In order to implement the Capacity Building project in Afghanistan, JEMB established Capacity Building Section focusing on that all JEMBS Departments are placing sufficient emphasis on strengthening national capacity of Afghan electoral staff. The main task of Capacity Building Section was to conduct training courses utilizing a number of International and National trainer teams as well as to work closely with Counterparts of Department Heads. The content and methodology of the above mentioned Training Courses was designed mainly and primarily from the most expansively used Capacity Building Courses in the world – BRIDGE Project.
Initially it was decided to implement the full content of BRIDGE Project in Afghanistan. However, it was clear that implementation of a so colossal project would not fit the Capacity Building Section operation timeframes. Therefore, in April, the Capacity Building Trainers team started work on the shortened version of BRIDGE Course, namely ABRIDGE. The work was completed in two months. BRIDGE Project experts Ross Attrill and Ben Murray greatly supported the drafting process and made possible production of first draft in May 2005.
For the team drafting ABRIDGE was of high priority that the module maintain its aim and methodology of the BRIDGE Project. This mainly was to provide resources for developing expertise in Electoral Administration. Other significant consideration was to enhance the sustainability of Electoral processes by developing the capacity of trained staff as well as to strengthen the skills and confidence of Election Managers. Increasing the awareness of participants in Election Management also became one of the important factors that were added.
As a result, Capacity Building Trainings were conducted in every region of Afghanistan in May-June/July-August. Three teams of trainers (International: Natia Kashakashvili, Dhyana Paramita, Igor Dolgih/National: Tahmina Haidari, Bakht Mohammad Bakhtyar, Sherkhan Sahak) successfully trained 231 key Afghan Election Officials. Additional trainings followed up in October for Electoral staff who was not able attend the courses due to them being absorbed in the preparation of the 18 September Parliamentary Election. Based on evaluations from participants the Project was recognized as successful.
The ABRIDGE is a unique Handbook recently developed in Afghanistan. This invaluable document will stay in Afghanistan solely for the purpose of training the Election staff practicing in Election Administrations. I believe that the knowledge participants received during the training courses will help them to manage democratic Elections in Afghanistan in the near future.
I highly appreciate all involved in the Afghan Capacity Building process.
Head of Capacity Building Section JEMBS/UNOPS,
Ross Attrill (AEC, BRIDGE Project Coordinator)
Ben Murray (AEC)
Katherine Collin (Head of Training/Capacity Building Department, JEMB/UNOPS)
George Baratashvili (Senior Capacity Building Officer, JEMB/UNOPS)
Natia Kashakashvili (International Capacity Building Officer, JEMB/UNOPS)
Dhyana Paramita (International Capacity Building Officer, JEMB/UNOPS)
Igor Dolgih (International Capacity Building Officer, JEMB/UNOPS)
Tahmina Haidari (National Capacity Building Officer, JEMB/UNOPS)
Bakhtyar Bakht Mohammad (National Capacity Building Officer, JEMB/UNOPS)
Sherkhan Sahak (National Capacity Building Officer, JEMB/UNOPS)