Holding elections during future pandemics and other emergencies

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Holding elections during future pandemics and other emergencies

September 09th, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has both highlighted and worsened a range of vulnerabilities and inequalities across the globe. Epidemic diseases are nothing new, in fact they have broken out periodically throughout human history. COVID-19 is not the first and certainly will not be the last pandemic the world has to face.  Therefore, it is important that we plan ahead in order to ensure greater preparedness for the next outbreak. As the old saying goes, when we fail to prepare, we prepare to fail.

This briefing paper makes recommendations, that when followed ensure risks can be addressed more effectively before and during future crises. First the paper provides guidance as to how best to prepare for a future crisis, from this the report suggests actions that should be taken once the crisis has begun. These recommendations specifically focus on reducing the impact crises have on elections. 

Our guidance is based on data from the ‘African Elections during the COVID-19 Pandemic’ project. The project is a collaboration between researchers from the University of Edinburgh, the Open University of Tanzania, the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development and the Harvard Humanitarian Imitative (working with the NGO Echelle). 

Read the briefing paper

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