| Best practices on political finance regulation throughout the world
News from the Field, 25 November 2009
Effective regulation of campaign and party funding is essential to fighting corruption and promoting transparency and accountability among political actors and institutions. To this end, UNDEF backs an initiative implemented by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems "Achieving consensus: Global Standards for Political Finance".
The project aims to develop global standards for political finance to serve as a reference point. It recognizes that many countries have introduced reforms to promote political integrity through transparent and accountable systems of political finance. And in line with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, it stresses that each environment requires a unique approach.
As part of the project, IFES has published Political Finance Regulation: The Global Experience, which offers insight into how the intersection between money and politics can be regulated, taking into account the experiences of various countries around the world. The book addresses and offers practical solutions in four key areas: the disclosure of campaign and political party finance, spending limits, public funding of political parties and election campaigns, and political finance enforcement and oversight.
"The financing of campaigns, candidates, and parties continues to be one of the most challenging aspects of democratic development," said IFES Vice-President for Programmes Michael Svetlik. "This research provides timely input into the ongoing dialogue on how the regulation of money in politics, through enhanced transparency and the effective enforcement of legal frameworks, contributes to the legitimacy of elections and the electoral process".
The authors emphasize that when designing political finance regulation programmes in specific countries, local practices and customs must be taken into consideration. Yet, while there is no universal formula, there are lessons for all to learn based on the experiences of different countries. A recurring theme of the book is the growing international consensus that certain practices can contribute to more successful systems of political finance overall.
Political Finance Regulation: The Global Experience will contribute to the current global debate on how to establish standards for regulation and transparency in the financing of political parties and candidates.
For resources on political finance and public ethics, please visit IFES money and politics website.