The 2nd local BRIDGE Introduction/Strategic Planning module workshop was organised by the Fijian Electoral Education Centre (FEEC) ,the education and capacity building arm of the Fijian Elections Office (FEO) from the 1st to 4th December, 2015.
The workshop was opened by the Ambassador for the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, H.E Mr Andrew Jacobs who stated that FEO has conducted a credible election last year and has continued to maintain its excellent standards in the post-election period. Mr. Jacobs further stated that Fijians will expect the same standards to be maintained and surpassed during the next General Election.
There were 19 participants (13 males, 6 females) altogether where 16 were FEO staff, 2 from the Fiji Police Force and an Officer from the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).
The participants have learnt many things regarding elections. They now realised why things were done differently in the 2014 General election. One participant highlighted that elections looked simple but at the completion of workshop, he was able to understand its complexity.
Many participants revealed their stories during the evaluation on the last day with a few highlighted as follows:
“This workshop has given us a platform to do better in the next general election”.
“Cross cutting themes are very important as they cut across all the things we do at the work place”.
“The methodology used is very interesting where I can take back to my workplace”.
“From the values I learnt, I will be able to prioritise my work”.
There were a lot of creativity in group work assignments and role plays. Interactions, sharing knowledge and experiences proved to be the main medium in understanding the “Learning Outcomes” and “Key Understandings”.
It was also interesting to note that some participants were able to come out from their comfort zones and present their findings, share ideas and take part in role plays.
For this particular workshop FEO engaged the former Principal Electoral Officer of the Vanuatu Electoral Commission who acted as an independent Accrediting Facilitator, Ms Jeannette Bolenga to observe, assess and be responsible for the accreditation of the 2 semi-accredited Facilitators. At the end of the workshop the 2 semi-accredited level facilitators have been accredited to BRIDGE workshop level facilitators. They were Ms Amita Prasad and Mr Azad Khan.
The workshop was closed by the Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Mohammed Saneem who in his speech gave more insights of how FEEC is going to offer their trainings in future. It was also highlighted that guest speakers and field visits were something that FEEC should look at in future BRIDGE workshops and other trainings.
Currently the FEO has an Accrediting Facilitator and 5 workshop facilitators who will be responsible for the coordination of BRIDGE programs in Fiji as well as the Pacific region.