TtF was led by Shalva Tskhakaia and two accrediting facilitators: Natia Kashakashvili and Arpineh Galfayan; TtF was co-facilitated by semi-accredited facilitator Teona Gamtsemlidze.
21 election specialists with the extensive elections and operational training background participated in the TtF; amongst the participants 3 were representatives from the NGOs and 3 CEC Training Department staff. TtF participants were selected through the interview; the interview panel was consisted of UNDP staff and the CEC chairman himself, which reflects the great significance and importance of the BRIDGE in Georgia.
The TtF modules were selected during the BRIDGE Needs Assessment mission through interviews with election officials, stakeholders and the primary target of the BRIDGE workshop – district election commissioners. The following topics were selected: Introduction to election administration; Strategic planning and budgeting, Voter Registration, Observers & Media, and Election Disputes. Prior the TtF, the content of the modules were tested through the 5-day pilot training.
Lead facilitators conducted the first week of the TtF and by the end of the 5th day distributed the first paired presentation topics. Participants conducted the first paired presentations on 6th and 7th day of the TtF; by the mid-day of the 7th day participants were re-grouped and given the 2nd assignment: activities to draft. Drafting topics were out of TtF content (e.g. electronic voting, external voting, civic education for the first time voters, etc.) which made the TtF second week even more interesting. Participants were eager to search for more international resources to draft the assigned activity. It worth to mention that participants were again re-grouped for the 3rd assignment: to prepare the presentation of drafted activities. The 3rd paired groups were very creative to design PowerPoint presentations for the activities drafted by other participants and use all the possible and different training techniques during the second paired presentation. Pairs were expressing the gratitude to the participants who drafted the activities. Overall, the paired presentations went brilliant and exceeded the expectations of the lead facilitators.
The TtF had an outstanding 100% attendance which resulted in maximum involvement and considerable contribution by participants throughout the workshop.
Each participant conducted one energizer, worked in 3 different pairs to: 1. prepare the presentation from the TtF Handbook, 2. draft the activity and 3. prepare the presentation of activity drafted by other participants.
After the TtF, the informal survey was conducted within the participants to reveal the best energizer, best paired presentation, best drafted activity, the friendliest participant, the best team-building participant, etc. After the certification, lead facilitators announced the winners and granted the symbolic presents.
For the weekend TtF implementers organized the outing in the national park Mtirala (http://www.mtiralapa.ge/en/); the 7km walkway in the mountain was very refreshing, at the end all of us enjoyed the beauty of the waterfall and the lake; the outing event contributed to participants’ team-building skills and further promotion of BRIDGE spirit.
In the vast majority of cases, participants ranked the TtF training days with highest marks in the written evaluations (5). The verbal feedback was also overwhelmingly positive. They generally mentioned that every training day was better than the previous one.& Though the training was very intensive, however, many people, including the most experienced ones, mentioned that this was the best training they have ever participated, that the TtF even exceeded their expectations and they never expected that so much can be learnt in such a positive environment during two weeks.
After the TtF all 21 participants were semi-accredited, one co-facilitator fully accredited and out of 21 participants 10 were selected to conduct the BRIDGE workshops for Election Administration of Georgia.