In 2018 Democracy Volunteers became a member of GNDEM (Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors), which will boost our capacity to collaborate with partners worldwide. GNDEM is a global network of domestic observer groups. As a member of it we agree to meet internationally recognised standards and thus have wider international credibility. This is the worldwide body which adds greater legitimacy to what we do. It also allows us to influence other domestic groups and holds out the possibility of working with those groups in the future.
For the 2017 and 2019 UK General Elections we co-ordinated with AEGEE Election Observation, a leading European youth observation group, to bring observers to the UK.
In May 2019, as part of their wider work for the European elections, we worked with the Austrian-based team Election-Watch.eu which conducted an assessment of comparative EU member state laws on the election. We acted as the UK chapter of their work and informed the European-wide project on challenges concerning the UK system and how the late elections had made the process more complex than usual.
This allowed Democracy Volunteers to have an impact on the laws that will affect future European Elections.
On 3rd April 2018, Democracy Volunteers became signatories to the Declaration of Global Principles for Non-Partisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organisations and became a member of the Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM). This signing was on the sixth anniversary, to the day, of the Declaration’s original signing at The United Nations in New York. Democracy Volunteers are the only UK-based signatory to the Declaration and only the second in Western Europe.
GNDEM spans five continents with observer and monitoring groups in 88 countries and territories around the world as members. It shares best practice amongst observer groups around the world and is founded on the Declaration of Global Principles, which was drawn up and agreed at the United Nations in New York in April 2012. This expresses the independence of observers from party politics and as authoritative guardians of democracy who can help deter illegal practices at elections.
The Declaration also lays out a code of conduct for election observers which requires them to act impartially at elections which all Democracy Volunteers’ observers are expected to endorse before they observe elections in the United Kingdom and when deployed outside the United Kingdom.
As well as being politically impartial the organisation does not receive financial support, for its observations, from government and also promises to report promptly on its findings to the appropriate electoral bodies, on its findings.
Intergovernmental organisations that support the Declaration are: The Commonwealth Secretariat, The European Parliament, The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, International IDEA, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) and the United Nations Secretariat.
Nongovernmental supporters of the Declaration are: The Carter Center , The Center for Electoral Assistance and Promotion (CAPEL), The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI).