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The Kofi Annan Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age

Objectives of the Commission

  1. To identify and frame the challenges to electoral integrity arising from the global spread of digital technologies and social media platforms;
  2. To develop policy measures that address these challenges and which also highlight the opportunities that technological innovation offers for strengthening electoral integrity and political participation;
  3. To define and articulate a programme of advocacy to ensure that the key messages emerging from the Commission are widely diffused and debated around the world.

Some key questions will guide the Commission’s deliberations:

  • What are the fundamental elements of digital technology which will have a uniquely detrimental, or positive, impact on democracy and electoral processes?
  • What is the potential of digital technologies to both strengthen and undermine the integrity of the electoral environment?
  • How can the use of technology in elections be made transparent and accountable?
  • What opportunities and incentives can digital technology offer voters, especially young people, to engage in democratic processes?
  • What role and impact does political finance have in the deployment and use of digitally-based electoral strategies and instruments?
  • Learn more in our background paper.

Calendar of Activities

The Commission will be launched on 14 January 2019 and undertake a one year period of research and consultations. Its final report will be issued in the latter part of 2019, and will be followed by a campaign of advocacy and outreach to ensure its recommendations reach, and are implemented by, policy makers and key stakeholders.

Support for the Commission

The Foundation has mobilised a balanced and diverse group of funding partners to support the work of the Kofi Annan Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age. Funding partners include a mix of industry actors, governments, foundations and private individuals in order to encourage a constructive engagement without compromising the independence of the Commission; the funding partners have no say in the formulation of the findings and recommendations and none are members of the Commission. The Commission is an independent entity, which will develop its findings and recommendations as its members may decide.

To date, the funding partners are the Government of Austria, the Open Society Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Facebook, and Twitter.