Workshop was conducted by International Legal Expert and Accrediting level BRIDGE facilitator Mr. Shalva Tskhakaya from Georgia, with the assistance of co-facilitators – NEC Liberia Training Section Head and Fully Accredited BRIDGE Facilitator Mr. James Wallace and NEC Training Section staff member and fully accredited BRIDGE Facilitator Mr. Daniel Gegbeson.
Preparatory work for the training started two weeks before the workshop. Agenda and materials were prepared by the facilitators in cooperation through number of meetings. Facilitators customized Introduction to Electoral Administration Module for Liberian reality. With particularly focus on credibility issues, EMB structures and tailor made legal framework challenges for Liberia. Training Section Head coordinated list of participants and agenda approval by the chairman of the commission.
The preparatory work and actual workshop coincided with a very busy ongoing process of Voter Roll Update planning and preparations, facilitators and participants while busy with the ongoing election activities, demonstrated full commitment to the BRIDGE training.
Workshop was convened at Golden Gate Hotel, in the capital of Liberia, Monrovia on October 24. NEC Chairperson Hon. Jerome G. Korkoya officially opened the workshop. Executive Director of NEC Mr. Lamin Lighe and UNDP Chief Technical Advisor Mr. George Baratashvili addressed participants with the opening remarks.
14 participants, including NEC commissioners, heads of departments, mid-level managers and staff members, 4 women and 10 men attended. Workshop included electoral ethics, credibility and accessibility issues, Legal framework and electoral system design, cost and budgeting of elections, introduction to electoral planning and EMB structures. Informal atmosphere during the workshop allowed open and interesting discussions on various electoral issues and active interaction from all participants despite hierarchical boundaries. Workshop also contributed to team building efforts as widely acknowledged by the participants.
According to the participants, workshop offered them significant knowledge and higher level of confidence to proceed with the electoral process. Evaluation sheets completed by participants described the workshop as “rewarding and beneficial”. At the closing ceremony participants expressed hope for continued support by UNDP Liberia and further BRIDGE workshops for the NEC.
James Wallace, October 2013