The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) is a leading regional network in Asia working on the promotion of democratic elections. Formed in 1997, ANFREL was organized as a solidarity movement working to advance the cause of free and fair elections. At present, it has 26 members from 16 Asian countries. As part of its overall mission of supporting democratization efforts in Asia, ANFREL focuses its work on three major areas: election observation, capacity building, and campaign and advocacy. It takes a holistic approach to achieve its mission, and these programs are designed to complement one another in supporting the advancement of free and fair elections across Asia. Since ANFREL's establishment, it has carried out 57 election observation missions across Asia.
ANFREL draws its strength from its network of Asian civil society organizations. The long-term aim is to build expertise in democratic elections in the region, entrenching a culture of democracy that has emerged from within and is locally developed. ANFREL fosters a spirit of meaningful cooperation and solidarity among its members as it endeavors to strengthen cooperation between them and government institutions in order to overcome the challenges to democracy in Asia.
WHAT WE DO
Election Observation Mission
Since its establishment, ANFREL operated in 57 election observation missions across Asia and has deployed more than 1,400 election observers in all these missions.
In all of its election observation missions, ANFREL aims:
- To support the enhancement of the integrity of electoral processes and minimize election irregularities and election-related human rights violations.
- To provide professional assessment of the conduct and integrity of the elections, including recommendations for improvements in the process.
ANFREL carries out training and capacity-building programs for civil society groups working on elections and democracy-related issue. ANFREL believes that capacity building for local stakeholders is one of the most important elements in the democratization efforts.
Also under Capacity Building, ANFREL has established the Asian Electoral Resource Center (AERC) to serve as a guide to democracy and elections in Asia by developing a database of all election-related materials available across the region.
In addition the program also works on the following:
- Developing training manuals and curriculums for local stakeholders
- Implementing voter awareness activities, and enhancing knowledge activities for members and network through direct and indirect engagements.
Campaign and Advocacy
ANFREL carries out election-related campaign and advocacy to promote democratic election principles. It has introduced a more dynamic and inclusive approach by strengthening cooperation among electoral stakeholders in the region. Since 2012, ANFREL has convened the Asian Electoral Stakeholder Forum (AESF) which brings together election-related civil society groups and electoral management bodies from across Asia to foster greater understanding and cooperation in addressing the remaining challenges to free and fair elections in the region.
The campaign and advocacy program also works on
- Publishing and disseminating information materials related to elections and other democratic processes.
- Responding to electoral developments and other related human rights issues affecting the state of democracy in the region.