What training do I need as a Long-Term Observer?
Firstly, training is good but itís not mandatory. Many people become Long-Term Observers (LTOs) without having specialist training beforehand. If you meet the missionís selection requirements in terms of language, professional background and Short-Term Observation experience, then nothing should prevent you from applying to be an LTO.
The EU funds observer training through the Network for Enhanced Electoral and Democratic Support Project (NEEDS). NEEDS carries out training for LTOs and Core Team experts on a regular basis and you can check the website for upcoming opportunities. LTO training candidates are selected from a pool proposed by the Focal Points, so you have to get your Focal Point to select you first. It helps if you fulfil the training selection criteria and if your Focal Point rates you and has ranked you high in their selection. There is a lot of competition for places. Each NEEDS LTO training event is for 16 candidates, but there are 27 Member States and each one can propose up to three candidates. Inevitably, some qualified candidates will be disappointed. If at first you donít succeed, try again. With a bit of luck and persistence, you can make it.