In order to improve our understanding of the issues facing democracies and elections around the world, Democracy Volunteers is grateful to be advised by experienced experts in election observation, development, political participation and media representation.

Lesley Abdela MBE

Lesley has worked on women’s political empowerment and participation in elections in over 50 countries in the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia. As a journalist, Lesley’s articles have been published in: The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, The Economist, the Royal Institute of Foreign Affairs (Chatham House) journal The World Today and The Washington Post. She was Political Editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine.

She won the ‘1996 Woman of Europe Award’ for work as CEO of EU funded NGO Project Parity, working on women’s participation in democratic elections in the transition period in East and Central Europe. In the UK she founded and ran the all-party 300 GROUP campaign to get more women elected.

Lesley is also Senior Partner in Shevolution Consultancy; Associate Consultant, Nordic Consulting Group Sweden – Member of the SIDA Gender Experts Help Desk providing guidance to Swedish Embassies globally to ensure gender equality is integrated into development cooperation projects. One main theme is strengthening women’s participation in politics.

Lloyd Dalziel

Lloyd works for Canadian federal and provincial electoral management bodies and is the Chair of ISCA-AIDC, a Canadian NGO which works in development and election observation. Lloyd has over 20 years of experience working in development with a particular focus on programmes in Haiti.

He has worked through CANADEM, UN Peacekeeping Missions, the Organization of American States, the OSCE and the European Union. He has worked  in numerous countries, including Afghanistan, East Timor, Egypt, Haiti, Kenya, Libya, South Sudan, Sudan and Ukraine.

Jim Hancock

Jim was the Political Editor for BBC North West from 1998-2006 and has interviewed every Prime Minister from Harold Wilson to Theresa May. Previously, he was Granada TV’s political correspondent from 1987-1994.

He has also worked as a lobby correspondent at Westminster. Jim occasionally broadcasts on national and regional BBC TV and local radio as well as being a media trainer and conference chair. He is a respected and well-known commentator on UK politics with an extensive knowledge of local and national election campaigns in the UK.