Short-Term Election Observation

Next dates: 23.09.2018 - 26.09.2018
Deadline: 24.06.2018

Course description

The Short-Term Election Observation (STO) course serves as an introduction for future election observers. Participants receive an overview of the main international actors – OSCE, EU and UN – and their respective involvement in the field of democratization and election-related activities. Furthermore, international election standards and an overview of the main electoral systems are provided.

Since security is becoming a growing concern for all missions, STO training includes a small security part aimed at raising awareness ofpersonal security issues and the challenges related to working in crisis and post-conflict environments. Special emphasis is placed on respecting the code of conduct, personal mission readiness and motivation. This part is conducted together with the German Police.

The STO course, like all ZIF courses, follows a participatory methodology, and all trainers have an extensive practical background in election observation.


The course language is English.



Learning objectives and course content

Learning Objectives

Through case studies, role plays and simulation exercises, participants will understand the process of election observation and the activities at polling stations and counting centres. 


Course Modules

  • Introduction of International Actors - OSCE, EU and UN - and their Respective Involvement in Democratisation Activities and Election Observation Missions
  • Election Observation, Supervision and Implementation
  • International Election Standards
  • Case Studies of Election Observation Missions
  • Experiences of Short- and Long-Term Observers
  • Mission Readiness and Personal Motivation
  • Code of Conduct
  • German Participation in Election Observation Missions
  • Security Aspects
  • Information on National Recruitment Procedures for German Nationals

Course audience

The course is open to qualified German and international professionals. This course is a requirement for German candidates who intend to join the ZIF Expert Roster for Election Observation as potential election observers. STO observers are generally deployed for 7-10 days while long-term observers serve an average of 2-3 months on a mission. The maximum number of participants for the course is 20.


Since ZIF is the Election Observation Mission (EOM) focal point for Germany, please note that only members of the ZIF Expert Roster for Election Observation will be eligible for nomination by ZIF to participate in an election observation mission.

Course fee

€ 90.00 for German applicants to the ZIF Expert Roster for Election Observation (open to German nationals only);


€ 450.00 for external, international applicants who are not applying for membership of the ZIF Expert Roster for Election Observation.


The course fee includes all training material, accommodation and meals at the training site. Please note that the course concept also foresees evening activities.  Since one of the goals of ZIF training is to promote sharing of experience among the participants from different fields and provide an opportunity for networking, ZIF encourages all participants to stay at the training site. Discounts will not be given to participants who choose to find private accommodation. Participants are required to make arrangements for their own health insurance for the duration of the course.


ZIF offers a limited number of scholarships, only for national staff of OSCE missions. For more information on those scholarship opportunities, please refer to your line manager or directly to ODIHR.




Application process

Please apply for the STO course via the ZIF database. Please click on the 'Apply Now' button on the top right side of this webpage and follow the directions that match your profile.


Important: During registration, please select the option "Training Only" in the  "Application for:" pop-up menu.

Please note that we require a short (1-2 paragraphs) and relevant motivation statement for this course.


Participants will be selected and informed shortly after the deadline has passed.