BRIDGE for Electoral Stakeholders in Georgia

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UNDP Georgia in cooperation with the Central Election Commission of Georgia and the Center for Training and Electoral Reforms, with the financial support of the EU, held five customized BRIDGE workshops for the Electoral Stakeholders of Georgia for the upcoming Parliamentary Elections in Georgia, set for October 1, 2012.

 UNDP Georgia in cooperation with the Central Election Commission of Georgia and the Center for Training and Electoral Reforms, with the financial support of the EU, held five customized BRIDGE workshops for the Electoral Stakeholders of Georgia for the upcoming Parliamentary Elections in Georgia, set for October 1, 2012.The aim of the workshops was to aware all the electoral stakeholders on the general rules of elections that would lead them to the proper conduct of the upcoming Parliamentary elections in October 2012. Target groups for the workshops were: 1. Seven Political Parties qualified to nominate the members of the Election Administration; 2. Media representatives and 3. Observer groups representatives.

The workshops were conducted on the following dates:
1. 15-18 July, 2012: #1 workshop for Political Parties in Batumi
2. 24-27 July, 2012: #2 workshop for Political Parties in Batumi
3. 28-31 July, 2012: #3 workshop for Political Parties in Batumi
4. 2-5 August, 2012: Workshop for Media Representatives in Batumi
5. 8-13 August, 2012: Workshop for Observers in Kachreti, Kakheti region
Below is the table of the number and gender break-down of the participants.

Session                                          Date   Total # Participants   Female    Male
Political Party workshop #1   15-18 July              20                       6             14
Political Party workshop #2   24-27 July              21                       8             13
Political Party workshop #3   28-31 July              19                       5             14
Media workshop                      2-5 August             21                      17             4
Observer workshop                8-13 August           19                      11             8
TOTAL                                                                        100                    47            53

The agenda for the BRIDGE course for the electoral stakeholders envisaged the topics that would give the participants knowledge to analyze the general rules of election conduct in the world while making parallels to the Georgian framework. The workshop agenda focused on the Electoral Cycle; Legal framework for the elections; Models of the EMBs, its structures, functions and membership based on the country case studies; Types of Electoral Systems, its principles and comparative analysis; Electoral Dispute Resolution mechanisms, Polling and Counting procedures; codes of conducts of electoral stakeholders and EMB-stakeholders relations.

 
The workshops were facilitated in Georgian, by the Expert level facilitator Natia Kashakashvili and workshop level facilitators: Giorgi Sharabidze and Tamar Zhvania.
Participant acknowledged the BRIDGE methodology and the adult learning styles that facilitators were using throughout the course. Participants evaluated each thematic topic to be very useful and knowledgeable. As participants had tendency to always make parallels to Georgian context, they found it useful to get to know the best practices from different countries.

 
Based on the evaluations after each training day and each workshop, increased interest towards the Train the Facilitator course from all the stakeholders (especially from Observer groups), also the appreciation letter received from one of the head of Political Party, Electoral Stakeholders BRIDGE program can be considered necessary and timely. The program acted as a warm-up before the upcoming parliamentary elections.
The course would not be successful if not the hard work of the UNDP team; special thanks to Natia Lipartiani for the immense work for the preparation and delivery of the courses.

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