Centre for Electoral Management Studies, School of Development Studies, TISS
As part of a collaboration between Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Election Commission of India (ECI) and India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM), School of Development Studies, TISS has established the Centre of Electoral Management Studies (C-EMS) to promote electoral governance and integrity of elections through building capacity of electoral officials, electoral management bodies, and young policy leaders in India and abroad. It is widely appreciated that properly-administered, efficient, and cost-effective inclusive electoral operations are critically important to the credibility, legitimacy and sustainability of democracies around the world. Using the unblemished experience of the ECI in ensuring the vitality and sustenance of India’s democracy by conducting free and fair elections as an ‘ode to a diverse and democratic ethos… an inspiration to the entire world” (New York Times, May 22, 2009), the Centre focusses on developing professionally competent global cadre of next generation of electoral professionals, democracy specialists, governance professionals, and policy analysts. Equipped with a state of the art digital election lab at SDS-TISS, the C-EMS in line with the objectives of New Education Policy focuses on the following goals:
Advance excellence in managing elections, promoting integrity of elections and strengthening democratic institutions worldwide .
Encouraging and undertaking innovative and evidence-based policy research comparing elections worldwide and plans to bring objectivity in assessing electoral assessments around the world.
Leveraging the success of India in managing elections, the Centre plans to become a knowledge hub for teaching (online & offline) and documenting the best-case practices of electoral management with focus on building partnership with Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs), academic institutions and think tanks worldwide.
Undertake advanced research through working papers, policy briefs and colloquiums on electoral administration leadership for current and aspiring election professionals and democracy experts around the world, which will enable electoral administrators and practitioners to implement relevant legal and regulatory frameworks and paradigms around the world.
Facilitate knowledge support for strengthening electoral data research, building capacity for electoral officials, enhancing voter’s education and developing innovative strategies for conducting inclusive elections .
Design and institutionalize internship and mentoring opportunities for young people for building a long-term career in the areas of election management and electoral administration.
Promoting the Electoral Literacy Clubs across TISS campuses to engage students and citizens empathetically through interesting activities and hands-on-experience
To achieve this, the Centre has started an innovative, blended, multidisciplinary and field-practices based Master’s program in International Electoral Management & Practices at C-EEMS, School of Development Studies, TISS-Mumbai.Towards this, the Centre brings together an assemblage of people coming from various geographies, genders, age groups and as such the diversity of experiences facilitates peer-based learning. The first batch of the program (2022-24) is a coming together of learners from diverse fields and experiences. With 20 candidates being nominated by the Election Commission of India, 5 from Election Commissions OF Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Philippines and 8 selected from the open pool category of candidates, the virtual classroom, with the modular format of offline classes, has been a reflective and interactive space for electoral officials, policy experts, and students. Such interactions have been made possible by a distinct pedagogy (online & offline) that is supported by nationally and internationally reputed scholars, researchers and staff from a variety of disciplines like political science, international relations, economics, human resource management, geography, population studies, sociology, social work, data analytics, media studies who are committed to developing innovative theoretical and pedagogical practices to foster distinctive methodology of studying administration and management of elections in national and global context.
Curriculum Framework: M.A in International Electoral Management and Practices