As part of the Australian Government’s longstanding support for East Timor, funding was provided by AusAID to conduct training to further develop the capacity of electoral administration in Timor-Leste.
The Australian Electoral Commission, in collaboration with Commissão Nacional de Eleições (CNE), conducted the Introduction to Election Administration Module of BRIDGE for CNE, Timor-Leste Media Development Centre (TLMDC), Centro Jornalismo Investigativo Timor-Leste (CJITL), Organizasaun Haburas Moris (OHM), Radio, Televisão Timor-Leste (RTTL), Timor Post (TP), Suara Timor Lorosa’e (STL) and Radio Liberdade Dili.
Two workshops were conducted in July 2011 in Dili. Twenty nine participants attended the first workshop which was held from the 4 July to 7 July 2011 and twenty eight participants attended the second workshop which was held from 11 July to 14 July. The aim of the training was to give participants a better understanding of international electoral processes and to support participants to develop professional capacity in the lead up to the 2012 National Elections in Timor-Leste. The training modules provided participants with knowledge of elections in a global context, legal frameworks, electoral principles and standards, criteria for free and fair elections and ideas about planning for civic, electoral education and voter information.
The BRIDGE Facilitation team in Dili from the Australian Electoral Commission was Augusto Pereira, Brian Latham and Pat Satie. There was further facilitator input from four semi-accredited facilitators in each of the workshops. Deolindo Deo Ramos (CNE), Jose Soares Fonseca (CNE), Celistiano Xavier (CNE) and Patricia de A.F.B.M. Xavier (OIPAS) supported the first workshop. Ivo Rangel (Freelance), Mario de Oliveira Guterres (TLMDC), Filomena G. Goncalves (CNE) and Honorio Cruz Silva (CNE) supported the second workshop.
Both workshops were conducted in a positive and participatory environment. Feedback from the training demonstrated that participants both enjoyed the opportunity and felt they greatly benefited from the experience.
“I am very pleased to have attended this workshop. I have attended many workshops but this workshop was a great new experience for me”.
“A deep thank you to all the great facilitators. I was never bored during these four days, I enjoyed most of sessions”.
“Please don’t stop after this workshop, conduct the same workshop again – we’d love to come back to attend it”.
Dr Faustino Cardoso Gomes, President of CNE opened both workshops and encouraged participants to take their learning back to their workplace so they could better support their work in the 2012 elections. Annette Madvig and Pedro Aquino from AusAID were able to attend the opening and closing of the second workshop.