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Election Observation

Published 20. Dec 2016|Edited 22. Dec 2016
NORDEM provides Norwegian observers to international election observation missions all over the world. Each year, we deploy about 60 - 100 election observers and experts to approximately 15 different countries.

The main task of and election observer is to assess how an election is conducted  against national legislation and international standards for democratic elections and to provide recommendations to national governments on how to improve their electoral system.

NORDEM's election observers are trained in election observation methodology and international standards for democratic elections. NORDEM sends observers to the EU, OSCE and other regional and international organizations.

How to become an election observer

For each mission, election observers are recruited exclusively from NORDEM members. NORDEM recruits new election observers to NORDEM through a competitive and thorough screening process, that usually takes place every second year. Next round of recruitment is expected to take place in 2021 or 2022.

Recruitment criterias

  • Higher education within social sciences, law or a related field.
  • Availability for 6-8 weeks assignments, on 1-4 weeks' notice.
  • A minimum of three years' relevant work experience, preferably from international work.
  • Experience with elections or information gathering, analysis and reporting.
  • Proficiency in English. Fluency in either French, Spanish (CEF-level C1), Portuguese (CEF-level B2) is an asset.
  • Good computer skills.
  • Good health (medical certificates are required for many missions).
  • Norwegian citizenship and a valid passport.
  • Excellent cooperation skills, flexibility and willingness to work in challenging conditions.

Mandatory before deployment

Once an observer is successfully recruited to NORDEM, it is mandatory to undertake the NORDEM Election Observation Training or the online Comprehensive Course for OSCE/ODIHR Observers before he/she can go on an election observation mission. NORDEM usually requires that an observer has been deployed twice as a short term observer (STO) before they can qualify as long term observer (LTO).

Election Observation Trainings

NORDEM provides different types of trainings in election observation for members of NORDEM and for external partners upon request. The courses cover many aspects of election observation, including the structure, mandate and workings of election observation missions, international electoral standards, short term and long term observation, and election observation in context.

Hosting International Delegations

NORDEM's two decades of experience from international election observation is regarded as a resource and NORDEM is a natural host for election management bodies that want a tailored study program to the Norwegian electoral system.


Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about election observation.