Four academics who have spent the last 10 years conducting research on election rigging and manipulation strategies in newly-formed democracies have been awarded one of MRS’ most prestigious honours.

The President's Medal is given annually to those who have conducted extraordinary research but who might not be recognised through the usual channels. This year's nominees and winner were chosen by President of MRS Jan Gooding, Chair of MRS Phyllis Macfarlane and CEO of MRS Jane Frost CBE.

 Working closely with colleagues at institutions in Africa, Professor Nic Cheeseman, Professor Gabrielle Lynch, Professor Justin Willis and Dr Susan Dodsworth have surveyed 8,500 citizens in Kenya, Ghana and Uganda, conducted interviews with politicians and civil society leaders and performed 'field simulations' of electoral manipulation to provide a comprehensive view of how elections are run.

 The research team developed the Deep Election Monitoring tool, which tracks and identifies electoral manipulation strategies and points with the greatest chance of electoral violence.

 The voting risk reports generated by the research have made a tangible difference on the ground for policymakers. Crucially, they have also significantly impacted the 2018-2022 strategic plan for the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, the UK's foremost democracy promotion organisation.

 The other nominees were Girl-Kind North East, The Refugee Economies Programme at the University of Oxford, Sheffield Hallam University’s involvement in the GAME initiative and the Indian Government’s Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission.

 The President’s Medal will be presented at the MRS Awards 2020 on 2 December.

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