DIHR carries out election observation in OSCE participating States to assess the extent to which elections respect fundamental freedoms and are characterized by equality,

universality, political pluralism, confidence, transparency and accountability.
An ODIHR election observation mission (EOM) consists of a core team of experts, long-term observers (LTOs), and short-term observers (STOs). Candidates for all positions must be citizens of OSCE participating States, excluding the country where the election is taking place.

Individuals interested in joining ODIHR observation activities, are required to create a personal account in the OSCE/ODIHR Election Expert Database.

Core Team

The core team is composed of 10 to 15 international experts. Their assignments typically vary between 2 and 8 weeks.

Experts are selected through an open recruitment procedure, based on their qualifications and experience.

Long-term and Short-term Observers

Depending on the format of the observation activity, OSCE participating States may be requested to second a certain number of LTOs and STOs.  The seconding state is responsible to cover the costs of its observers.
How to apply: Information on national procedures for recruiting observers can be requested from respective election observation focal points. In order for their candidacy to be considered, all potential observers are required to create a personal account on the Election Expert Database.

Funded observers

In addition to seconded observers, ODIHR may recruit a limited number of funded LTOs and STOs from eligible countries through its Diversification and Sustainability funds provided as voluntary extra-budgetary contributions by OSCE participating States. These funds are utilized based on need and available resources.
How to apply: Application and selection procedures differ for funded LTOs and STOs.

  • Funded LTOs are recruited directly by ODIHR. If a potential need of funded LTOs is anticipated, vacancies are published on the Election Expert Database alongside core team positions and are only visible for nationals of eligible countries. Interested candidates can apply through the database to express their availability.
  • Funded STOs are selected by participating States, generally by the same focal point that manages the selection of seconded observers.

Observer Training

ODIHR strongly encourages all interested observers to undertake its e-learning course for OSCE/ODIHR observers. The course is free and open to anyone interested in learning about ODIHR’s election observation methodology.
ODIHR also organizes in-person training courses for LTOs and STOs. Courses are financed by generous extra-budgetary contributions of the OSCE participating States and only nationals of countries eligible for Diversification Fund can be selected. Participants are pre-selected by participating States.

For more information, you can read the ODIHR’s Election Observation Handbook.