Institute for Election Systems Development (IESD) - is a Russian non-governmental, nonpartisan organization that is designed to meet the need of the Russian society in objective information about elections. IESD was founded in the summer of 1999 with support and participation of the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES). As IFES withdrew its operations from Russia, not only did IESD take over the majority of its activities but it also added quite a few of its own.
IESD promotes democracy in Russia by providing technical assistance and comprehensive and objective information to all participants of the election process.
IESD strives to enhance the public trust for democracy as the basis of the civil society.
To achieve that goal IESD:
- Disseminates information about elections to ensure that the election process is transparent;
- Educates participants of the election process on the basic, generally acknowledged principles of election campaign ethics, elections per se, and subsequent responsibilities elected deputies have with respect to their voters.
The main bulk of IESD's activities is focused on collaboration with election officials, non-governmental organizations, mass media, and citizens. Separate program activities focus on groups of voters with «special needs», such as individuals currently confined to pre-trial prisons, people with disabilities, as well as young people aged 14-25.
IESD is a young organization but over the short period of its existence it has managed to successfully implement several projects. Within the framework of one of them IESD published and disseminated a «Guide to Election Campaign» which essentially is a manual for first-time candidates. Another project accounted for the publication of an informative brochure designed for inmates of pre-trial prisons. This brochure successfully distributed among detainees of several Russian regions. It explains how electoral rights can be implemented in prison conditions. IESD collaborated with the International Foundation for Election Systems and the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation to develop and publish a Russian-English Glossary of Election Terms designed specifically for international election observers who regularly come to Russia to observe elections ranging from presidential to local. Having joined its efforts with the Russian Public Institute of Electoral Rights (RPIER) education materials for domestic independent observers were developed, published and distributed.
IESD closely interacts and cooperates with the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, noncommercial and human rights organizations, education centers, and international organizations. IESD acknowledges contributions of its partners to the success of its program activities.
IESD is the heir to experience of the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES) acquired over the years of its operations in Russia. The majority of IESD staff members are former IFES employees who possess profound experience in the sphere of elections and have undergone specific training.
IESD has inherited IFES' Election Resource Center - a library housing over 4,000 items of election-related literature. It also maintains a large regularly renewed database of resources on its web site, www.democracy.ru. IESD publishes a «Golos» monthly, which is supplemented by «Golos Regionov».
The Institute for Election Systems Development has established itself within the election system of the Russian Federation as an independent nonpartisan organization that creatively processes positive international and domestic electoral experience, adapts it to local conditions, and develops venues and provides advice on its effective application within the Russian electoral environment.
1. International Foundation for Election Systems
2. National Press Institute
3. Russian Public Institute of Electoral Right
Currently, there are six people on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Election Systems Development.