Course dates:

13 – 17 November 2023

Registration deadline: 31 October 2023

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.

Since 2012 the Global Campus has trained more than 550 short term observers through its onsite courses in Venice Lido. The training has received the patronage of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Czech Republic and Spain, the support of European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), thus reinforcing its already well established international recognition and validating its value for actual field work.

Why choose this course?

  • debates with experts and representatives of sending authorities
  • exchanges and networking with peers
  • small class size to increase interaction and communication between instructors and participants
  • practical exercises, real life simulations and case studies led by electoral observation experts
  • availability of experts and lecturers to provide feedback and answer individual questions

Key Facts


Dates 13 – 17 November 2023
Application deadline 31 October 2023
Format In presence
Location Monastery of San Nicolò, Venice Lido
Language requirements Fluency in English (written and spoken)
Tuition fee €1220.00 (VAT included)
Financial support 10% discount for Global Campus Alumni
Certificate 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.

The adoption of EU guidelines on preconditions for EU observation missions and a code of conduct for EU electoral observers represent an important step towards enhanced co-ordination and serve as a basis for all electoral observers. The 2005 Declaration and the Code of Conduct set a common framework, methodology, standards and best practices valid for all observers both at national (domestic) and international level.

Learning objectives

By taking this course, you’ll be able to:

  • 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

Target audience

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.