BRIDGE Electoral System Training in Afghanistan

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Following conducting the BRIDGE training programs for different civil societies and political parties, The Asia Foundation (TAF) organized the BRIDGE Electoral System training program for different political parties' representatives from 10-15 March 2012 in Kabul.

Following conducting the BRIDGE training programs for different civil societies and political parties, The Asia Foundation (TAF) organized the BRIDGE Electoral System training program for different political parties’ representatives from 10-15 March 2012 in Kabul.

TAF together with BRIDGE team in Afghanistan has recognized to build the capacity of the political parties in different political aspects, so it has been realized that the political parties are required to be increased their political knowledge on electoral systems. Based on used electoral systems experiences in last elections in Afghanistan there are some negotiations going on amongst different stakeholders including political parties now for some possible amendment in electoral systems in Afghanistan. The BRIDGE electoral system module has been found as the best curriculum for them in this crucial time and it would be helpful for their future views.

Twenty-six participants from 14 registered political parties including two participants from DI and one from TAF were attended in this 6 days training program which was held in TAF conference room. Political parties representatives those were introduced in the training program had different positions within their parties and were from different sections like communication, information and culture, youth, gender and structure.

During the training program all BRIDGE training methodologies were used as were indicated in FN ; group working , brainstorming , discussions , mock elections, with some minor changes in some topics presentations .

All the topics were interesting for the participants especially electoral system families, the three significant element and components for electoral system, comparison of electoral systems, advantage and disadvantages of all systems, seats allocations in different systems and design an electoral system activities . The participants hadn’t been attended in BRIDGE programs in past so the used methodologies on first day were a little unknown for them and even because of their positions and age issues were not interested to be involved in group discussions especially the ice breakers and energizers but fortunately in second day the training environment had been totally changed , they become familiar with BRIDGE methodologies and had participated in all activities with much interesting than it was expected ( As usual BRIDGE magic ).

On 5th day of the training an exciting two hour visiting tour from Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan had been scheduled for the training participants, they visited the Election Education Center, Election Recourse Center , Training and Capacity Building and Public Outreach Departments . Participants had been briefed about the tasks and responsibilities of these sections and their related questions had been answered, this visiting tour had created the opportunity for political parties to become familiar with IEC activities and also improvement the future networking.

The participants were satisfied with BRIDGE used methodologies, contents and also the facilitation of the facilitators; they had been thanked full from TAF for organizing the training program for political parties and suggested to organize the same programs for other parties too.

All the received feedback were positive about BRIDGE, a participant said; before coming to this programs we have thought there will be only some general information about electoral system but we didn’t know about such an inclusive curriculum and as a political party member I am now clear about all the systems .

At the end of training the chief of TAF had short closing speech and also the participants and facilitators share those comments regarding the sustainability of these kinds of programs for stakeholders in the future. At the end the certificates were distributed to participants.

At the end of training in a separate elevation meeting the facilitators shared their comments about the training as following:

• The suggested time in FN for activities are not enough and some time confusable for facilitators especially while the module is being conducted for the first time , if we see for each activity the working group activity is suggested but the time is only 30 minutes and in the same time a lot other references should be discussed as well , meanwhile the suggested time in FN is not matching with sample agenda too ,( and therefore instead of 5 suggested days we organized the program in 6 days.)

• The topics are not in consequences based on the topics relevant each others, some time there is explanation of a topic but after few other activities there is simulation of those topics , firstly it disliked the content of a topic and secondly it’s not interesting for participants to go back on the same topic.

• The references code are not matching sometimes

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