With the aim of contributing to the electoral reform process and debate in Egypt, IFES and the Egyptian Association for Training and Human Rights – EATHR agreed to join effort to organise a series of 5 BRIDGE training workshops for 100 selected participants representing the Media sector in the country. The overall project objective was to enhance participants’ understanding of the principles that underpin the electoral process, and share with them comparative experiences from the region and other parts of the world to allow them to assess their own local experience and draw best practices and lessons learned.
To achieve this objective, the training courses were designed and the materials were carefully adapted to reflect issues that are central to the democratic reform debate in the country. In particular, the course was designed to cover the topic of Electoral Systems.
The fourth training workshop took place from May 27 till 29, 2008. It followed an "ABRIDGE" model of 3-day training workshop. The training topics were carefully chosen with special attention to Egypt specific context.
The topics covered included various Electoral Systems and the consequences with some comparative experiences especially from the region i.e. Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon. Quota and the principle of representation and electoral reform was also covered. In addition, Hazem Mounir and Samir El-Bagoury from EATHR participated in delivering training sessions on the topics of Fair Media Coverage of Elections and an overview of the Electoral System in Egypt.
The lectures were followed by comments and discussion on the lectures topics. The facilitators adapted existing material in Arabic to meet the needs of participants in the field of electoral systems. They also produced new materials for new activities as well as new background materials covering some of the course topics.The materials in the participants’ folders were supplemented most effectively with copies of the Electoral Law of Egypt and a study made by International IDEA on democratic development in Egypt. Other valuable resources and references made available to the participants were the IDEA handbooks on "Electoral Systems Design" and "Designing for Equality" in Arabic.
Eighteen participants representing the Media sector participated in the 3 day training course. The selection of participants was tasked to EATHR that identified journalists specialised in parliamentary and electoral issues. Participants were chosen from governmental, opposition parties and independent papers as well as Egyptian Radio and TV.
The facilitation team consistedo f: