising awareness of their existence and trying to re-establish their place in society,” said Lukin. “The fact that this particular photo won the prize is a great recognition of these endeavors. I was particularly attracted to these Fulani women standing with such a peaceful dignity enabling me to capture two generations of minority women participating in the elections. I am grateful for their trust and thankful for IFES’ acknowledgment of my work."

Read more stories

Ramini Matcharashvili, Georgia
Youth Engagement and Disability Rights

Ramini Matcharashvili thumbnail image

Maria Corina Machado, Venezuela
IFES Staff, Headquarters

Maria Corina Machado image

Disability Inclusive Voter Education (DIVE), Pakistan
Technology for Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

Disability Inclusive Voter Education (DIVE) thumbnail image

Noura Mohamed Al-Tabalgi, Libya
Women's Empowerment

Noura Mohamed Al-Tabalgi thumbnail image

Kyle Lemargie, IFES Senior Program and Research Manager, Asia-Pacific
IFES Staff, Headquarters

Kyle Lemargie, IFES Senior Program and Research Manager, Asia-Pacific

Manuel Carrillo Poblano, Head of the International Affairs Unit, National Electoral Institute (INE), Mexico
Partnership with Election Management Bodies

Manuel Carrillo Poblano, Head of the International Affairs Unit, National Electoral Institute (INE), Mexico

IFES Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Ambar Zobairi and IFES Regional Director for Africa Rushdi Nackerdien,
Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) Training, IFES Facilitators

Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) Training, IFES Facilitators

Thundar Myo Nyunt,
First-Time Voter, Myanmar

Thundar Myo Nyunt, First-Time Voter, Myanmar

Irena Hadžiabdić,
IFES Board Member, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Irena Hadžiabdić, IFES Board Member, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Beverly G. Hagerdon, Chief of Party, Sri Lanka
Field Team, IFES Chief of Party

Beverly G. Hagerdon, Chief of Party, Sri Lanka

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, United States
Women’s Empowerment, IFES Democracy Award

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, United States Featured Image

Dr. Nicholas Kerr, University of Alabama, United States
2009 Charles and Kathleen Manatt Fellow

Dr. Nicholas Kerr, University of Alabama, United States Featured Image

Azamat Karabotoev, Kyrgyzstan
Youth Engagement, IFES Democracy Camp

Azamat Karabotoev, Kyrgyzstan Featured Image