3rd Edition of the Effective Electoral Assistance Course in Milan

Between 2010 and 2012 the most prominent donors, electoral assistance providers, and international and regional organisations dealing with election observation and electoral assistance, carried out external evaluations of their activities. Taking the findings of these evaluations into account, ISPI Advanced Diploma on Effective Electoral Assistance that took place in Milan from November 27th until December 2nd, 2011. The course illustrated in detail the policy and implementation developments in the fields of electoral assistance and election observation. Participants were also provided with a comprehensive overview of the lessons learned as well as a commentary on the guiding principles currently under discussion within the international community. 

The course was delivered in Milan and was jointly organised by the European Centre for Electoral Support and Osservatorio di Pavia which is an institute of research specialised in media analysis at the theoretical and empirical level. The institute is an independent non-profit organisation. Its main objective is to safeguard social, cultural and political pluralism in the field of mass media through the elaboration of research methodologies and analysis applied to media studies. Osservatorio di Pavia works in collaboration with the University of Pavia, Italy. In this partnership, they have developed a quantitative methodology for the observation and analysis of political communication in the mass media. This methodological effort has led to a long-term co-operation with RAI - the Italian public broadcasting service - for which Osservatorio di Pavia has carried out media monitoring activities since 1994. The data produced by Osservatorio di Pavia is used by the Parliamentary Commission on RAI. Osservatorio di Pavia is also engaged in a wide range of research in specific areas of mass communication, including gender, cultural diversity and protection of minors. The institute also has a market and brands research department. Thanks to the experience achieved at the national level, Osservatorio di Pavia has been credited internationally as a major centre of media analysis. Since 1997, the institute has collaborated with a number of international organisations in the frame of their activities of capacity building and technical assistance in the field of elections.


The Advanced Diploma used the recently released ISPI Paper on Effectiveness and Sustainability of Electoral Assistance (2011), as a key reference tool as well as a pre-reading list of publications from experts of ECES and Osservatorio di Pavia. The course demonstrates how new guiding principles in electoral support can be translated into a more holistic approach that can be implemented in order to make electoral assistance more effective, sustainable and more consistent with national objectives in countries receiving such assistance.