This project provides funding for Canadian election observers to be deployed on multilateral election observation missions in developing countries through CANADEM, a Canadian non-governmental organization that maintains a roster of Canadian experts. These election observation missions are undertaken by credible multilateral organizations with long-standing expertise in election observation, including the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union. The deployment of Canadian election observers contributes to raising awareness and deepening understanding at home of Canada's involvement in supporting democratic governance abroad.
The project is part of the Multilateral Election Observation Program. This Program uses a whole-of-government approach for Canadian support to multilateral election observation in developing countries. Its main objective is to assist developing countries in their objective to hold democratic elections in line with national and international election standards. Support for election observation contributes to strengthening the electoral process in developing countries.
This is a new feature, part of CIDA's efforts towards increasing transparency. Information will only be available for projects approved after October 15, 2011. For other projects, information on expected results is usually included in the description.
Results as of July 2012 include the recruitment and deployment of 465 Canadian election observers to 29 international election observation missions in 22 different countries, including nine of CIDA’s countries of focus. These observers took part in missions implemented by the European Union, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Organization of American States and The Carter Center.
The presence of Canadian observers on the ground allowed for more transparent elections, in line with national and international standards. Canadian observers contributed to the production of Final Reports assessing each election observed and establishing recommendations for improving the electoral process in the host country. These recommendations provided valuable and timely inputs for these countries’ governments, electoral management bodies and the broader international community to strengthen electoral and democratic institutions and processes. CANADEM promoted gender issues throughout the electoral cycle by integrating gender-sensitive information in briefing materials and training sessions. By instigating the mandatory use of gender checklists for all its Canadian election observers, CANADEM facilitated the dissemination of gender considerations in multilateral election observation missions and increased integration of gender issues in all aspects of monitoring and reporting.
The largest CANADEM election observation contingent was in Ukraine. It accounted for around 44% of the observers sent to date. In January 2011, CANADEM deployed Mission Canada, an independent bilateral election observation mission of 200 Canadians, to monitor and report on the second round of Presidential elections in Ukraine. Mission Canada observers reported that while minor irregularities were observed; the vast majority of observed polls functioned in accordance with the electoral law and without significant incidents. Mission Canada recommended that results of the 2010 Presidential Elections be recognized as free, fair and a genuine expression of the democratic will of the Ukrainian voters. The mission assisted in validating the election results, while providing advice to the Ukraine Electoral Commission on how to improve future elections.