Formed in November 1997, as the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) has established itself as the preeminent NGO in Asia working on elections. ANFREL’s main focus is in observing pre- and post-electoral processes, and developing and training civil society groups that are actively working on democratisation in their home countries. We also undertake specific research projects and advocate on good governance issues in Asia.
Since its formation, ANFREL has operated in more than 35 elections in 15 countries across Asia, from Timor-Leste to Japan to Afghanistan.
ANFREL draws its observers from a network of partner civil society organisations in Asia, listed below. Our long-term aim is to build expertise on elections and governance in the region, entrenching a culture of democracy that is seen as locally developed rather than externally imposed. Through observing election administration internationally, our observers have developed a strong understand of international best practice – knowledge that can then be applied in their respective home countries.
Apart from direct election observation programs, in ANFREL’s entire election observation mission to date, training (directly or indirectly to local organizations) has always been part of the primary objective of its mission. ANFREL believes that capacity building is one of the most important elements in democratization efforts. ANFREL hopes that these efforts will get continuous support from the international community for greater democratization efforts in Asia.