ABRIDGE for Village Elections in Lhoong District

AIPRD/Logica-AusAID Program in collaboration with USAID-LGSP Local Election Project. This is the 2nd Phase of ABRIDGE in its assistance to the 5 villages of Lhoong Sub-District. Module 7 on Preparing for Election Event was chosen after a long discussion. The aim of the training was to encourage creative and critical thinking to equip the village election committee to see what are the aspects involving preparations for the event.

Due to time constraints this phase decided to only cover: Introduction to Writing and Testing Procedure which includes analyzing procedures from different countries, a brief activity on Design and Procurement of Materials and the Village Election) Operational Plan.

The training was fully supported and partially facilitated by Mahdi, the Sub-district Head of Lhoong. While the BRIDGE facilitator covered the principles of the above topics, Mahdi covered the local substance referring to some relevant laws. This proofed to be a very good chemistry.

Since the homework from Phase 1 was to finalize the Organizational Structure and revising the draft budget, it was decided to use the last 1,5 hours for the Lhoong Sub-district Head  to cover more on the budget, organizational structure and its communication/coordination system, operational planning (e.g. inauguration of the Village Chief, signing the papers of the village election winner’s announcement, etc) by referring on the few parts of the existing local laws. The reason for being so, is that up to date there is no drafted law to run a proper village election. This training was made to trigger a bottom-up process in order to put together a draft law that accommodates the need and in due course to be submitted to the Aceh Local Legislative Body.

Total of participants attending was 24 with 1 female AIPRD Village Facilitator. All were enthusiastic and took active participation in all activities. Since it is all about ‘common sense’ a good average number of the participants (55% approximately through facilitator’s observation) by the end of the course majority knew the broad idea of event organizing yet with the materials and methods; they were made aware of the aspects or areas needed to be covered in any phase of the election preparation.

Learning from the Participant’s Profile distributed in regards to their level of education (less than 5 are undergrads while average participants were senior and junior high schools grads, there were also those who only graduated from elementary school) and the type of day job they hold (farmers, carpenters, drivers, small businessmen) it was a challenge to simplify not only the way it was conducted but more so simplifying the wordings to ensure understanding of sessions were achieved. Again, this election is expected to be the first Village Election properly and professionally run in Aceh– and possibly in Indonesia. Any outcome is hoped to be used as a submission included in the Qanun (similar level to a Local Government Regulation).

Facilitators:

Dhyana Paramita, (BRIDGE Facilitator) USAID-LGSP

Drs. Mahdi (Sub-District Head for Lhoong

Special Thanks to:

  • Irja for being proactive and constantly there during preparation period in Banda Aceh.
  • Joko and Friska quick response team in preparing all facilities in course location to meet the BRIDGE Course training standard
  • Pak Aris of USAID-LGSP Aceh Regional Office for his support during the course.
  • Gadis Mertinna Ginting of BRIDGE for her support during the training.
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