Providing all the essentials for election observers

EU election observers are often requested to ensure that elections are free, fair and democratic. In some countries where many of the essentials for the missions are difficult to come by, GIZ is on hand to provide the solutions.

EU election observation missions

Provided that it is formally invited by the government concerned, the European Commission sends observers to monitor democratic elections in African, Asian and Latin American countries. When parliamentary elections were held in Chad on 13 February 2011, GIZ was responsible for handling all the local logistical arrangements for the mission.

GIZ International Services has been contracted by the European Commission to organise these missions as part of a consortium with the French company GEOS, which is responsible for the election observers’ safety and security. The mission does not begin and end with the election itself, but also covers the run-up and the post-election period, so the first experts arrived in Chad’s capital N’Djamena in late November 2010. They scrutinised the registration of candidates and voters, the election campaign and media reporting. On election day, the mission’s 90-strong team monitored the opening of nearly 600 polling stations, the voting procedure, the counting of votes and transfer of results to the National Electoral Commission.

And even after the ballot boxes closed, the mission was far from over. The experts continued to scrutinise the announcement of official results and the reactions of voters and parties in all the regions of the country for up to three weeks afterwards.

For GIZ, handling the logistics for an election observation mission in a country like Chad, one of the world’s 10 poorest nations, was a major but by no means unaccustomed challenge. Vehicles and technical equipment had to be hired, office space rented, and accommodation and food provided for the team. Before Chad, GIZ had previously provided this support for missions in Angola, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire and Niger, with Algeria scheduled for 2012. The mission for the parliamentary elections in Ethiopia in May 2010 was voted Best Election Observation Mission 2010 at the annual meeting of EU election observers.

On behalf of the European Union


Eleni Andrikopoulou

'The inadequate infrastructure has left us facing enormous challenges. The excellent contacts and years of experience of GIZ staff from other German projects in Chad were a great help in our preparations.'
Eric Vandromme, Project Leader of the Mission in Chad 2011


Advisory services, project descriptions


GIZ International Services