Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors
Over four million citizens in more than 100 countries have engaged in nonpartisan citizen election monitoring since it started in the mid-1980s in the Philippines. Nonpartisan citizen election monitoring contributes to electoral integrity, defends political rights, mitigates potential for violence, helps create governmental accountability, deters and exposes fraud, promotes public confidence in elections and resulting governments as warranted, and strengthens citizen organization and participation in public affairs. The Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM), founded in 2009 with support from NDI, aims to facilitate and enhance the critical work of citizen election monitors throughout the world through solidarity and resource-sharing.
GNDEM, with 251 member organizations in 89 countries and regional network members in Africa, Asia, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East/North Africa, has helped (1) expand and deepen recognition and acceptance of citizen election observation at national, regional and international levels; (2) promote solidarity among citizen observers, particularly in closing spaces; and (3) sustain a multi-faceted, platform for exchange best practices and lessons learned within and across regions.
GNDEM, with assistance from NDI, has shared over 1,000 best practice documents and resources on the GNDEM website, along with daily updates from citizen election monitors and monthly newsletters highlighting innovative work from members. Electronic interactions are reinforced by capacity building peer-to-peer exchange through in-person meetings, workshops, academies and targeted visits through and across the regional networks, which GNDEM seeks to strengthen along with its individual organization and coalition members. Through these exchanges, citizen observation practitioners have helped build each other’s technical capacities while directly implementing monitoring efforts. In many countries, peer exchanges have contributed to the evolution of citizen observation from ad-hoc mobilizations to efforts grounded in systematic methodologies.
In addition to facilitating communication amongst its members, GNDEM’s hallmark initiative is the development of standards for citizen monitoring organizations throughout the world. Through a consensus process that included regional election monitoring networks and eventually all member organizations, GNDEM produced the Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations (DoGP), along with its corresponding code of conduct. The Declaration, which was launched at the United Nations New York headquarters in 2012, sets forth the ethics, methodologies and conditions for citizen election observation to safeguard its integrity and advance its cause before governments and the international community. More than 290 citizen monitoring organizations from 93 countries are ‘Endorsers’ of the Declaration, meaning that they implement the Declaration’s principles in their election programming and adhere to its accompanying Code of Conduct. GNDEM promotes and reinforces the DoGP by requiring all members to endorse the document and by guiding members to better adhere to its principles.