Short-Term Election Observation Course


This year’s second ZIF Short-Term Election Observation (STO) course was held from the 15th to 18th September in Berlin. Future German observers as well as participants from all over Europe and beyond were trained for taking up an STO role in election observation missions (EOMs) of the EU and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

The experienced election observation trainers Hannah Roberts (UK) and Ranko Vukcevic (Serbia/Hungary) introduced course participants to tasks, responsibilities, and challenges faced by STOs in the field.

Next to topics such as the Code of Conduct for election observers and STO working cooperation, reporting skills and technologies were a particular focus of the training. Moreover, the trainers stressed the importance of mission security and safety measures in combination with individual mission preparedness. The mission focus and practical approach of the training was underlined by case studies and examples shared by the trainers throughout the course, based on their own mission experiences.

Alexey Gromov and Julia Ruppel, representatives from OSCE/ODIHR and EU/EEAS, complemented the training by explaining the broader institutional and political context of Election Observation Missions.

The diversity of the training audience (10 nationalities) reflected the mission reality on the ground. It contributed to an enriching exchange of experiences as well as lively and interactive role plays and simulation exercises.