Election Observation

1 October-16 December 2014 (E08314) | Closed
Instructor: Leandro Nagore

Election observation has become a highly standardised political instrument based on international best practices. This e-learning course introduces staff members of international organisations, national agencies, and interested individuals to the international standards, organisational approaches, methods and tools of election observation. The course will give participants an insight into the framework of Election Observation Missions (EOMs) and will focus in particular on the duties of Short Term Observers (STOs) and Long Term Observers (LTOs).

Participants will learn about elections in the context of human rights treaties and universal and regional instruments, will get familiar with the electoral cycle approach and understand the difference between election observation and assistance. Further, they will get to know different organisational approaches to Election Observation (e.g. OSCE/ODIHR, EU, The Carter Center) and the importance of a Code of Conduct. Participants shall understand the structure and reporting mechanisms of EOMs and exercise their observation and reporting skills in relation to the campaign period, election day, and the consolidation of results. Last, but not least, participants will get acquainted with the evaluation system for their performance as observers.

Course structure

The e-learning course involves approximately 50 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction with participants and instructor, quizzes, written assignments and webinars, and is offered over an 11-week period. The course is based on a participatory, active learning approach, with an emphasis on critical reflection and peer-to-peer learning. Participants will receive a Certificate of Participation upon successful completion of the course. The maximum number of participants is 25. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Week 1: International Commitments and Legal Instruments in Support of Democracy and Human Rights
Week 2: The Elections Cycle incl. the difference between Election Observation and Assistance
Week 3: Organisational Approaches and Differences (OSCE/ODIHR, EU, The Carter Center, …) incl. Regulatory Framework for Election Observation and Memorandum of Understanding
Week 4: Code of Conduct; Elections and Security
Week 5: “Open week”
Week 6: Structure of an EOM incl. Relations with Host Governmental Bodies and Other Domestic Actors; Duties of Long Term Observers and Short Term Observers incl. STO-LTO Relationship; Observation Timeline in the Electoral Cycle
Week 7: The Benefits and Challenges of Working in a Team; Working with Local Staff; How to Conduct Interviews
Week 8: Pre-Election Day Observations (Electoral Administration, Political Environment, Civil Society); How to Write Reports
Week 9: E-Day Observation and Reporting
Week 10: Post E-Day Reporting; Preliminary Statements and Follow-Up
Week 11: Mutual Evaluation

About the instructor: Leandro Nagore

Leandro NagoreMr. Leandro Nagore has been involved in the field of elections since 2002; working as an observer, core team member, legal and electoral expert in Africa, the Americas and Asia; as well as for the election management body in Spain. He has participated in numerous election observation and expert missions with the OSCE/ODIHR, The Carter Center and the EU, as STO, LTO as well as observer coordinator, reporting officer and legal/electoral analyst. He also serves as a trainer NEEDS (Network for Enhanced Electoral and Democratic Support) training courses for EU observers since 2008. In addition, he is involved in different research, analysis and development projects on democracy support legislation, practice and methodology for different organisations, including the EDGE Foundation. Mr. Nagore has a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and a post-graduate degree in Public International Law. He has been an instructor for HREA’s e-learning course on election observation since 2010.

Who should apply

The course is intended for individuals who seek assignments as election observers, for members of international organisations and national agencies who like to develop knowledge and skills concerning election observation as well as for interested outsiders such as journalists and students who like to get an understanding of international electoral standards, the electoral cycle, and election observation missions. Participants should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 725; tuition for auditors: US$ 275. Payments can be made online with major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal, bank transfer (additional fee applies) and money transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram). Bulk rates are available. Payments are due upon registration.

How to register

Registration is closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about HREA’s e-learning courses.