A BRIDGE workshop was held in Accra – Ghana from May 3 – 7, 2010 targeting EMB commissioners and senior staff from French-speaking African countries. The participants were from 6 African countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, DRC, Senegal and Togo. The facilitation team was composed of Alexandra Hovelaque (France), Consultant, Ossama Kamel (Egypt), Consultant, Anne Grandvoinnet (France), consultant and Michel Moussa Tapsoba (Burkina Faso) President of Elections Commission. The last two facilitators obtained their full accreditation during this workshop.
International IDEA’s project “Capacity-Building Training of Election Administrators in Africa” is a regional training project for election administrators held in partnership with the African Union and is designed to increase the skills and professionalism of election management bodies (EMB) in the region. The project is part of IDEA’s collaboration with the African Union. IDEA and the African Union (AU) entered into a MOU at the beginning of 2007. It was agreed in the MOU that IDEA and the AU would develop a Joint Activity Plan (JAP). To achieve the project objectives, a series of BRIDGE election administration training workshops are designed and implemented to build the capacity of participating EMB personnel in two areas: (i) firstly, to enhance their professional development as election administrators and (ii) secondly, to transfer skills to be able to design, organize and run BRIDGE in their home organizations.
This 5-day workshop was designed for senior EMB personnel covering technical issues of election administration as well as issues specific to senior managers such as strategic planning, leadership, electoral dispute resolution and organizational culture. The workshop sought to achieve the following four objectives with the participating EMB representatives:
1. Analyze global trends in election management practices and processes.
2. Build professional networks amongst participants.
3. Enhance leadership competencies in sustainable election management.
4. Introduce BRIDGE as a capacity enhancing tool.
In addition participants made a field trip to visit the Elections Commission of Ghana. As part of this workshop, and in order to promote networking among the EMBs represented in the workshop, each of them was asked to make a short presentation on the particular challenges they faced in organizing elections in their country. On the last day, as part of the session held on Professional Development, each EMB team was asked to draw up the outline of a professional development plan that would answer the EMB’s priorities and objectives for the next year.