Regular, inclusive, transparent and legitimate elections are the indispensable foundation for sustainable development and effective democracy. Actions supporting the right to participate in genuine elections can play a major role in sustaining peace, security and conflict prevention. Support takes the form of electoral assistance projects and election observation missions. This requires skilled and trained observers.
Upon completion of the course Please note that participation to the training does not guarantee direct access to any recruiting procedure undertaken by international, national or regional entity.
Rationale and objectives
International election observation plays an important role in international relations since almost thirty years. The Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation adopted by the UN in 2005 is one of the first attempts of the international community to set standard rules which are recognised at international level. The European Union is strongly committed to contribute to all democratic processes around the world through various activities, including electoral observation.
gain a comprehensive overview on the history of electoral observation
acquire thorough knowledge of international legal standards, observation methodology, missions functioning (short term observation) and media monitoring
develop theoretical and practical skills which will be an asset in case of further applications as international observers
apply as qualified short term observer (STO) in any election observation missions
The course addresses all participants who are interested in deepening their knowledge on the functioning of an electoral observation mission from a multi-disciplinary approach. It is specifically aimed at training civilian staff in election observation missions at the start of their career (i.e. short term observers). Selected applicants will become aware of the role, tasks and status of international observers, and will be given a theoretical and practical training on election observation and election observation missions functioning. The course also provides thorough knowledge of international legal standards, observation methodology and missions functioning that might be of interest to political experts, analysts, journalists, consultants and researchers.
Structure and content
The aim of the course is to deepen theoretical and practical expertise on international election observation by providing participants with knowledge and practical skills that are applicable to the daily functioning of election observation missions, an asset in case of further applications as international observers. Knowledge of international standards, methodology and best practices will also be essential for those interested in developing and training a network of domestic observers.
Course dates: 13 – 17 November 2023
The course covers the following core themes:
Electoral observation history and international legal standards
The media in electoral observation missions
Short term observers: code of conduct, observing and reporting tools and living in the field
Electoral campaign finance
New technologies in election observation
Meet the sending authorities
Methodology and coordination
The course is coordinated by Demetrio Lazagna together with a group of election experts. Their competence will ensure academic quality and consistency of instruction throughout the course and will provide guidance in identifying and responding to participants’ needs while actively coordinating with and managing the interventions of other lecturers and experts.
Participants will particularly benefit from sharing a learning experience that will allow them to have direct confrontation with peers, build networking links, and listen to experts who will share their know-how and good practices.
Before the beginning of the training and contemporary to the participation to the daily sessions, participants will have at their disposal an online platform where materials regarding the topics dealt with during the sessions or regarding general information on election observation will be uploaded.
The course will be delivered through a combination of:
thematic frontal lectures with Q&A with lectures and experts
presentation of real-life case studies which serve as reference and exercise for the understanding and application of theoretical tools acquired during the thematic frontal lectures
realisation of role-plays in the form of practical exercises to test new knowledge and skills in the field of election observation
meetings with lecturers and experts
individual reading and study time.