Election | Election Observation

Election observation is one of the core instruments for the promotion of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It involves a group of independent international and/or local observers monitoring the election process, in order to provide a critical evaluation in accordance with international standards and local legislation.

Election observation missions have existed in their current form since the end of the Cold War. These missions provide an important contribution to crisis prevention; they show the international interest, can strengthen public confidence in the election process, and disclose any irregularities. Election observation can thus help to ensure transparency and acceptance among all actors involved, and contribute to political stabilization above all in transition and post-conflict countries.

Selection, preparation and supervision of election observers

Since 2002 ZIF has been the central contact partner for German election observers intending to work for the EU or OSCE. We are responsible for their selection, preparation, supervision and secondment; only members of the ZIF Expert Roster may be nominated as short- and long-term election observers for these international organizations. To find out how you can become an election observer, please consult the ZIF applicants' manual.

Since our foundation we have, in cooperation with the German Foreign Office, seconded almost 4,000 voluntary short-(STO) and long-term election observers (LTO) for election observation missions of the OSCE/ODIHR and the EU.

Training Courses and collaborations

We additionally offer training courses for short- and long-term election observers. Furthermore we also organize training courses for external agencies, e.g. an LTO training for Switzerland or STO and LTO training courses for Belarusian observers on behalf of the OSCE. In cooperation projects we support regional organizations such as ECOWAS in the training of African election observers.

Your contact

Rebecca Meier

Team Human Resources, Operations