Election staff training: Tracing global patterns of institutionalisation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Downloads (Pure)


The safe delivery of elections is a pivotal international issue in an era of widespread concerns about global democratic backsliding. Despite this, there remains little research on the training provided to electoral officials – those responsible for delivering elections and democracy on the front line. This article introduces the concept of electoral training institutionalisation, which refers to the extent to which training is embedded into electoral processes by electoral management bodies. It then presents original data from a survey of electoral management bodies to give an overview of the global provision of training. An original index of training institutionalisation is developed from the dataset. These data are analysed to identify the patterns of training. The results suggest that training institutionalisation tends to be associated with the overall quality of democracy and economic development. Deepening the embeddedness of electoral training is recommended as a step towards the strengthening of electoral democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-435
Number of pages21
JournalSouth African Journal of International Affairs
Issue number3
Early online date30 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • democracy
  • Electoral integrity
  • electoral management
  • electoral training institutionalisation
  • poll workers

Cite this