The Association of World Election Bodies – AWEB in conjunction with the Electoral Commission of South Korea – NEC organised a BRIDGE Introduction to Electoral Administration course on 14 – 18 March 2016 in Incheon, South Korea. This project is one of many interventions by the AWEB with a purpose of strengthening the organisation and the Electoral Management Body by developing capacity of AWEB staff members and capacity of the staff members of the Commission for effective management of all Electoral processes and administrative activities. This workshop is the first BRIDGE course in a series of capacity development workshops that are planned and executed by different institutions as part of the training strategy of AWEB for the purpose of ensuring that the staff members of both AWEB and the Electoral Commission have the necessary skills and expertise to develop and implement strategies that will ensure that mandate of administering free and fair elections is carried out efficiently.
The BRIDGE Module course on Introduction to Electoral Administration was part of an induction process for new staff members who have recently joined AWEB and most have recently completed their degrees in the field of political science, governance and other related fields. The workshop was also graced by the attendance of the Director; Planning and Management – AWEB Mr Ju-Hwan Lee and the Manager; International Relations – NEC Ms Hyojin Park. Their presence and contributions were tremendously valuable and much appreciated.
Two BRIDGE facilitators, both females participated in the delivery of the course. The following facilitators exhibited a good combination of professional experience and diverse background and expertise:
The program covered the following topics:
Elections in Global Context, Legal Framework and Reforms, Electoral Systems Types of EMBs, Guiding Principles and Sustainability, Civic Education & Voter Information, Access to Electoral Processes, Strategic Planning, The Electoral Cycle and Project Management, Voter Registration Polling and Counting, Gender and Elections
15 participants (12 Females and 3 Males) participated in the workshop. However on day two of the workshop, this number was reduced to 13, as two participants could not continue to attend fully due to other work obligations. While the group of participants was made up of mostly young people with limited electoral experience, their content knowledge was impeccable and the level of creativity and innovation cannot be questioned and it contributed to the success of the workshop. The commitment and enthusiasm demonstrated by all participants throughout the workshop contributed to the achievement of the aims of the training.
The programme was opened and closed by Mr Yim Do Bin; Director General – AWEB
Some comments from the participants regarding what they’ve learnt and other views about the workshop:
“The work of an EMB is significantly complex than what I expected; the amount of skill and individual working in an EMB encompasses more than just knowledge of elections and more”. (Michael Hamaski).
Work as a team, thinking in a different angle” (Myoung Hye-young).
“The importance of EMB’s as an institution giving a public service to the pubic and electoral stakeholders.” (Ina Kim)
“Election management is multi tasked, continuous process which requires to take adequate time and consider all aspects of the country, before an election takes place” (Natasha Sim)
“How the electoral cycle is comprehensive and complex.”(Lee Eun-mi)
“The facilitators were knowledgeable, experienced and patient.”(Lee Juhwan)
“It was really a great chance to share experience gained from different countries. I also would like to appreciate our two facilitators who kept encouraging us to actually participate in the program and share their hands on experience, I also thank Director Lee who organized the program.” (Jinju Jo)
”Thank you for a great week and helping new employees get a better understanding of what election administration is about. Thank you for your enthusiastic teaching, I have learnt a lot on elections. It was really a great chance to share experience gained from other countries. The group work activities and energizers were entertaining. Your guidance and responsiveness to questions were overwhelming to say the least.”
Thank you to the Association of World Election Bodies – AWEB who were the sponsor and host of the programme; Thank you to the participants; wishing you all the best in your future endeavours. Sukuhashasamida!