In preparation for the upcoming Elections envisaged to be conducted around September 2011; the Electoral Commission of Zambia – ECZ in conjunction with UNDP Zambia organised a Train the facilitator (TtF) course in Siavonga, Zambia on 10-21 January 2011. The TtF Course was held at the magnificent Kariba Inn Holiday Resort situated at the foot of the famous Kariba River with beautiful views of the Islands that separate Zambia and Zimbabwe. One could literally take a short boat trip over the Kariba River and enter Zimbabwe.
This workshop was the first Course in a series of capacity development workshops that are planned as part of the training strategy of the ECZ leading up to the upcoming Elections and beyond. The objective is to provide capacity development for national office staff, regional and district managers and trainers who all form a contingent of master trainers who are responsible for the training of other trainers prior to the Elections. One of the BRIDGE partners – UNDP was also represented by two participants.
As part of the afore mentioned training strategy BRIDGE has been identified by the Electoral Commission of Zambia as the best resource in terms of the curriculum and best methodology that meets the Commission’s needs for capacity building.
The first day of the workshop was graced by the presence of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia Mrs Florence Mumba who was the guest speaker during the opening ceremony. She was accompanied by Mrs Priscilla Isaacs, Acting Director; ECZ, and the Council Secretary of Siavonga Mr Ackson Habanji. Mr Taona E Mwanyisa, Project Manager; Elections delivered a speech on behalf of the UNDP.
19 participants who are employed in various capacities in the Electoral commission’s national office, regional and districts offices and UNDP Zambia were selected on the basis of their experience and expertise as electoral administrators and as Trainers/Facilitators. The participants could not articulate enough how impressed they were with the uniqueness and flexibility of the BRIDGE curriculum and methodology and how useful it will be in assisting them in conducting future traning programmes. The experience, content knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm demonstrated by all participants throughout the workshop contributed to the success of the training.
The participants and facilitators had an opportunity to go on a boat cruise over the Kariba River.
The facilitators who conducted the course:
1. Sibongile Zimemo (Consultant – South Africa)
2. Jocelyn Mubita (Zambia Electoral Commission – ECZ)
3. Tomsie Dlamini (Consultant – South Africa)
4. Winner Mwanamoonga (Zambia Electoral Commission – ECZ)
The training topics and Workshop Agenda (10 Day Workshop)
Day 1 & Day 2
Introduction to BRIDGE, methodology, Key understandings, Learning Outcomes of the TtF, Learning Styles, training techniques and challenges
Day 3 & Day 4 :
First set of paired presentations on existing BRIDGE topics and activities
Day 5 & Day 6
Curriculum writing skills, Preparation for the second set of paired presentations
Day 7 & Day 8
Second set of paired presentations on existing BRIDGE topics and new learning outcomes and activities developed by the participants
BRIDGE implementation, drafting of plans for training in participants regions and districts
Individual evaluation of participants by facilitators
Introduction to BRIDGE website
The participants and facilitators alike have gained tremendously from this experience.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Electoral Commission of Zambia for organising the workshop and providing an environment so conducive for learning and UNDP Zambia for the intervention in the strengthening of EMBs and for funding this and future projects. To the facilitators; I cannot thank you enough for your hard work and commitment. Thank you to the participants for your dedication and remaining so cheerful and eager to learn throughout the 10 days and going beyond what was required of you. You have all earned your accreditation.
Last but not least, I must thank everyone for not allowing the spirit of “dozing and dodging” to manifest itself during the workshop.