African Union Supports BRIDGE Professional Development Training Course in Nigeria

A 5-day Professional Development Training (PDT) was conducted from the 12 - 16 December 2011 at the Bolingo Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria for seventeen senior staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria.

A 5-day Professional Development Training (PDT) was conducted from the 12 – 16 December 2011 at the Bolingo Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria for seventeen senior staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria. It was the first country-focused training assistance by the Electoral Assistance Unit of the African Union Commission to a member state.

The course was a selection of different components of BRIDGE modules, which were treated under the following themes:

• Standards and Principles of Election

• Election Frameworks

• Electoral Operations and Administration

• Stakeholder Management

• Sustainability

(See Agenda below for details)

The PDT afforded three (3) members of the facilitation team to complete their fieldwork required for full accreditation. They are:

1. Esther A. Adidu, Chief Voter Education Officer, Voter Education Department, INEC, Nigeria

2. Aliyu, M. Bello, Assist. Director, Voter Education Department, INEC, Nigeria

3. Bodunrin J. Adebo. Electoral Expert, UNDP, Nigeria

The facilitation team was led by Theophilus Dowetin.

At the end of the training, each participant received a BRIDGE Certificate of Course Completion, which was presented by Dr. Abdulkadir Oniyangi, an acting chair of INEC and a national commissioner at a closing ceremony.

The training provided a great opportunity for staff of INEC, Nigeria to have more insight into professionalism in administration of election. The training also tried to make participants see election management as a profession thereby encouraged the acquisition of the requisite knowledge, values/attitude and skills.

Daily and Short Final Evaluation

A written evaluation was conducted at the end of each day to enable facilitation team ascertain whether key understandings have been achieved, areas that participants need more of or where they may be confused.

Some of the comments received from a short evaluation, at the end of the training, on issues including course content and facilitation, randomly selected, are as follows:

1 What is the single most important thing you learnt during this course?

• “The types of EMBs and highlights of standards and principles for election management”.

• “Legitimacy is derived from the voters and other stakeholders”.

• “The difference between functional, structural and financial independence”.

2 How did you find the course facilitation?

• It is very intensive and challenging.

• I will apply the learning techniques in my facilitation.

• Participatory training is the best way to learn. It haw impacted well on me.

• Very intriguing and unique approach.

3 How do you find the course content?

• “It is very practical and comprehensive”.

• “It has more materials for further studies”

• ” I learnt about what’s embedded in the electoral cycle, electoral systems, what makes an election free & fair and more about election observation”.

4 What can be improved on the course?

• “More time should be a allocated to the topic – Electoral Systems and the various types”.

• “This type of programme should be a regular one and the period should be extended”.

• Include more on internal and international election observation.

5 Do you have any additional comments?

• “This sort of exercise should be held regularly and be introduced to states where a great number of personnel work”.

• “Members of this group should also be equipped with facilitation skills training as part of their promotion”.

• “I had a very fulfilling training period”

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