LTO – Freetown, Sierra Leone

The Carter Center, Democracy Program
Long-Term Observer Recruitment Notice
Freetown, Sierra Leone


The Carter Center is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health.
The Center is preparing to deploy an election observation mission to monitor the general elections scheduled for March 7, 2018 in Sierra Leone. We are currently recruiting highly-qualified individuals to serve as long-term observers (LTOs) for the mission. Pending final approval of funding and electoral developments, this position will require relocation to Sierra Leone from late January to mid-March.


LTOs will work in pairs and travel regularly within their area of responsibility. Conditions vary, but candidates should be prepared to travel to remote, rural locations and must be able to work in difficult environments with minimal amenities. LTO safety is a serious priority for The Carter Center and candidates must be willing to carefully follow all communication and safety/security protocols.


LTO teams serve as the backbone of the Center’s election observation missions and are expected to monitor, assess and report on key electoral developments within Sierra Leone, including but not limited to: the electoral and political environment, human rights, civic and voter education, the media environment, campaigning, polling, counting, and tabulation processes. This information will be used to generate public and private statements regarding preparations for the election in order to provide an impartial assessment of the processes and detailed recommendations for ways to improve its inclusiveness, credibility, and transparency.


Primary responsibilities:


  • Under the direction of the Center’s Field Office Director (FOD) and Observer Coordinator in Sierra Leone, and working in coordination with a long-term observer team partner to monitor the pre-election and post-election environment, technical preparations, and the campaign, including campaign finance, participation of women, potential triggers for electoral violence, election-day and post-election processes, and other key aspects of the process.


  • In coordination with a long-term observer team partner, establish relationships with the relevant electoral authorities, political parties, government representatives, observer groups, armed forces and security authorities, and others at the regional, district and municipal levels in one’s area of operation.


  • Provide weekly written reports and oral briefings on electoral developments and political dynamics as needed to the FOD and Observer Coordinator, and contribute to other reports as directed. This may include editing weekly reports for contributions to pre- and post-election reports issued by the Center.


  • Liaise with domestic citizen election observers, civil society organizations, and any other community-based organizations operating at the regional, district and municipal levels.


  • Prepare necessary logistical arrangements, including arrangements for accommodation, meals, transport, and communication for the deployment of the Center’s short-term observer (STO) delegation during election week.


  • Prepare written briefing materials relevant to each specific deployment area, including contact lists for electoral authorities, political parties, nongovernmental organizations and other observers. Assist with briefing members of the STO delegation.


  • Observe the voting, counting, and tabulation processes and, where possible, observe the resolution of challenges to the vote by electoral authorities. Report to the leadership team in Freetown as requested.


  • Observe post-election results and electoral dispute proceedings in the specified area of responsibility. Report to the leadership team as requested. Assist other Carter Center observers in returning to the capital to debrief and depart Sierra Leone.


  • Abide by the Carter Center’s code of conduct for international observation and agree to follow the principles of the International Declaration for International Observers as well as the observation methodology of the Carter Center mission in Sierra Leone.



Ideal candidates will possess some or all of the following qualifications:

  • Experience in election monitoring or administration and/or democratic governance;
  • Knowledge of politics and culture in West Africa;
  • Professional experience in Sierra Leone or the immediate region;
  • Expertise in some or all of the following areas: elections, human rights, conflict resolution and peace-building, political analysis;
  • Cross-cultural understanding;
  • English fluency, ability to communicate clearly, willingness to read and contribute to reports;
  • Ability to live in difficult conditions, perform well under stress, work within a team, and maintain professionalism at all times.


Financial compensation:

LTO positions are considered voluntary.  Selected candidates will receive a daily per diem to cover meals and incidental expenses, as well as a weekly stipend as remuneration. All LTO housing and travel costs are undertaken by The Carter Center. The Center will provide for all communication, services, support, and equipment necessary to the position.


LTO positions for the mission are limited. Candidates will be selected on a rolling basis until filled. Please send cover letter, CV, and list of references to:

Please note “LTO application” in the subject line of your email.


Note: Because this is an international election observation mission, Sierra Leonean nationals are not eligible to serve as Carter Center LTOs. Due to the large volume of applicants, only those candidates selected for an interview or additional consideration will be notified by the Center.