From 1 to 12 August, the first BRIDGE course in Portuguese was conducted in the seaside capital of Timor Leste, Dili.
The 21 participants included members of the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE), and four of the local and international staff members of the UN Electoral Support Team.
This workshop was conducted with the support of the EU funded and UNDP managed Project in Support of the 2010-2013 Electoral Cycles of the Portuguese Speaking African Countries and Timor Leste (PRO PALOP TL).
As in the standard TTF curriculum, participants were exposed, inter alia, to the various facilitation techniques, learning styles, as well as to the characteristics of a good facilitator, before having the opportunity to put these into practice. Four modules were chosen for the presentations: Introduction to Electoral Administration, Media and Elections, Voter Registration and Strategic and Financial Planning. The TTF curriculum in Timor took into consideration that the official languages are Portuguese and Tetum. Therefore, thanks to the support of local and international staff of the STAE, sessions were held both in Portuguse and Tetum
The STAE is currently beginning its preparations for presidential and legislative elections in 2012. Thus, in spite of the demands of these preparatory activities, the participants remained engaged throughout, particularly as the STAE is aiming to expand the use of Portuguese in its training activities. Several participants noted that, as a result of the BRIDGE TTF and the knowledge obtained therein, they had strengthened their resolve to continue to expand their professional and personal development.
It was also agreed with the Director General of STAE, Mr. Tomas Cabral, that the PRO PALOP TL project will support the implementation of at least other two BRIDGE thematic seminars in Portuguese and Tetum before the end of 2011. Introduction to Electoral Administration and Media and Elections
The facilitators for the course were Fabio Bargiacchi, Chief Technical Adviser, of the PRO PALOP/TL, Cesar Silva, Head of the Training Department of the STAE, Mozambique, and Deryck Fritz, Training Specialist of the PRO PALOP TL.
In order to complete the delivery of the TTF planned to all the six beneficiary countries of the PRO PALOP TL project (Angola, Cabo Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Timor Leste) the next TTF will be organized in Angola (12-23 September 2011) and Sao Tome (26 September – 7 October 2011). Thus in 2011 the PRO PALOP TL project will have semi-accredited more than 120 persons in the Portuguese speaking countries where there was a lack of BRIDGE Facilitators and BRIDGE was never delivered in Portuguese.
The strategy agreed with the six beneficiary countries, foreseen up to 12 persons each country to get the full accreditation within via co-facilitation of BRIDGE thematic seminars. This would allow a creation of an important number of BRIDGE accredited workshop facilitators that will disseminate electoral administration knowledge in regions and districts of their countries to peers and other electoral stakeholders ensuring the sustainability and effectiveness of the BRIDGE programme in the long run in the Portuguese Speaking world.
The Pro PALOP-TL is geographically concentrated on strengthening electoral processes and institutions in Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, and Timor Leste. It is fully funded by the EU with 6.1 million EURO, implemented by UNDP with a project management unit based in Guinea Bissau and a liaison office within the premises of STAE Mozambique.
For more info on the BRIDGE strategy of the PRO PALOP TL see @ https://www.bridge-project.org/news/africa/916-bridge-and-the-portuguese-speaking-countries-in-africa-and-timor-leste. For more info on the PRO PALOP TL, see @ www.propaplop.org