UNDP/Ethiopia within the Democratic Institutions Programme (DIP) project “Enhanced capacity of the National Electoral Board” has organized the BRIDGE workshops on Boundary Delimitation for Senior EMB (NEBE) officials and other stakeholders involved in the delimitation exercise (such as the National Statistical Agency, the National Mapping Agency, House of Peoples Representatives, House of Federation, Ethiopia Human Rights Commission, Ethiopia Institution of the Ombudsman, Federal Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission, Regional National Council Representatives, Regional Administration Representatives, etc).
The main objective of the workshops was to develop the capacity of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia to carry out electoral boundary delimitation.
The first workshop for twenty-seven participants (mainly from NEBE) was facilitated by lead facilitator Natia Kashakashvili and Hubert Akumiah with the support of guest speakers James Aphane and Colin Coleman from South Africa IEC during 26-28 October, 2011 at Executive Hotel, Adama, Ethiopia.
The second workshop was conducted for twenty-six participants from the different agencies as well as NEBE representatives by Natia Kashakashvili and guest speakers James Aphane and Colin Coleman from South Africa IEC during 31 October – November 2, 2011 at Executive Hotel, Adama, Ethiopia.
The workshop agenda focused on the principles and criteria of the Boundary Delimitation, legal framework and composition of boundary delimitation authority; as well as steps of delimitation process and operational planning. All the activities from the BRIDGE curriculum were linked with the boundary delimitation case study from South Africa. Special appreciation to the guest speakers from South Africa IEC who helped the participants to understand drawing the boundaries manually and using the GIS software based on the SA and Ethiopia maps.
The workshops were opened by the UNDP/DIP Programme Manager Mr. David Omozuafoh wishing participants successful completion of the workshop. Participants were then welcomed by the chairman of National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, Professor Merga Bekana who talked about the importance of the workshop as the kicking point for the successful conduct of the boundary delimitation exercise.
The workshops were very intensive, given the short-timeframe and very demanding module to deliver; though participants showed great devotion to the workshop and were willing to stay extra hour to cover almost all the activities envisaged by the agenda. Prof. Merga, who attended the both workshops, gave incentive to his colleagues from NEBE and other stakeholders to get involved with maximum participation in the sessions and to gather hands on, practical knowledge from the experts from the South Africa. At the end of both workshops, participants were granted the certificate of completion the three-day workshop on Boundary Delimitation module.
Participants were astonished by the BRIDGE facilitation methodology, noting through the evaluations admiration towards the energizers and presentation techniques of the group-works. As the BRIDGE methodology is so well accepted in Ethiopia and particularly within the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), it is advised to hold Train the Facilitator course to create the pool of Ethiopian BRIDGE facilitators who could continue holding the BRIDGE workshops for NEBE and other stakeholders in the future.
November 6, 2011