Even after independence, the Communist party has been quite powerful in the country and it was only in 2009, that liberal political forces became a real alternative and succeeded to take a majority in the parliament. After Parliamentary Elections in April 2009, there was massive unrest and protest in the country. The parliament didn’t succeed electing a new President – therefore, the incumbent president dissolved the parliament, and new parliamentary elections were held in July 2009. This parliament, too, could not elect a new president, which means that new elections are coming soon, but before that, very probably Moldova’s electoral system and legislation will undergo reform.
After needs assessment earlier in 2009, the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) of Moldova decided to put more efforts in professional development of the electoral administration. Funded by UNDP and European Commission, BRIDGE TtF was held in Chisinau on 7-18 December, 2009. Facilitators of the workshop were Arpineh Galfayan and Amalia Stepanyan from Armenia. Participants were mainly representatives of the Moldovan EMB, as well as donor organizations, IFES and UNDP – 18 people in total, and 16 of them completed semi-accreditation. Flu did its job and we lost one person because of illness; the second one could not attend the TtF on Week 2 because of heavy workload at the office.
For many participants, BRIDGE TtF was the first ever introduction to participatory methodologies, and many practiced facilitation for the first time. No surprise we had some resistance in the beginning, but only for a short while. Everyone’s progress was amazing! Full engagement, commitment to work, inspiration, humour and creativity – we had all this in the workshop! A number of great activities and ice-beakers/energizers created by the participants prove that BRIDGE has become part of them.
The TtF is supposed to be only the start. The Moldovan EMB, as well as donor organizations are interested in continuing BRIDGE and investing on Module trainings next year. Hopefully, we will have new full members of BRIDGE community soon, and this will be a good start for embedding BRIDGE in Eastern Europe, too.
“Here, everyone can discover himself/herself from a new perspective. Everyone can express his/her qualities and can learn to work in team.”
“The workshop helped state officials become less official, more open and joyful and show a sense of humour.”
“This TtF was one of the most interesting and harmonic workshops I have ever participated in my life. It gave me confidence that I can become a good BRIDGE facilitator.”
“Building such a great group of facilitators is such a short period of time – this is so impressive! It means that you don’t just train, but you live with it. And wait, I’m going to join you soon!!! Thanks!”
“It’s just a cool workshop… and that’s about elections!”