Elections and Conflict Prevention: A Guide to Analysis, Planning and Programming




UNDP Democratic Governance Group

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United Nations Development Programme


This guide is designed as a knowledge product for practitioners in the field of governance and electoral assistance. It identifies strategic approaches and forms of programming that can help to anticipate and prevent the types of violent conflict that frequently accompany elections and set back development in emerging democracies or post-war societies. The Guide provides readers with practical options and tools for programming design, early warning and conflict tracking. It presents valuable lessons learned from the previous, extensive experience of UNDP and its partner organizations in the field. The information provided in the Guide reflects UNDP best practice as it relates to the broader framework for UN engagement in electoral assistance. Throughout the Guide, the knowledge gained from research and analysis is paired with perspectives of leading practitioners to show how electoral assistance programming can be adapted to mitigate conflict. The Guide also puts electoral assistance into the broader context of UNDP’s emphasis on democratic governance and conflict prevention, whereby the legitimate, accountable and effective exercise of state authority contributes to the constructive management of social change.



Conflict prevention, Early warning, Conflict mapping, Elections