Afghanistan Welcomes BRIDGE Training

Following conducting a BRIDGE training program for different civil society organizations and political parties, The Asia Foundation (TAF) once again convened a BRIDGE (Electoral System) training for the next batch of afghan political party representatives from 31 March - 05 April 2012 in Kabul.

Following conducting a BRIDGE training program for different civil society organizations and political parties, The Asia Foundation (TAF) once again convened a BRIDGE (Electoral System) training for the next batch of afghan political party representatives from 31 March – 05 April 2012 in Kabul.

There are discussions amongst different electoral stakeholders including political parties on   electoral reform in Afghanistan. On the other hand, TAF together with Afghan BRIDGE team titled “Afghan BRIDGE Community (ABC)” realized that political and electoral knowledge of afghan political parties require improvement and the BRIDGE electoral system module was found as the best module for them in this crucial time.

Twenty-six participants from 16 registered political parties attended this 6 days training program held in International Club of Kabul city. Political parties’ representatives whom were introduced in the training program had authoritative positions within their parties and were from different sections like communication, information and culture, youth and gender.

A group of four facilitators composed of, a workshop facilitators Mr. Barakzai and three semi accredited facilitators namely Mr. Jabar Sapand, Dr. Javed Habibi and Mr. Shearkhan Sahak (along with few sessions covered by Mr. Abdul Ghafoor Asheq and Mr. Haseebullah Shinwary) facilitated the training. During the training program all BRIDGE training methodologies were used as were indicated in FN such as group working, brainstorming, discussions, mock elections, with some minor adoptions.

All the topics were interesting for the participants, especially electoral system families, the three significant characteristic of electoral systems, comparison of electoral systems, advantage and disadvantages of different election systems, seats allocations in different systems and design an electoral system activities. As the participants were new to BRIDGE training programs, the first day seemed to be a little anxious for the participants and they were unfamiliar with the methodologies and even because of their positions and age issues it was hard for them to participate actively. However, but afterward they became familiar with BRIDGE methodologies and had participated in all activities with much interest than it was expected (As usual BRIDGE magic).

On 5th day of the training an exciting two hour study tour to Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan was scheduled for the training participants, and as before, they visited the Election Education Center, Election Recourse Center, Training and Capacity Building and Public Outreach Departments. Participants were briefed about the duty and responsibility of IEC particularly of these sections and their related questions were answered by IEC staff. This  tour created the opportunity for political parties to become familiar with IEC and its mandate and duty  and also improvement in the future networking among the Political Parties and IEC.

The participants were satisfied with BRIDGE methodologies, contents and also the facilitation of the facilitators was totally satisfactory for them; they were gratuitous and thankful to TAF for providing such opportunities of training for political parties and suggested to organize the same programs for their provincial female members too.

At the end of training the chief of TAF had short closing speech and also the participants and facilitators shared their comments regarding the sustainability of BRIDGE programs for other stakeholders in the future. At the end the certificates were distributed to participants.

 

 

 

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