'Overwhelmingly Valuable and Effective' - Independent Report Launched Assessing CPA BIMR's Election Observation Work

Published 26 March 2024

Since 2011, the UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA UK), in its role as secretariat for CPA's British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR), has delivered 19 election observation missions (EAMs) to UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. To assess the impact of our election work, we decided to commission an independent report from our Academic Fellows, Dr Matthew Bishop (University of Sheffield) and Professor Jack Corbett from Monash University.

Yesterday it was our great pleasure to launch the report with Dr Bishop and Claire Christian MHK, a former participant in a CPA BIMR EAM, in the CPA Room, UK Parliament. Having shadowed CPA BIMR Election Observation Missions and interviewed a range of stakeholders from across the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, the Fellows concluded that:

"The main finding is that these missions are overwhelmingly valuable and effective. They generate five specific forms of impact:

(i) providing legitimacy;

(ii) facilitating pluralism;

(iii) shaping reform agendas;

(iv) raising awareness about international best practice; and

(iv) enhancing skills transfer between Commonwealth politicians, election officials and the wider observation community."

To find out more, including the Fellows' assessment of the key dilemmas confronting CPA BIMR's election observation work, you can read the full report here: uk-cpa.org/media/5283/final-observation-paper-1.pdf

Academic Fellow Dr Matt Bishop and Claire Christian MHK from Tynwald speak at the report launch event in the CPA Room, Westminster Hall