Developments following the 2010 presidential elections in Côte d’Ivoire draw attention to a specific type of UN-mandated task in peacekeeping operations: the certification of electoral processes in post-conflict situations. Two fundamental questions arise regarding certification. First, how effective is an instrument like electoral certification in building confidence and guaranteeing that parties will respect results in highly competitive elections in a post-conflict environment? Second, how can electoral certification be strengthened so that it contributes to peace, rather than fuelling already tense situations?

The CIGI-Africa Initiative Policy Brief Series presents analysis and commentary emerging from field-based research on issues critical to the continent. Findings and recommendations in this peer-reviewed series aim to inform policy making and to contribute to the overall African research enterprise.