Effective Electoral Assistance Training


The training in Effective Electoral Assistance is a course that provides details on the recent policies and implementation developments in the fields of electoral assistance and election observation. The training introduces participants to the evolution of electoral support, from its very beginnings to its latest developments. This excursus provides an opportunity to emphasize the main features of Electoral Support, such as the Electoral Cycle approach, Electoral Observation and Media Monitoring.

Given the many years of experience that ECES experts have in strategic, operational and contingency planning to ensure the smooth running of electoral processes, the Effective Electoral Assistance training offers a comprehensive overview of lessons learnt along the way. By relying on the Electoral Cycle approach, the course further provides a valuable insight into the guiding principles currently under discussion within the international community.

The Effective Electoral Assistance training programme is designed to maximise learning outcomes by using interactive and participatory adult education techniques adapted to electoral administration and electoral assistance rather than relying heavily on traditional lecturing. Thus, a variety of different learning styles are used during the course – presentations, case studies, group work and exercises – all of which seek to capitalise on the exchange of experiences among participants, facilitators and experts alike.


The film  “An African Election” produced and directed by Jarreth Merz is usually screened during the course. The movie chronicles the 2008 presidential elections in Ghana and provides an unprecedented tool for inspiring and educating all electoral stakeholders (including electoral assistance providers and specialists) by demonstrating how a well-implemented electoral process can bring about peaceful change of power. The film is the basis of several role-plays and the course will be further enriched by a number of case-studies, based on the projects run by ECES and its partners. 



The course will also make use of several others visual tools developed by ECES in the framework of its projects such as the EU funded documentary "Women's Role in the Transition and Electoral Process in Libya". Through the experiences of three female candidates, the video’s goal is to convey both the importance and the challenges that women currently face in pursuing their political goals both as voters and as representatives.


From Zimbabwe to Mozambique and Madagascar, ECES has also developed a series of street-interviews asking questions pertaining to some of the most pressing issues related to elections. By interviewing people before and after the election-day, the videos give people a means of expressing their expectations, concerns and ideas on their national political environments. In addition, it represents the perfect tool to foster interaction with local stakeholders at the centre of any electoral assistance activity.


All these videos can be accessed through the  Gallery Page of this website.


The course will further take on a broad variety of pedagogical techniques to ensure the added value of interactive learning, some of the pedagogical techniques that are in used include:

  • Distance learning activities: Participants will be provided with videos and a list of readings that will help them familiarise themselves with the fundamental concepts that will be addressed throughout the course. Additionally, participants will also be asked to complete a Survey that will help them internalise these notions, and will also help the Experts customise the agenda accordingly.
  • Presentations: Presentations will be used by ECES Experts to introduce topics and case studies to the audience. These presentations will be followed by interaction and discussions between participants and the Experts. 
  • Case studies: A number of case-studies, based on the projects run by the ECES and Osservatorio di Pavia and on the experience of the experts in various contexts will be used to illustrate effective electoral support.
  • Group work: Interactive group works will be organised with the main objective of stimulating active reflection and engaging in discussion. Within a team working approach, experiences and knowledge are shared and participants will benefit from this team exercise.
  • Icebreakers & energisers: Team building activities will be designed in order to enhance interactions between participants.

Given the importance of access to media, media monitoring and media support in electoral assistance, an important part of the course is also dedicated to the analysis of the relationship between media and elections. Elections are not only concerned with candidates, but with a vast array of other issues, proposals, pressure groups and elements that are present and active in mass communication. During the course, experts from the Osservatorio di Pavia  will show how Media Monitoring focuses on different aspects and targets. Participants will learn that if properly conducted, media monitoring is a practical and constructive way for supporting the fairness and democratic nature of elections given that findings and conclusions of media monitoring can have an influence on the awareness and behaviour of stakeholders.


Please click the link to access the list of  EEA training courses.