The United Party for National Development – UPND in conjunction with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation – FNF organised a BRIDGE Training of Trainers (ToT) course in four provinces (Lusaka; Copperbelt; Southern and North Western) in Zambia. A series of workshops were conducted from 22 March – 20 April 2011 in Lusaka; Kitwe; Livingstone and Solwezi.
The objective was to develop capacity within the structures of the UPND in preparation for the upcoming 2011 Tripartite Elections envisaged to take place around September. A group of Polling Agent Trainers were selected from the UPND’s National, Provincial, Regional and district offices to participate in this project. These officials who form a contingent of master trainers who are responsible for the training of Polling Agents prior to the Elections were taken through an intensive programme which encompassed Facilitation Skills (Facilitation Methods and Techniques; Monitoring and Evaluation); Electoral processes (Voting, Counting and Results); The Role of the Polling Agent (Monitoring and Observing) on polling day and the applicable Legislative Framework (Electoral Act and Electoral Code of Conduct).
A BRIDGE training programme was designed and customised to suit the needs of all parties. Adequate content was selected to capacitate the polling agents with skills to implement on polling day in order to observe all processes.
A BRIDGE training programme was designed and customised to suit the needs of all parties. Adequate content was selected to capacitate the polling agents with skills to implement on polling day in order to observe all processes. Furthermore the participants were trained on the methods to deal with any irregularities that may occur during the polling day processes and report in a manner prescribed by the legislation.
United Party for National Development – UPND was established in 1998 by Anderson Mazoka who passed on in May 2006; currently the party is under the leadership of Mr Hakainde Hichilema who will stand as a Presidential candidate in the 2011 Tripartite Elections. In the Presidential elections in December 2001, the late president of the party Mr Mazoka received 27.2% votes.
The last Tripartite Elections were held in 2006 where the UPND contested the Election as the component of United Democratic Alliance (UDA), a coalition made up of three political parties that included the political party founded by Zambia’s first President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda; the United National Independence Party (UNIP) and Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD). The UPND Presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema received 26.76% of the votes. The afore-mentioned alliance-UDA won overall 26 of 150 Parliamentary seats.
Friedrich Naumann Foundation- FNF is an organisation that works throughout the world to promote human rights; the rule of law; democracy and the principles of a free economy. Its main focal areas are on developing applied liberal reform concepts that further the democratic and economic development of countries and on training public representatives and party officials, with a view to developing liberal solutions for political, strategic and organisational challenges.
This project is one of many interventions by FNF with a purpose of strengthening political parties and to provide them with strategies to adequately prepare themselves for Elections in their various countries. This workshop was the first of its kind for the foundation in a series of capacity development workshops that are planned as part of the training strategy of FNF leading up to the upcoming Elections and beyond.
The electoral process in Zambia is governed by the following Legislative Framework: The Constitution of Zambia (1996),
The Electoral Act (Act No. 12 of 2006),
The Local Government Act (Cap. 282 of the laws of Zambia),
The Electoral (General) Regulations (2006),
Electoral Code of Conduct (Statutory Instrument No. 90 of 2006),
Electoral Commission Act (1996), and some provisions of the Public Order Act
The Training Topics and Workshop Agenda:
The training workshop followed a 5-day workshop structure with 4 training days (1-4). The participants were divided into pairs and trios for the presentations on Day 5. The agenda followed the following framework:
DAY1 Introduction to BRIDGE, methodology, Key Understandings, Learning Outcomes of course
DAY2 Learning Styles; Training Challenges; Training Methods and Techniques
DAY3 Electoral Processes (Voting and Counting);
DAY4 Role of a Polling Agent
Guidelines for Constructive Feedback
DAY 5 Presentation of topics by participants
Facilitator and Peer Evaluation
More workshops for all political parties will be conducted for trainers at provincial level.