International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)

Senior Electoral Administration Specialist

International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)

Job Description

  IFES advances democracy for a better future. We collaborate with civil society, public institutions and the private sector to build resilient democracies that deliver for everyone. As the global leader in the promotion and protection of democracy, our technical assistance and applied research develops trusted electoral bodies capable of conducting credible elections; effective and accountable governing institutions; civic and political processes in which all people can safely and equally participate; and innovative ways in which technology and data can positively serve elections and democracy. Since 1987, IFES has worked in more than 145 countries, from developing to mature democracies.

PRIMARY FUNCTION/PURPOSE:** IFES is recruiting for an Electoral Administration Specialist position for an anticipated three-year, USAID-funded Mali Transition and Integrity of Electoral Systems Activity (TIESA). The program is expected to support Mali's political transition process to institutionalize a more inclusive, effective, and democratic political governance. TIESA will pursue three objectives:
  1. Improved capacity and integrity of Mali's electoral system to hold credible elections in which citizens are able to select leaders peacefully and democratically.
  2. Enhanced inclusion in and responsiveness of electoral processes for women, youth and traditional marginalized populations.
  3. Strengthened electoral dispute resolution processes.
The Electoral Administration Specialist will provide Technical Support to key institutions in election activities including Capacity Building, legal reform, electoral operations, electoral dispute resolution, voter registration, inclusion, strategic communications, and voter education.

Job Responsibilities:


Technical direction and program implementation:
  • Build and foster organizational and technical capacity of electoral management bodies (EMBs), including the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, the Election Commission, the Constitutional Court, and the General Elections Directorate.
  • Conduct detailed and ongoing assessment of the EMB’s capacity and establish a technical assistance plan based on a proposed election calendar.
  • Advise on the general implementation of electoral activities, providing support to improve electoral systems and procedures.
  • Serve as the lead expert in the implementation of the electoral integrity management plan.
  • Develop and provide advice on Training Programs on relevant revisions to the electoral laws and regulations.
  • Develop an electoral agent training program, including training materials and guidebooks.
  • Conduct strategic planning workshops and, using the BRIDGE methodology, lead trainings for members and staff of EMBs as required.
  • Facilitate roundtable discussions with EMBs, international stakeholders and other relevant bodies on electoral framework and implementation issues as required.
  • Liaise with other election assistance implementers, and the donor and diplomatic community to coordinate activities and maximize the impact of collective technical assistance efforts.
  • Develop and maintain constructive working relationships with national counterparts, national and international assistance providers, and democracy and governance organizations and strategic partners.
  • Evaluate strategies and activities on an ongoing basis to ensure maximum impact, proactively identifying appropriate next steps.
  • Draft activity reports, collect Monitoring and Evaluation data, and participate in the drafting of quarterly, semi-annual, and annual reports.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Director" id="link" class="link">Country Director.
POSITION SCOPE:** Provides broad technical and organizational development expertise to assure successful achievement of goals and objectives. Monitors and evaluates interim results and develops contingency plans if objectives are off track. Demonstrates mastery of electoral administration, with comprehensive knowledge of professional best practices. Uses global/ industry outlook to determine impact on IFES’ strategy. Applies thought leadership and innovations to work approaches.

DECISION MAKING/Problem Solving:** Identify risk factors with potential to disrupt achievement of operational goals. Consult with internal and external stakeholders to identify, propose and build consensus around best solutions. Complex decision-making subject to management review.

SUPERVISION EXERCISED:** Provides oversight and management of host country national staff, consultants and field experts, as assigned or delegated by the Country Director, in order to complete the project’s work plan.


Education: A bachelor’s degree required (graduate degree preferred) in a field of study such as political sciences, social sciences, Law, development economics, international development, public/business administration, or governance or another relevant field.


  • At least 10 years of relevant work experience directly related to technical assistance for electoral administration, systems and processes in developing countries.
  • Extensive experience in election systems and administration, with specific experience in electoral training and capacity-building of EMBs.
  • On-site and medium/long-term capacity-building of election administration staff.
  • Demonstrated initiative and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong professional and collaborative management skills.
  • Extensive experience with implementing electoral cycle projects in post-conflict settings.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop effective training materials.
  • BRIDGE certification required.
Related Skills or Knowledge: Prior experience working in an international office in a politically sensitive and challenging environment. Strong professional and collaborative skills when working with a team. Ability and skills to promote and inspire effective collaboration between individuals, organizations and networks, demonstrating strong diplomacy skills and cultural and gender sensitivities. Strong consultative, collaborative and participatory way of working. Strong interpersonal, presentation, and communications skills to meet the diverse technical and managerial requirements of the program and to effectively coordinate with a wide range of stakeholders. Experience living and working in West Africa strongly preferred. Knowledge of local/regional politics and development preferred.

LANGUAGE SKILLS: Fluency in written and spoken French required, fluency in English preferred.

TRAVEL: As need arises to support the project PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS/WORK ENVIRONMENT: Standard office work environment. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

“All qualified applicants/employees will receive consideration for employment/promotions and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, color, religion, national origin, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic.

IFES takes affirmative action with respect to the employment and promotion of women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and covered veterans. IFES will also take affirmative action on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

IFES is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor”
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