Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies – SSSA - is a public (special-statute) university that works in the field of applied sciences and offers PhD programmes, Master degrees, professional courses and continuing education programmes. As part of the Pisa University System, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies is small and elite. In 2019, the Times Higher Education, which evaluates almost 1400 universities worldwide, ranked the Scuola 1st among Italian universities, 4th in the world among universities with less than 50 years of age and 149th in the global ranking.

SSSA’s scientific and research activities in the field of social sciences concentrate on conflict management, human rights, emergency response, democratization, and good governance. Ever since 1998 SSSA has developed extensive experience in Electoral Policy, Practice, Assistance and Studies including the Master on Electoral Policy and Administration.

SSSA is part of the European University Association (EUA) as an "individual full member". ECES - SSSA's collaboration aims to develop and conduct customised, accessible and innovative capacity building programmes for current and aspiring election administrators and practitioners. ECES - SSSA partnership will also increase the accessibility of knowledge tools and capacity building programmes through the updating and upgrading of the ECES - SSSA existing training curriculum including translation and customization.

With regards to capacity building, ECES and SSSA collaborate to allow mid-upper electoral professionals, practitioners and other interested electoral stakeholders to enrol and attend the online Master on Electoral Policy and Administration (MEPA) or any of its 19 individual modules.




The European Centre for Electoral Support - ECES - is an independent, non-partisan and not for profit foundation headquartered in Brussels with a global remit. ECES promotes sustainable democratic development through the provision of advisory services, operational support and management of large projects in the electoral and democracy assistance field. ECES works with all electoral stakeholders, including "electoral management bodies, civil society organizations involved in voter education and election observation, political parties, parliaments, media, security forces, religious groups and legal institutions confronted with electoral disputes resolution".

ECES has crafted and copyrighted its strategy called "A European Response to Electoral Cycle Support - EURECS". This is an innovative and alternative delivery mechanism to implement electoral and democracy assistance activities that are consistent with European values and EU policies and targets the implementations of the recommendations of EU election observation missions and it is built to help prevent, mitigate and manage electoral related conflicts. EURECS is implemented via specific methodologies and tools developed and also copyrighted by ECES such as its Standard Operation Procedures, the Communication & Visibility Guidelines, the Electoral Political Economy Analyses, the project approach to contribute Preventing Election-related Conflicts and Potential Violence,  and the cascade training curriculum called "Leadership and Conflict Management Skills for Electoral Stakeholders, LEAD".

ECES is also part of a consortium led by the College of Europe to implement the European Respons on Mediation Support Project (ERMES) to provide a tool for the EU to advance its objectives and role in the field of mediation and dialogue. The project will be implemented under the supervision of the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments of the European Commission and in close consultation with the Mediation Support Team of the European External Action Services which will ensure the political steer. The ERMES project office will be within ECES headquarters' premises in Brussels. ECES is also a member of the Federation of European and International Association established in Belgium (FAIB) and is part of the EU Transparency Register and of the Transnational Giving Group.



The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a training arm of the United Nations System, serving some 36,000 beneficiaries annually by conducting more than 500 capacity development and research activities around the world. The vision of the Institute is “a world in which knowledge-empowered people, institutions and organizations achieve results to overcome global challenges.” This vision reflects a drive for results and programming to develop the capacities of individuals, institutions and organizations with a view to overcoming global challenges. The mission of UNITAR is to develop capacities of individuals, organizations and institutions to enhance global decision-making and to support country-level action for shaping a better future. The core functions of the Institute are:


  • Design and delivery of innovative training to address needs of individuals, organizations and institutions;
  • Facilitation of knowledge and experience-sharing through networked and innovative processes;
  • Conduct research on and pilot innovative learning strategies, approaches and methodologies
  • Provision of advisory services and support to governments, UN and other partners with technology-based knowledge-related services.


In line with its core functions, UNITAR offers various training and capacity-development activities in the thematic areas of: multilateralism; economic development and social inclusion; environmental sustainability and green development; sustainable peace; research and technology applications. As an autonomous body within the United Nations System, UNITAR is governed by a Board of Trustees and is headed by an Executive Director. The Institute is supported by voluntary contributions from governments, intergovernmental organizations, foundations, and other non- governmental sources.