Strengthening Political Processes Through Technical Assistance
20 – 23 April 2023
Extended deadline: 18 March 2023
The technical assistance training course is coordinated by Demetrio Lazagna and tutored by experts whose plurennial experience in this field will guide participants throughout the various sessions.
Extensive experience in international relations particularly focused on Technical Assistance and Electoral Observation worldwide. After his Civil Service as Legal Assistant in an Immigration Center and following his Master Degree in Social Anthropology at the University of Genova, he has coordinated development programmes in Bosnia Herzegovina and emergency relief projects in Albania. He has provided strategic advice and direct technical assistance to National Stakeholders in transitional and sensitive political environments on behalf of EU, OSCE and IFES.
From 2000 he has designed, planned and executed elections observation missions worldwide and contributed to elections operations in the Balkans, West Africa, Middle East and North Arica, Central and South America, Southern Asia, providing managerial support, political analyses and punctual recommendations on reforming to national stakeholders.
He was Head of the OSCE Antifraud Unit during the 2004 General Assembly election. He worked for the foundation (IFES) in South Sudan as referendum adviser (2011) and in Tunis as elections operations adviser to the Libyan EMB (2014-2016) and in Ecuador as Country Director for a TA program focused on cybersecurity.
Most recently, on behalf of EU, he was providing direct Technical Assistance to Electoral Management Bodies, National Civil Registries, Constitutional Assemblies and Civil Society organizations in Tunisia, Libya, Cambodia and Honduras contributing to fostering stakeholders dialogue and promoting institutional reforms based on sustainability and rights.
From 2012 he is the scientific coordinator of training course on International Election Observation at the Global Campus of Human Rights in Venice.
Eric des Pallières
Eric des Pallières has worked in democracy and electoral support for over 20 years with the United Nations, the European Union and the OSCE in post-conflict and transitional democracies in Southeast Asia, Africa, Maghreb and Eastern Europe.
Beside the design, management, and evaluation of a variety of international technical assistance projects in the field of electoral support and democratisation, Eric has contributed to numerous election observation and assessment missions with the EU as Deputy Chief Observer, Team Leader and Analyst. Senior advisor to the Cambodian electoral commission in 2008-2009 and 2016-2017, he promoted critical reforms pertaining to the voter registration and electoral dispute resolution processes.
In Tunisia and Madagascar, he led EU-funded support to the civil society ahead of transitional elections, developing comprehensive support and training programs for citizen observation, and the training of lawyers and magistrates on electoral dispute resolution. Since 2020, he is heading the EU Technical Assistance to the electoral process in the Central African Republic.
Mr. Maarten Halff leads the development of electoral assistance policy at the United Nations (currently on special leave).
Maarten has worked in the field of elections and peacebuilding for 20 years, and in that time has advised authorities in Afghanistan, Bolivia, Iraq, Jordan, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Nepal and Somalia – among other places. His particular focus is the design of electoral systems and quotas; fraud investigations; and electoral dispute resolution.
Maarten is a core member of the Electoral Integrity Initiative launched by Mr. Kofi Annan in 2013. He joined the United Nations in 1996, after obtaining a master’s degree in international law from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. Maarten will be speaking in a personal capacity.
Elisa La Gala
Elisa is a professional with 18-year experience in the field of development cooperation and policymaking. She holds a master in International Relations from the Orientale University (Naples). She currently serves as Sr policy officer on the EU - Gulf Countries relations at the European Union External Action Service.
From 2015 to 2020, she worked for the Directorate-General Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission (DG NEAR) as International cooperation Officer. In that capacity, she designed and managed complex programmes on migration governance and legal migration.
Previously, she had worked for international organisations, NGOs and private sector as programme manager and expert on programmes supporting governance, institution building, and electoral assistance in North Africa and Middle East. In particular, as Team Leader of the EU-funded Public Administration Facility Libya, she developed and supervised technical assistance for key Libyan Institutions, including the High National Election Commission, the Constitutional Drafting Assembly, the National Assembly and selected line Ministries.
Elisa actively advocates for women empowerment through photographic projects that she develops in cooperation with local associations and municipalities. She is completing a 5-year diploma in Photography at the École des arts d’Ixelles in Brussels.
Maria Teresa Mauro
Maria Teresa has 30 years experience in international affairs at large, with the UN, the EU, the Foreign Ministry, among others, specifically in electoral technical assistance and observation and governance.
She holds a M.Phil. in International Relations/Law from the Graduate Institute of Geneva/Switzerland, a Master in International Affairs and a Honors Degree in Political Science. Among her numerous electoral technical assistance/observation missions, can be mentioned the ones in Liberia, Afghanistan, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo, Cambodia, and more. From 2015 to 2017 Maria Teresa has been working in the Central African Republic providing electoral assistance to the “Autorité National des Elections" (ANE) under the auspices of the European Union (EU)/ECES. From 2018 to 2020 she worked with the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EUSDGN) and was appointed as Programme Coordinator of the EUSDGN (electoral) in Nigeria. In 2022 she worked as a Project Expert for IBF International Consulting Bruxelles-Belgium.
Ms. Mauro has been employed with relevant international organizations such as EU (European Union)/ECES, the United Nations (Department of Peace Keeping Operations), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Council of Europe-Venice Commission, the OSCE, IFES/USAID, Creative International/USAID, National Democratic Institute (NDI), and the Graduate Institute of International Studies-Geneva/Switzerland.
She is fluent in English, French and Italian and has working knowledge of Spanish. Maria Teresa has been also a Human Rights Expert, and a Political Analyst. In 2004 she worked in Iraq with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Due to her deep knowledge of the Balkans, she was cooperating with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia as an Expert Witness from 2006 to 2008. Maria Teresa has been analyzing electoral laws of several countries (i.e. Georgia, Armenia) on behalf of the Venice Commission. She has already taught at the Global Campus courses.
International consultant on elections and technology
Ronan has worked extensively with elections management bodies in developing and post-conflict countries for over twenty years. He has participated in regional and global electoral support initiatives and has contributed to many publications and competence development efforts.
He has developed and delivered voter registration, election results and poll-worker management systems. He has helped elections management bodies and their international partners to specify, develop, procure, deploy, secure and support a variety of technologies, including biometrics, in support of electoral processes, particularly voter registration and results management systems.
He was lead author of a joint EU/UNDP publication on results management systems. He co-authored "Pakistan's Internet Voting Experiment", which was Best Paper – Practitioner Track at the 2019 eVoteID conference, Bregenz, Austria. In 2022, he was a member of a team conducting research for the European Union on the cost of elections procurement. He is lead author on a soon-to-be-published USAID guide on cybersecurity and election results managements systems. Until February 2022, he lived in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Electoral Law expert
Alejandro Tullio (Buenos Aires, 60) is a lawyer with extensive experience in electoral law and international affairs. He holds a Master's degree in Electoral Law and is a specialist in this field.
With a career spanning over two decades, Alejandro has held numerous high-profile positions in the public and private sector. Alejandro served as the National Electoral Director of the Argentine Republic from 2001 to 2016, where he was responsible for overseeing the country's electoral administration. He is widely recognized for his expertise in electoral law and has been invited to participate as an International Electoral Observer in more than 70 missions, ranging from the position of field observer to Chief of Mission. Apart from his work in the public sector, he is a University Professor of Electoral Justice. He was Dean of the Faculty of Law of the National University of Lomas de Zamora and he is the Director of the Institute of Legal Sciences at the National University of San Martin.
Alejandro is a former member of the World Association of Electoral Bodies and the Electoral Council of UNASUR. He is currently a member of the World Network of Electoral Justice and the Observatory of Political Reforms in Latin America. In addition, he serves as a Senior Advisor in Political Context at Llorente and Cuenca, where he provides valuable insights and strategic advice.