October 18, 2011

Voter Registration synopsis

Central to almost all electoral systems and their attendant processes is Voter Registration. Broadly speaking, Voter Registration is the process of verifying eligible and/or potential voters, and entering their names and other substantiating information on a voters list. However, the processes for collecting, storing and using this data varies greatly from one system to another. This Module examines the principles that underpin good Voter Registration and the administrative and logistical considerations that need to be taken into account when developing and implementing a Voter Registration system. However, BRIDGE always strives to avoid prescribing any element of the electoral process. In an effort to treat electoral administrators as professionals, the project offers them the opportunities to look at the pros and cons of a particular element of electoral process. And so, this module begins with the question “Why have Voter Registration?” If the group decides that voter registration is necessary (and indeed, most participants are enrolled in the course because they feel it is) this module then systematically examines the subject of Voter Registration. Firstly, the module examines potential principles that could guide those responsible for developing and administering Voter Registration systems. As an extension of this there is also the opportunity to examine and discuss potential Franchise criteria. The BRIDGE partners believe that for any element of electoral process to be successful it must be appropriate to the context and it must be “owned” by those administering it. In light of this, several types of Voter Registration systems are presented to the participants and they are encouraged to explore the relative merits of each for their contexts. Once a system (or combination of systems) has been agreed upon, the next part of the module explores approaches to administering that system. These can include but are not limited to such things as: Needs Assessment Periodic list, continuous list or civil registry? Administrative framework Registration data collection and management Procurement Operational infrastructure Voter education specific to Voter Registration Worker selection and training Compiling registration data Storing registration data Production of a preliminary voters list Challenges to the preliminary voters list Production of a final voters list Distribution of the final voters list Evaluation of the process Once a thorough examination of all of the above elements of Voter Registration systems is completed, the participants are then given the opportunity to work together to develop frameworks for a Voter Registration operational plan which can be taken with them back to their countries of origin and used as the basis for any Voter Registration planning tools they wish to utilise in helping them to administer the fairest, most accessible and effective Voter Registration processes for their […]
October 18, 2011

Voter Information synopsis

Voter Information programs typically occur immediately before an election, usually as a one-off event. These programs provide basic information enabling qualified citizens to vote, including: date, time, and place of voting; type of election; identification necessary to establish eligibility; registration requirements; and mechanisms for voting. Programs constitute basic facts about the election and do not require the explanation of concepts. They develop new messages for each election, consist of activities that can be implemented quickly and are usually provided by election authorities, although contestants in the election and civil society organizations may also do so. This module specifically considers Voter Information and Awareness Programs – as defined in this module. This definition encompasses programs that are conducted in conjunction with, or specifically, for an election process. This module should be used in conjunction with the Civic Education module. There is much overlap between Voter Information and Civic Education modules – many repeated (generic) sections – and many complimentary activities. When facilitators are designing agendas for their participants – they should have a clear understanding of the terminology used in these modules (especially how Voter Information, Voter Awareness, Electoral Education, Civic Education are defined and differentiated), and a clear idea of what the participants are expecting the topic to be about. Training objectives should be built around the needs/expectations of the participants. Agendas (for 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5-day durations) have been designed that examine the concepts of Voter Information and Awareness programs, and Civic (and Electoral) Education programs – discretely, and also in combination (so both are covered). The subjects covered in this module include: Definitions of Voter Information: Different definitions and contexts of voter information are explored, as well as related topics of civic and electoral education. Rationale for Voter Information: Reasons for EMBs to provided basic information to voters as part of their mandate and discussed in terms of political efficacy the health of democracy. Principles of and Standards for Effective Voter Information: International standards for effective voter information programs (universality, clarity and impartiality) are demonstrated in a number of case studies and practical exercises. Strategies for mainstreaming democracy into our institutions are also discussed. Developing Voter Information Programs: Strategies for planning effective voter information are developed based on an ‘eight step approach.’ Techniques for identifying different educational needs of all stakeholders in the civic education process, such as surveying, are investigated. Resources (human and material) are assessed; objectives selected and key messages developed using a variety of activities. In the design process special consideration is given to communications strategies, the use of graphic design, cultural sensitivity and reaching target groups such as youth and women. Finally, a number of engaging and interactive approaches to providing voter information are role-played and assessed. As with other BRIDGE modules, practical considerations are given to program design and implementation such as methods of monitoring and evaluation and the development of timelines and detailed plans. The module is highly interactive and successful presentation will require full involvement of the participants in a number of culturally appropriate activities. The module should provide a framework and methodology for EMBs to develop highly effective, focused and cost effective voter information programs that ensure that voters are well informed on electoral […]
October 18, 2011

Strategic & Financial Planning synopsis

This is the second of the Foundation Modules of BRIDGE, because like sound electoral principles (as explored in the Introduction to Election Administration – the first Foundation Module), strategic and financial planning underpin almost every aspect of the electoral process. This module provides an opportunity for participants to explore all the elements that go into the development of both financial management and strategic planning. It contains both general management theories, and an exploration of the structure of election management bodies and the implications that organizational structure has for planning in the short and long term. Who The Workshop Module is Aimed At This workshop is designed for electoral management bodies, governments, donor agencies and NGOs, as well as individual consultants and trainers, who are interested in or concerned with any aspect of project management and financial management. Objectives of the Workshop/Module The module explores some of the general principles of sound financial and strategic planning – in a general sense, and also specifically in relation to electoral events and the electoral cycle. Sequence of Topics Introduction to Planning Introduction to Funding Introduction to Management Tools Financial and Management Implications of the Election Cycle Structure of EMBs Human Resources Strategic planning simulation Transparency and Accuracy in Governance Evaluation of Planning Evaluation and Conclusion Workshop aims to: introduce participants to the concepts and principles of financial and strategic planning explore the reasons why financial and strategic planning is often not done well provide a step by step guide to the types of long term and short term planning that should occur in election management bodies provide some tools for effective financial and strategic planning provide an opportunity for participants to develop their own plans, budgets, etc for their own context Contents of the Workshop/Module The module is structured around the two central elements of its title: Financial Management and Planning, and Strategic Planning. Election administration is about achieving and improving outcomes each year and each election cycle. Strategic planning enables election authorities to develop a system to institutionalise continuous improvement at all levels of the organisation. Successful elections require effective planning and resource allocation. Strategic planning Strategic planning, defined as a focused effort to produce decisions and actions that shape and guide what the election authority does, how it does it and where it will be in the future, is vital for election administration. The effectiveness of an EMB is at least partially determined by its organisational structure and the management relationships it has with other agencies and higher authorities. It is vital to make the most of human resources – given the often inadequate financial allocation that is provided for election authorities, and to use effective logistic planning tools and principles (such as Gnatt charts, timelines, checklists, etc). This module is the ’home’ for the topic of human resource management – in as much as it relates to election authorities. In this section, participants are able to explore the tools required for developing effective management policies and behaviours. Financial Management and Planning: Effective financial planning is essential if an EMB is to carry out its functions. Financial planning, in this module, is linked with strategic planning. Budget must be designed according to the strategic plan. Financial elements, including forecasting, creating budget lines, and so on, are explored here, and participants develop their own budgets for different aspects of the election cycle. This module contains a lot of over-lap with topics and activities in the Introduction to Election Administration, and Electoral Management Design modules. For this reason, it should be used in conjunction with these modules – when designing/modifying […]
October 18, 2011

Pre-election Activities synopsis

An election is the largest and most complex logistical operation that a country ever undertakes in peacetime.  This is often not well understood, and indeed, the better an election is run, the simpler it looks.  Committed, ethical, professional and confident people are the key to increasing the prospects of running a good election, in both emerging and more established democracies. In this module we assess the criteria for thorough logistics planning by means of designing timetables, forms for transport and distribution, labels, code systems polling kits and a warehouse discussions about election materials, forms, packaging, storage, distribution plans, contingency plans, security. agreements with suppliers, arrangements for transport of materials and for recovery of materials …… assessing the infrastructure for transportation tracking systems, control mechanisms power point presentations and photo shows Through the activities, participants will experience the complexity of the logistical operation the importance of carefully and thoroughly planning the importance of carefully and thoroughly ordering of materials the importance of communication with all sections involved in the operation This module aims to provide participants with the tools to develop a thorough logistics plan in a professional, ethical and confident […]
October 18, 2011

Post-election Activities synopsis

Elections management is frequently a form of crisis management. It’s thus hardly surprising an EMB’s first priorities during an electoral process are often the most short-term concerns: tomorrow’s printing of ballot papers and next week’s opening of candidate nominations nation-wide. This module deals with issues of sustainability that an EMB would seldom have a chance to think about when faced with the operational pressures of a looming election day. These are issues best considered with a longer-term outlook after the dust of the electoral process has settled, and EMB staff have been re-introduced to their families! The challenges being posed here lend themselves to taking the EMB to a comfortable and contemplative environment, and with a large blank white board, lots of A1 paper and coloured pens the strategically minded can agree and plot the future course of the institution. The topics in this module deal with strengthening both the EMB as an institution as well as the electoral processes it is responsible for. The first and most critical step is to ensure the EMB has strong fundamentals, those aspects of the institution without which it could not survive. Work on these fundamentals must increase the survivability of the EMB in the long term as well as improve the capacity of its staff to manage elections. In addition to strengthening its own house, in parallel an EMB needs to address the concerns of its primary stakeholders: for voters and candidates. They expect the EMB to periodically evaluate and improve the technical aspects of the electoral processes: how voter registration is done, why polling procedures are as they are, and what other options there are for an EMB to take candidate nominations. Many of these questions have been answered in previous modules, but this module will position the questions as part of a holistic review of electoral practices that can be addressed after an election is finished. Central to the messages in this module is that to be a sustainable institution and to promote sustainable electoral process, an EMB needs to learn lessons from past practice. Parts one and two of the module provide participants an outline of an EMB’s options to develop a plan for sustainability. Specifically, part one introduces the sustainability concepts and part two concentrates on the EMB institution to be nurtured by developing four critical pillars that are bulwarks for the EMB’s survivability: its legal framework, its people, its assets and services, and its money. It concludes with a brief examination of additional pre-requisites for a sustainability reform program, including: the existence of necessary political will; the EMB having coherent structures, processes, and leadership in place; strong institutional memory within the EMB; and an EMB being embedded into supportive networks. EMB staff know that planning isn’t rocket science; for a plan to be carried out as envisaged and be successful does, however, require a deliberate approach. Part three is the more practical component of the module, and following an introduction to principles of strategic planning there is a series of exercises for participants to develop strategic plans an EMB might use to implement such holistic reforms introduced in the first parts of the module. This part of the module concentrates on the electoral processes an EMB is responsible for. Finally, participants will recognize the methods applied in the teaching of BRIDGE echo the principles espoused in this module to promote sustainable EMB’s and electoral processes. To reinforce this point the module concludes in part four by looking at the BRIDGE program and its lessons learnt for developing a culture of […]
October 18, 2011

Polling Counting & Results synopsis

The success of any electoral event relies on the efficient organization and conduct of the core activities of polling, counting and results tabulation. Each of these processes feeds into the next and in turn their structure and format are determined by the particular electoral system and details such as ballot design.  For many voters, polling is the extent of their involvement in the electoral process and it is therefore critical that this part of the democratic process is transparent, simple and organized to meet the voters’ needs while protecting the integrity of the election. As the physical manifestation of democratic elections, polling typically receives the most attention from the media and observers. Poorly organized or overly complicated polling procedures can have negative impacts on the overall perception of the integrity of the elections, as well as affecting the conduct of the count. Vote counting is one of the most crucial stages in the election process. Failure to complete the count and transmit results in a quick, transparent and accurate manner can jeopardize public confidence in the elections and will directly affect whether candidates and political parties accept the final results. Frequently, the importance of detailed planning, training, and organization is overlooked, or is considered of secondary importance when it comes to organizing polling stations and conducting the count. There are situations when a well run electoral process is severely compromised because of problems experienced during polling or vote counting. The final step in the electoral process is the official announcement of the election results by the electoral administrators. To safeguard integrity, the results must accurately reflect the total vote, taking into account decisions on disputed ballots. Tampering with the official results may be a last-ditch effort to subvert the outcome of an election. Safeguards such as monitoring by observers and monitors can deter tampering with the results. Speedy announcement of the official results is also important. The more time that passes between counting and release of the results, the more time there is to tamper with the results. A long delay in the release of results, even if they are accurate, may feed suspicions that will damage the credibility of the results when they are finally released. This module specifically considers different aspects and approaches to Polling, Counting and Results. Of all the BRIDGE modules, this is perhaps the most interactive as it uses a variety of activity and approaches to draw out important lessons and learning outcomes.  Activities are generic in the sense that they should be applicable to a variety of different polling, counting and results procedures. The principles of transparency, accuracy, detailed planning and service provision to voters are emphasized. There is also a great deal of hands-on learning through the design of polling station layout, drafting of results and reconciliation forms and numerous action plans for releasing results, training staff and responding to the demands of observers. Sample agendas (for half, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5-day durations) have been designed that examine the concepts of Polling, Counting and Results as thoroughly as possible, given time constraints. In total, there are some 45-50 hours of activities for facilitators to choose from – most of which have been field tested. The subjects covered in this module include: Polling: Includes all of the procedures, security and logistical preparations in and around polling locations on Election Day. The emphasis is on the different actors in the polling locations and their respective roles on Election Day. By understanding the polling dynamic, participants will be able to organize a smooth operation. Problem solving is developed through the resolution of a number of challenging and polling scenarios. A variety of polling materials are used during the activities. Counting: Polling leads directly into counting and participants are encouraged to develop an understanding of the complexity of accurate ballot accounting. The importance of transparency, accuracy and timeliness are emphasized. Counting procedures are drafted and principles for determining ballot validity are discussed. Finally, there is an understanding of the key elements of conducting the count and its implications for results. Results: Determining results efficiently and developing strategies for communicating them are important principles.  A number of challenges and scenarios are considered to better prepare participants for the announcement of results. Post-Election Evaluation and Follow Up: The importance of post-election evaluations is emphasized and strategies for assessing the performance of election administrations are discussed. As with other BRIDGE modules, practical considerations are given to program design and implementation such as methods of monitoring and evaluation and the development of timelines and detailed plans. The module makes use of a number of interactive approaches such as role-playing, group work, games, product design and problems solving scenarios. Successful presentation will require full involvement of the participants in a number of culturally appropriate activities. The module is an excellent resource for EMB planners, trainers, managers and developers of policies and […]
October 18, 2011

Political Financing synopsis

Money is an unavoidable part of politics and elections. It is the means through which candidates and political parties can reach the electorate with their message. Without money, candidates and political parties would not be able to disseminate their message to the electorate – an important part of the political process. However, given the frequency by which politicians and political parties take advantage of their privileged access to large amounts of funds, the role of money in politics is often viewed as a negative aspect of the political process. Money can corrupt the democratic system. But political finance should not be viewed as such. Multi-party democracies rely on money to function. It is beneficial to the political process, and it allows candidates and political parties to compete on the political stage. The marriage of money and politics is a tradition that dates back to some of the earliest democracies. When we talk about the insertion of money in politics, we are talking about political finance. Political finance is the income and expenditures that candidates and political parties use to run their campaigns and support regular political party operations. It differs from campaign finance in that it is much more encompassing. Whereas campaign finance only refers to income and expenditures of parties and candidates during elections, political finance addresses the use of money by political actors in non-election years or for non-campaign purposes. The main objectives of the module are: To introduce the main principles, structures and institutions underlying a credible and workable political financing regulatory framework To encourage participants to identify, explore and seek resolution to significant political financing issues and stumbling blocks in their immediate environment To experience political financing tasks and enhance skills to support the professional and political work of participants In this module we explore a broad range of issues surrounding political finance. At the most basic level this module will explore the importance and role of money in politics across the globe. To expand on these basic tenants, the module explores at the beginner to intermediate level the intricacies of political finance systems, stakeholders, the regulatory framework surrounding political finance, and political finance reform. Each activity and discussion aimed at ‘teaching’ a particular area of political finance, also strives to emphasize 7 key understandings about financing politics. A key understanding underlying this module is that “money is necessary for democratic politics, and political parties must have access to funds to play their part in the political process. Regulation must not curb healthy competition.” A fair and effective system of political finance can contribute to the credibility of the electoral process – and perhaps, more importantly, a poorly devised and executed political finance system can lead to questions about the legitimacy of the electoral process and the electoral outcome itself.  This module provides participants with the theoretical foundation and many of the practical skills needed to advocate for, devise, and implement more transparent systems of political party and campaign finance. Over the course of the module, participants will gain a basic understanding of political finance concepts through a variety of capacity and knowledge building activities. They will be asked to consider some contentious debates in the area of political finance such as public funding, illegal and foreign funding, among others and develop arguments in favor or against relevant statements. Participants will also define and discuss basic concepts, among them disclosure, contributions, floors, ceilings, the cost of corruption etc., and guiding principles in political finance (transparency, equality of opportunity, accountability, and election integrity). Role play activities provide the opportunity to explore stakeholder roles and responsibilities, and also present ethical dilemmas of money in politics for discussion and debate. These activities, among others developed specifically for the module, are designed to familiarize them with the everyday practicalities and difficulties of working with all the various players involved in any system of political finance. Participants examine a variety of alternatives to funding political parties and electoral campaigns including public funding and/or subsidies, individual contributions, membership dues, and donations from citizens abroad among others thereby encouraging participants to evaluate which methods are potentially sustainable in their own context.  The subjects covered in this component of the module include: Introduction to Political Financing Financing Politics Regulating Political Financing Stakeholders Stakeholder Specific Issues […]
October 18, 2011

Media & Elections synopsis

Elections and media are both expressions of fundamental human rights: the right to freedom of expression, and the right to political participation. A successful EMB relies on free media to provide elections news to the public, assist with voter education, and provide direct access for contestants. The full participation of the media helps to ensure the integrity and credibility of an election. Meanwhile, the media relies on the EMB to help ensure a good regulatory environment for covering elections, and provide information on the electoral process. An EMB and the media need to work hand-in-hand on voter education to help voters participate fully in the elections. Despite many synergies, relationships between EMBs and media are often tense, due to their different roles and priorities. EMB staff members need to focus on keeping to a tight schedule; while journalists may want them to be available for comment all the time. EMB staff members must troubleshoot the many problems which inevitably arise when organizing an election; the media wants to expose mistakes and possible transgressions. EMB staffers are usually specialists with very technical knowledge; journalists are often generalists who need to write for a mass audience, avoiding jargon. This module starts out by exploring the meaning of media and media freedoms, and how these must be respected for an election to be democratic. The module then looks at possibilities and issues in regulation of the media. An EMB’s roles in relation to the media, and media roles at different points in the electoral cycle are then explored. A number of real issues faced by EMBs when media cover elections are covered, as well as Codes of Conduct to help regulate the role of media. The module then looks at practical ways of negotiating and developing EMB-media relationships, and some further ways an EMB can manage media during elections. The final three sections of the module are the largest, and most hands-on. They deal with: developing communications plans for EMBs; a broad range of practical techniques for EMB media relations such as journalist training, press conferences and press releases; and analyzing ways of ensuring inclusion of disadvantaged groups – such as disabled people and women – through an EMB’s media […]
October 18, 2011

Legal Framework synopsis

This module is based around the following organising questions: Which are the components that have to be taken into account to either define or reform the elections’ regulation? Which are the judicial components that have to be included in the legal framework? Which are the basic features distinguishing an electoral reform? The legal framework provides the foundation on which institutions are built. The legal framework is usually set out in a number of interrelated statutes supplemented by regulations. In most cases the foundation is the constitution, that is, the supreme law of a country. Added to this is other legislation including electoral laws, penal codes and civil rights statutes, as well as regulations and codes of conduct/ethics issued by the different bodies responsible for elections. The legal provisions contain guidelines for structuring the electoral administration and instructions for electoral administrators on managing elections. They specify the rights and responsibilities of political parties, the media, voters and other participants. The legal framework authorizes the electoral management body to administer elections according to the structure specified in its provisions. It empowers political parties to raise funds and participate in elections in accordance with the legal provisions. It safeguards the political rights of voters and their right to elect their representatives within the government. To ensure that election results accurately reflect the will of voters, the legal framework must protect the principles of free, fair and competitive elections. Constitutions entrench the political freedoms needed for competitive elections. Regulations ensure the fairness of the process, equality of opportunity and accountability of all participants. Codes of conduct help prevent unethical behaviour. In most countries, the legal framework for elections has evolved into a complex combination of statutes, regulations, judicial rulings and actual practice. Some election laws may be new and up to date, while others are outmoded but still in force. Reference Booklet The main reference text booklet for this module is the International IDEA publication International Electoral Standards: IDEA’s Guidelines for Reviewing the Legal Framework of Elections, which discusses a number of issues to consider when designing or reviewing a legal framework for electoral […]
October 18, 2011

Introduction to Electoral Administration synopsis

Standards and Principles of Electoral Administration An election is the largest and most complex logistical operation that a country ever undertakes in peacetime.  This is often not well understood, and indeed, the better an election is run, the simpler it looks.  Committed, ethical, professional and confident people are the key to increasing the prospects of running a good election, in both emerging and more established democracies. BRIDGE concentrates on the principles underlying all properly run elections, while drawing examples of different practical approaches from many different countries.  It does not seek to prescribe any one model for implementing those principles, but rather encourages participants to learn from the diverse examples presented. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences and opinions in a non-threatening environment. BRIDGE is participant-focused. The BRIDGE-accredited facilitators are rigorously selected and trained in the skills of creating and sustaining a learning environment which is conducive to open-minded discussion, responsive to concerns related to cultural diversity, and also to draw out the experiences of participants equally, and in doing so to connect participant’s lived experience directly to abstract concepts and legal documents. This introduction Module is one of the two BRIDGE Foundation Modules. These Foundation Modules serve to introduce and examine the standards, principles and management techniques that are fundamental to good electoral practice. This Module also aims to introduce participants to the three Thematic Groups in BRIDGE and to provide some brief examples of the sorts of activities participants can expect to find in the 21 modules that make up those Thematic Groups. These Thematic Groups are: Electoral Architecture These modules are grouped because of their strategic nature, they are all broader than one electoral cycle, require 5 to 10 year plans, and comprehensive consultation processes. They have the following in common: Comparative theory & models Advantages / disadvantages / options Design criteria and design process Consultation and public outreach Technical needs assessment Strategic Reform Plan Working With Stakeholders These modules are grouped because they: (a) Define who the stakeholders are, (b) define what their special interests in elections are, (c) define what their special needs for each part of the electoral process are, (d) describe where stakeholders can positively and negatively impact electoral processes, and the EMB They also have the following in common: Examining strategies for successful relationships: (a) Consultation, (b) Communication Comparing a good versus a bad relationship (creating the imperative) Focus on stakeholder needs assessment Electoral Operations These modules are common because they all focus on the operational requirements of all aspects of the electoral process. They all focus on the following: Needs Assessment Operational Planning Logistics Budgeting and Finance Procurement Sustainability, and Monitoring and Evaluation In this module we assess the criteria for free and fair elections; the standards and principles of good electoral administration, e.g. neutrality, accuracy, respect for the electoral law, professionalism, sustainability, etc., codes of conduct for members of an EMB, the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network and how it can be used in electoral administration. Some of the key understandings underpinning this module are that societies organise themselves around value systems and that elections are one way of recognising a diversity of values in social groups. Through activities we explore the importance of respecting diverse opinions in a democracy where minority voices also count and the reasons for having elections such as a peaceful mechanism to agree on how to be governed (and the alternatives to having elections such as autocratic rule). Each electoral democracy chooses its own methods of selecting its representatives by adopting a system but for it to be credible the process should be based on accepted standards and principles. We discuss why certain values and principles underpin good electoral practices by deconstructing the definition of ‘free and fair’ elections and exploring the criteria associated with the terms. In linking working lives to principles, this BRIDGE module asks participants to explore various conceptual propositions, eg that good governance and ethical behaviour should form the building blocks of an EMB. We look closely at the ethical basis of decision-making and relate this to the work of an electoral administrator. Through role-play situations we identify the principles underlying professional EMB staff which may be potentially compromised, such as impartiality, accountability and transparency. Also by comparing and contrasting different Codes of Conduct of EMBs we consider ways to instil a commitment to ethical behaviour and professionalism. As different electoral systems deliver different political outcomes we need to study the various regulatory levels/instruments which comprise the legal structure of electoral processes from the constitution to electoral law to media, political party or even nationality laws. The module touches on critical aspects of the work of all electoral management bodies – such as developing productive relationships with stakeholders, facilitating the accessing of electoral processes by all groups in society, coordinating the public outreach programs, and of course, planning for an electoral event using project management tools. The Seven Cross-Cutting Themes of the BRIDGE curriculum are introduced in this module: Gender: the access to and inclusion of women in all electoral processes Sustainability: this includes the cost of election processes, capacity development, institution strengthening and documenting processes/materials Technology: its use and potential impact on Electoral Processes Environment: measures to ensure that the electoral process has minimal negative impact on the environment Access: ensuring that groups traditionally marginalized, e.g. disabled and ethnic/political minorities have access to all electoral processes Integrity: measures to ensure transparency, prevention of fraud and the credibility of the electoral process Conflict management: measures to avoid conflict situations and to deal with them if they occur The Introduction Module serves as a showcase and establishes the appropriate pedagogical and ethical framework for the rest of the course. BRIDGE uses a methodology based on adult learning principles, prioritising activity-based teamwork and experiential learning.  It reflects the insight that people learn best when they take responsibility for their own learning, and are faced with material that is relevant to them and presented in a memorable and innovative way. Using this methodology, rather than relying on lecturing, participants get to know each other and have the chance to build bridges within their own organisation, or between different organisations, countries and cultures. Each topic area within the module offers a range of interactive activities designed to convey clearly identified key understandings, and to achieve specified learning outcomes.  The aim is to develop knowledge and skills in areas that are important in an electoral administrator’s day-to-day work, with an emphasis on understanding the relationships between tasks in order to meet tight deadlines […]
October 18, 2011

Gender & Elections synopsis

In many places in the world, women struggle to be heard and, when it comes to having a voice in the highest authority in the land, the difficulties in some countries can be almost insurmountable. Gender issues affect all aspects of an election. There are numerous barriers to women’s participation in political and electoral processes. This module examines strategies for promoting women’s participation in elections, Who The Workshop Module is Aimed At This workshop is designed for women and men in electoral management bodies, governments, donor agencies and NGOs, gender specialists, representatives from women’s organisations, as well as individual consultants and trainers, who are interested in gender issues in relation to election processes, and/or have the responsibility of mainstreaming gender in their organizations. Objectives of the Workshop/Module The module explores some key governmental and societal elements that must be aligned to ensure women’s ability to participate. These include: legal framework social and political opportunities and openness to political participation access to voter registration and voter education election management and election observation. Sequence of Topics Introduction: What is gender? What is gender discrimination? What issues face women today? Women and elections— Introduction, Standards and Guidelines The Legal Framework – Women and Elections Access for Women to Register and to Vote Representation By and For Women – Access for Women as Candidates Electoral Systems and Women Women, Voter Education and the Media EMBs and Women’s Participation Gender and Election Observation Evaluation and Conclusion Workshop aims: Gain appreciation of gender-related and electoral issues and concerns provides guidance on monitoring women’s participation in the electoral process Identify gender biases in electoral processes Acquire skills in identifying and analyzing gender biases and concerns through case examples of strategies and practices to address gender biases. assess the obstacles faced by women in public life. compile ways in which women’s role in election administration can be increased. Formulate Action Plans: Institutional and Individual.  Contents of the Workshop/Module The module is structured around the various phases of the electoral cycle and in relation to election management bodies: 1.         Election Phases explores women’s participation as voters, candidates, and elected representatives; the participation of women in leadership roles within state institutions, electoral commissions, and political parties; and how the legal framework and media structures affect women as well as men. for each stage of the electoral process the nature of the barriers that women face when they access/participate in the electoral processes (include poverty, low literacy rates and cultural factors, etc) explore a range of strategies to assist women in accessing electoral processes (and cites various UN declarations and resolutions that highlight government’s obligations to ensure this.) 2.         Election Management Bodies Election administration is a microcosm of a world where women seldom occupy high-ranking positions or possess significant public status. In this module participants explore some of the obstacles faced by women in the workplace and public life and look at ways in which this can be overcome. The course focuses on analysing and addressing gender inequality in the staffing, procedures and culture of development organizations as well as in their development programmes. It covers practical strategies and skills for mainstreaming gender – including the use of gender planning frameworks & addressing gender issues in Logical Frameworks and developing gender policies. Critical analysis of current theory and practice is encouraged throughout the course. It explores best practices drawn from what various actors have accomplished to enhance women’s participation in post-conflict elections and in more stable democracies 3.         Political Life The module explores the concept that democratic elections are key to peace-building in post-conflict situations, and that women’s participation is vital to ensuring sustainable democracy. Given the acknowledged importance of both democratic elections and the role of women in peace-building, enhancing women’s participation in elections in post-conflict countries is essential to building peace and democracy and advancing the equality of women and men. Elections can provide the best possible opportunity to ensure women’s voices are heard, their concerns are addressed, and their potential contributions to peace and democracy are maximised. Every meeting with an official, a political party, media representative, or an NGO provides an opportunity to gain insights regarding the rights of women, any barriers to their equal participation in public life, and reforms that might help overcome discrimination where it exists. Building more equal gender relations is a slow process. There is a need to understand and come to terms with the numerous forms of resistance that are mobilized against change. Resistance can be conscious or unconscious, it can take place at various levels (personal and bureaucratic) and can come from women as well as […]
October 18, 2011

External Voting synopsis

With the spread of democracy throughout the world and the steady stream of economic migrants and refugees escaping regional or national conflicts, there has been a growing demand for the enfranchisement of “external voters.” A growing number of technological solutions to the numerous challenges to external voting have made this type of voting an increasingly feasible, although still expensive option for EMBs. In addition to the technical challenges to external voting (voter registration, ballot distribution, voter information, voting and counting, to name a few), many countries have debated the legal basis of external voting and others question the level of resources that governments should be expending in order to enfranchise external voters. Where external voting does occur there is often a lack of technical capacity, resources and effective planning procedures to make it happen. This module explores some of the challenges faced by EMBS organizing external voting. By doing so, it is hoped that election administrators will have realistic expectations of the results, cost, demands and relative advantages and disadvantages of external voting programs. Activities of the module will help participants develop a list of franchise criteria, while considering the extent to which the principal of universal franchise can be extended to external voters. Participants will be able to identify key stakeholders that need to be consulted when organizing voting in a foreign country, as well as listing the standards and principles on which external voting should be based. By considering different electoral systems, participants will be able to explain the impact of different electoral systems on external voting and the range of possible voting options.  Finally, the activities will enable participants to list potential approaches to voter registration and develop an overall operational plan for external voting. The subjects covered in this module include: Guiding Principles. The principles of universal franchise are compared to realistic scenarios in order to determine whether they apply to external voters, while considering their practical implications. Consideration is given to the context of external voters, such as the status of their residency, the reason for them living abroad and the type of election (local, regional, national, etc.) Implementation of External Voting. A number of case studies are considered in order to understand the impact of different electoral systems of external voting. The module concludes with a planning exercise which enables participants to detail a list of tasks relating to planning, regulations, voter registration, logistics and political considerations. Special consideration is given to post-conflict scenarios. As with other BRIDGE modules, practical considerations are given to program design and implementation such as methods of monitoring and evaluation and the development of timelines and detailed plans. The module makes use of a number of interactive approaches such as role-playing, group work, games, product design and problems solving scenarios. Successful presentation will require full involvement of the participants in a number of culturally appropriate activities. The module is an excellent resource for EMB planners, managers and developers of policies and procedures. […]
October 18, 2011

Electoral Training synopsis

This module is designed to be customised by facilitators to meet the needs and experiences of participants. It can be delivered in two parts with the first part focusing on training needs of EMBs and the different ways in which training can be delivered. The second part will concentrate on planning and delivering training and training skills. Activities in this module will draw on participants’ experiences and those of electoral practitioners from different parts of the world.  As with all BRIDGE modules, the activities are designed to interactive and memorable. We strongly encourage senior managers, departmental heads, section heads as well as trainers and potential trainers to participate in the course.   What is Training? Training can be broadly defined as a planned and organised activity to assist participants and organisations acquire skills and knowledge. Why do we train? Training is essential in ensuring successful elections. A successful election is one that has gone smoothly on polling day and is widely accepted as credible and legitimate.  Elections are important and high-profile events. The Electoral Management Body (EMB) will be expected to conduct elections fairly and to be scrupulously independent and impartial. It will also be expected to be financially responsible and accountable and to provide a high-level of service to voters and stakeholders. To meet these expectations and to have the confidence of voters and stakeholders, an EMB needs to have professional and competent staff.  It needs: Electoral commissioners who are knowledgeable about electoral systems and electoral processes, senior staff who are capable of managing large numbers of permanent and temporary staff and assessing new technologies, department heads who can develop and budget yearly work-plans and put into place systems to prevent fraud and embezzlement, logistics officers who can ensure that electoral materials are delivered on time, liaison officers who can develop good working relationships with the media, political parties, observer groups and civil society organisations, trainers who are able to implement operational and capacity-building training programs, public outreach officers who can design effective voter education strategies and polling workers who understand their duties on polling day. Each of the above requires some form of training to carry out his or her responsibilities competently.  Stakeholders such as political parties, observers and civil society organisations also need training to fulfil their roles in an election. “An election is the largest and most complex logistical operation that a country ever undertakes in peacetime.  This is often not well understood, and indeed, the better an election is run, the simpler it looks.  Committed, ethical, professional and confident people are the key to increasing the prospects of running a good election, in both emerging and more established democracies.” Michael Maley, Australian Electoral Commission There can be serious consequences when things go wrong in an election.  Mistakes made in the registration or voting process, in the delivery of ballot materials, in counting or tallying of votes or in handling observer complaints can lead to election results being challenged and demands for fresh elections.  Objectives of the Training Module This module aims to provide participants with: a thorough appreciation and understanding of the importance of training for the electoral process and for the sustainability of an EMB an appreciation of the diverse and wide-ranging training needs of an EMB and stakeholder organisations recognition of the importance of having a training strategy awareness of the many different ways to deliver training step-by-step guidance in writing effective training plans training skills […]
October 18, 2011

Electoral Technology synopsis

How to approach the changes? The development of this new BRIDGE module responds to the new reality that election administrations are facing worldwide at the beginning of every electoral cycle and even more in preparation of specific electoral events: decide on the most appropriate level of new technology to make the electoral process more effective. Given the speed with which new technology applications become available on the market, “new technology” is very much a relative concept. What is new in one specific country or context might well seem rather old- fashioned in a different country. In this module we try to offer an overview of what the current state of the art is in terms of technology applied to electoral processes, and we stimulate the participants to consider how the use of technology is already a reality in all the various segments of the electoral process. Such reality however does not always correspond to a demand coming from the stakeholders or the entire electorate at large. Sometimes the technological upgrades are imposed by the electoral authority in the hope to solve problems that might have different origins, sometimes are required by legal provisions that politicians introduce under influence of powerful vendors that might present certain technological solutions as the panacea against all fraud-related problems and logistical troubles. On the other hand, there are contexts where the introduction of useful technological applications is rejected simply due to mere ignorance and disbelief in what is unknown. This is a central aspect that we would like the participants to reflect upon by sharing their own different experiences. Through role-plays, we stimulate the participants to consider that technology is a powerful means but can never be an end in itself and it is crucial to follow certain key guiding principles for its practical introduction. To make an example, technology can help in preventing wide-spread frauds but can also favour the occurrence of them. Some of the key understandings underpinning this module are in fact based on the central assumption that it is sterile to battle against technology changes, but it is more appropriate to learn better what a certain IT application can add to the electoral process.  In this module we take the approach that the most appropriate degree of technology for a given country is directly proportional to the degree of trust enjoyed by its EMB and not just to the level of computer-literacy of its population. This is explored through activities that will require of the participant to prepare proposals for the introduction of specific technological upgrades and through some case studies. Special focus in this module is given to the emergence of electronic voting, or e-voting. This is a subject of growing attention and fascinating debates in many established democracies as well as in many developing countries.  While various forms of electronic voting in non political elections are already widely customary in modern society, the use of electronic voting systems for general national elections and referenda is instead more controversial and bound to remain so for various years. Nevertheless, e-voting is already fully implemented in some very large democracies and there are more than 40 countries worldwide that are testing its possible countrywide introduction. This module component attempts to explore the crucial aspects of the two main categories of e-voting (e-voting in controlled environment and uncontrolled environment), discuss if they can bring any concrete benefit to disadvantaged categories and asks the participants to discuss the main reasons for and against them, taking in account also how different contexts favor the development of one model of e-voting over another. One might as well argue that this topic deserves a module of its own; however, we believe that many issues that are very central to the diffusion of e-voting are also central to the introduction of other technologies in other segments the electoral process, chief among these, security and transparency. The module then concentrates on providing suggestions for a sound management approach in introducing new technologies and asks the participants to look at those suggestions in the light of the general principles that underlie all properly run elections (impartiality, accountability and transparency), while drawing some examples of different practical approaches from many different countries. We take the view that some crucial aspects that must be taken into account when adopting new technological solutions have to do with appropriate planning, sustainability, timing of the introduction and of course, securing the financial means for such technological upgrades and their maintenance. Through the usual participative approach, we aim to demonstrate that the basic principles underpinning the practical introduction of a new technology application in elections do not differ much by traditional sound management techniques applied for any major strategy change in corporate business management. As mentioned before, there is adequate attention in the module to the aspects of security and transparency, the two most heavily debated topics about any technology applications in elections. This module component offers the participants an overview of the key aspects to take into consideration in terms of security, and asks them to debate over the notion of transparency, and how different societies can value it differently. Observation is also considered as a means to bring additional transparency to high-tech elections. The final component of the module we take a leap in the future, launching a discussion in which the participants are asked to imagine how future elections will look like in the light of the changes in the electoral rituals that they experimented in their recent past. Two are the visions that we would like to offer to their consideration, one very likely and immediate, that concerns the sharp development of digital voter registration and its synergies with civil registration, and the second one, a bit further down the road, about the development of e-democracy and how this could change the traditional and rather passive relationship between citizens and the institutions. Like all BRIDGE modules, Electoral Technology encourages participants to learn from the diverse examples presented. Participants are stimulated to share their experiences and opinions in a non-threatening environment. As it also BRIDGE praxis, the following cross-cutting themes are addressed in this module: Sustainability and cost of election processes Capacity development, institution strengthening and documenting processes/materials The access and inclusiveness of women and other groups traditionally marginalised disabled and ethnic/political minorities to all electoral processes Integrity measures, transparency, prevention of fraud Professionalisation of the election industry – building upon the principles of modern management including: encouraging and respecting diversity, equity, cross-cultural sensitivity, inclusiveness, and maximum use of the skills of all staff, learning, changing, liberating opinions, empowering individuals, and acknowledging merit. […]
October 18, 2011

Electoral Security synopsis

Security has until recently been largely overlooked within many activities in the private and public sectors. Today it is seen as critical and an integral element within many organisations and activities, from inception of concepts, to procurement, establishment, training and deployment of personnel and assets. The earlier misconceptions and lackadaisical attitudes have taken time and a change in organisational mindset in many spheres to evolve into the current environment. Personnel undertaking their role in elections can no longer feel immune to threat based upon a notion of common good and honourable undertaking. As experienced by organisations like the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, humanitarian activities is no deterrent to targeting by special interest groups to undermine or seek media coverage. The increased risk to staff occurs irrespective of their nationality, gender, religion or role. The high profile role of electoral staff can expose them to direct threats by persons or groups seeking to target governments, countries or organizations. Such targeting may be due to varied factors which can have major consequences for the individual, voters, political groups and communities. Threat or hostile action against electoral personnel can serve to undermine the goals of democratic elections, and affect election outcomes and the political composition of legislature. The failure of staff to recognise their profile and exposure to threat can have serious repercussions both personally and to the organization. In this module we will discuss security as an integral element in the delivery of electoral activities, in exploring the role of security in planning and staff activities. Participants will identify relevant stakeholders involved in security planning and will examine the varied operational environments in which electoral activities are undertaken.  The subjects covered in this module include: Security as integral in elections delivery: What role does security play within the elections process? Who are the varied stakeholders in the electoral process responsible for security? What are the types of operational environments in which our staff will operate? What capacity exists to maintain an environment in which elections to be undertaken? Security of self is paramount: How important is prior preparation when staff are deploying to varied operational locations? What are the minimum safety and security considerations which staff should utilise in risk areas? How do we recognise threats that can affect us in our operational role? All electoral activities require assessment of threat and risk: What is threat and risk? How can staff determine vulnerabilities and interpret security assessments in theatre? What is Security Risk Management in an electoral environment? How do we mitigate risk to facilitate our activities?  Planning with Military and Police involvement: How do we interact with military or police elements in operational areas? How do we liaise and function in harmony with host government security establishments? What activities exist to enhance information exchange and formulate positive liaison? The role of security in operational activities: What is coordination? How can the activities of special interest groups, government apparatus and stakeholders be made effective in an operational role? What role does communication play in electoral activities? How can staff be prepared for communications related issues in the field?  What issues should be considered in logistics and transport matters in electoral operations?  An electoral activity requires information security:  How does information security pose a threat to electoral roles? How important is data security in operations support? How do we evaluate and audit information recording accurately? What should be undertaken in a post election environment to maintain security of operations? In addition to understanding, interpreting threat and risk requires active participation. This module offers a number of hands-on activities designed for participants to acquire relevant skills such as: Understanding security risk assessment terminology to interpret assessments accurately; Producing threat assessments and incorporating mitigation to enable operations to occur; Develop understanding of limitations and procedures to deal with military and police liaison; Understand information security impacting documentation and computer software; A key understanding underlying this module is recognition of the threats and risks which can impact staff and electoral operations. This module provides participants with the theoretical foundation and many of the practical skills needed to undertake their role […]
October 18, 2011

Electoral Observation synopsis

“Election observation and monitoring missions can play key roles in diminishing conflicts before, during and after elections” (African Union, Guidelines for African Union Electoral Observation and Monitoring Missions, 2 February 2002). Observing elections has become an important part of supporting post-conflict democratisation processes and the maintenance of universal human rights.   As political theory posits elections as critical junctions on a path to democracy, to observe an electoral process in a country to some extent evaluates and assesses the extent of the democratisation process.  Observation can therefore assist in creating public confidence in the electoral process. The dictionary defines the word observer as “an interested spectator”, a person who “notes proceedings but does not participate, and the word observation is defined as “accurate watching and noting of behaviour, phenoma”.  As Carl Dundas points out, “the presence of observers at the polling and the count have a calming effect on the election atmosphere and is believed to promote the transparency of both the polling and counting of the ballots”.  He defines the observers’ role to pronounce whether an election is ‘free and fair’”.[1] Democratisation can be significantly enhanced through the constructive use of observers as well executed observation exercises can not only lend credibility and legitimacy to an electoral process, but improve the quality of the process while it is underway.  Ideally observers should be available to evaluate the complete electoral process commencing from the pre-election phase, during the election phase and after polling until the certification of the result. This may include: boundary delimitation; voter registration; the political environment and whether it allows for debate and discussion in the media, campaigning and canvassing of parties without fear of intimidation, the role of the media, voter education, information and misinformation, the role of the electoral authority, the level of training of electoral staff, opening and closing of voting stations, non-partisanship of security forces, performance of electoral officials and party agents, mechanisms for resolving conflict, the speed with which election results are made public and the acceptance of the results by contesting parties and the electorate. The importance of having national and international observers has been strengthened over the past decade. This is reflected in the various international and regional guidelines and principles by which to benchmark how “free and fair” an election process has been. The key understandings in this Module illustrate the contribution that national and international observers make to the democratic electoral process. This Module is broken into the following sections: The Purpose of Election Observers, National and International Election Observers, Code of Conduct, Deployment of Election Observers and EMBs and Election Observers. It therefore considers the role and function of national and international observers who as the “eyes and ears” of citizens is to actively observe, assess and make sure that the electoral process is conducted in terms of the required legislative framework, in a free, fair and credible manner and one that affords all eligible voters the opportunity to cast their vote for the candidate or party of their choice, free of intimidation or coercion. Professionally run observation operations illustrate these points when their findings are taken into account by candidates and political parties, electoral authorities and other institutions. But there are no prescriptions for launching an observation operation: this module considers the similarities and differences in the roles and responsibilities of various observation methodologies, including between international and national observers. International and national observers should aim to ensure that their observation of the election process is conducted in a non-partisan and impartial way. To ensure that this can be done it is necessary to agree on a Code of Conduct for both national and international observers.  In some countries electoral authorities include in their legislation (and where this is not legislated for it may be included as part of the invitation to observation missions) a Code of Conduct to which observers should adhere.  A Code of Conduct can improve the professionalism of an observation mission and may include requirements such as: do their duties in an unobtrusive manner; comply with all national laws and regulations; and observe and base their conclusions on well documented, factual and verifiable evidence Electoral authorities’ Codes of Conduct include requirements such as observe the election impartially and independently; remain non-partisan and neutral and be professional in observing the election BRIDGE is mindful of the contribution that observers make in an election. Observation missions require extensive logistical and administration arrangements to be effective. Bearing this in mind, this Module includes theoretical and practical information and provides activities that give participants the opportunity to practice these skills.  This Module is designed for both Electoral Management Bodies and civil society organisations, as the deployment of observers in an election affects both these stakeholders. [1] Carl Dundas February 1994 “Dimensions of Free and Fair Elections”, Commonwealth Secretariat, page […]
October 18, 2011

Electoral Management Design synopsis

An election or direct democracy poll—such as a referendum—is often one of the largest single activities that are ever organized in a country. It is a very complex administrative task, implemented in a politically charged atmosphere. The Electoral Management Design module brings together the knowledge and expertise that has been gathered worldwide about election management bodies (EMBs), their roles and functions, and the organization, financing and management of election administration. From a practical point of view it attempts to address some of the challenges faced by many EMBs and election administrators around the world. It does so by bringing together global field experiences in electoral administration, and by presenting best-practice solutions in a non-prescriptive and user-friendly way, and by highlighting examples of practices which have proved to be successful and of those that have been less successful. The Management module looks at different models of electoral administration and recognizes that different structures may be appropriate in different contexts, and does not in general seek to be normative or prescriptive beyond the basic characteristics sought in good electoral processes—freedom, fairness, equity, integrity, voting secrecy, transparency, effectiveness, sustainability, service-mindedness, efficiency, impartiality and accountability. Similarly the module addresses management design issues that may have an impact on stakeholder confidence in and the scope for independent action by election administrators. In doing so, it takes into account the entire electoral cycle, not only the highly visible time close to polling. This module also highlights the importance of post-election audit and evaluation and emphasizes the need for electoral administrations to be effective, sustainable and professional. This module is based and constructed on the International IDEA handbook ‘Electoral Management Design’. Just like the handbook, the modules prime objective is to provide practical information in a form that is easily accessible and to the greatest extent possible be free of theorizing and electoral or management jargon. The Management module is a useful training tool not only to those establishing institutions involved in managing elections, those in newly established electoral institutions, and those in emerging democracies. To those looking for means of assessing performance and improving administration in well-established electoral management bodies, this module also offers a wide range of experiences and information on good practices. Equally, the Management module is a valuable resource for everyone engaged in the process of building sustainable capacity to conduct successful electoral processes that are perceived as legitimate. It provides useful data to all with an interest or stake in electoral administration—whether in governments, political parties, the media or civil society organizations, or as interested observers of political and electoral matters. Finally this module is also the basis of a call to action, for EMBs and for other stakeholders. It aims to give professional guidance to establish reform and/or consolidate genuinely autonomous, neutral and professional electoral administration for the long term. Electoral assistance providers for example have often groped in the dark as programmes have been written for support of new electoral institutions. The realization is growing that for electoral assistance to be effective it needs to be viewed through a long-term development perspective and not as an activity driven by an individual electoral event. The choices of donors, too, can now be made on the basis of a deeper understanding of the basic principles of election administration design and of the many options […]
October 18, 2011

Electoral Dispute Resolution synopsis

It is important that election conflicts be handled promptly and properly to minimise their impact on elections and potential damage to EMBs, the Courts and the Legislature. A number of factors make conflicts and dispute likely in elections.  They involve winner-take-all contests.  They involve candidates, used to debate, who’s role, if elected, will be to carry arguments in the legislature.  They involve powerful people used to working with laws and getting their own way with government employees.  They can involve important principles.  They are often played out in the public arena through media reporting.  They potentially involve whole nations from the most mild-mannered to the most obdurate and from the most honest to those less than honest These conflicts can be difficult to resolve and have the capacity, at their worst, to cause significant divisions within nations. For EMBs it is important that election conflicts be handled properly and resolved as quickly and fairly as possible.  Particularly during election periods when these conflicts are most likely to arise EMBs are focussed on organising elections.  They can find additional responsibilities in relation to law enforcement detract from the quality of the election. Although there are still some countries where the legislature has a role in dealing with disputes we do not consider that role in this module – apart from their role in producing legislation.  Modern international trends are to use independent courts to deal with significant election disputes In this module we consider the bodies responsible for managing election conflicts and disputes. consider some of the mechanisms used and their advantages and disadvantages consider accepted standards and principles for dealing with conflicts and disputes practise some of the skills used in best practice in informal conflict management explain a typical court process and its advantages and disadvantages in dispute […]
October 18, 2011

Electoral Contestants synopsis

 “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Winston Churchill, Speech in the House of Commons (11 November 1947)[1] “Political parties and candidates are key stakeholders in elections. They are the ones competing for public office, carrying out election campaigns, and trying to convince persons to vote for them. Ultimately, the possibilities for them to campaign, assume public office, or form a credible opposition depend on the legal, political, and cultural environment in the country, and on the administration and outcome of the elections. From another perspective, the final validation of the election result is in practice in the hands of the political parties and candidates. If they do not accept the results due to real or perceived electoral fraud or irregularities, the legitimacy of the resulting legislature or government is threatened. Parties and candidates are also actors that have the potential to be destructive. Practices of vote-buying or illegal party finance, the proliferation of defamation and hate speech in campaigns, voter intimidation by party workers, corruption in decision-making, and the systematic exclusion of certain sectors of society constitute examples of where political parties threaten the functioning of democratic systems rather than support it. Laws and regulations regarding campaigning, funding, and functioning of political parties are developed to minimize the potential disruptive influence of political parties while still allowing them enough freedom to contest elections.” Administration and Cost of Elections[2] Executive Summary: It is possible in the middle of operations in a busy electoral process to forget that an EMB has two stakeholders: the first and most obvious are the voters; the second are the contestants, the groups of political parties or independents actually contesting the election. Those contestants are both clients the EMB must serve, as well as groups subject to the EMB’s authority. The referee or umpire role in an EMB’s legal framework is vital when regulating the actions and behavior of these contestants. The nature of politics means this is one of the most contentious and difficult roles that hold some of the biggest risks for an EMB. How an EMB interacts with and makes decisions relating to contestants can determine the perception of their independence, competence and fairness. It is not surprising some of the language we use describing aspirational electoral standards, such as level playing field; perhaps even free and fair, are adapted from sport. As in sport, the law is the first guardian in the game and contest of electoral politics; the second and third are the EMB and the judiciary who interpret and enforce that law. However, voters and contestants have both rights and responsibilities, so the EMB’s role can be a daily balance of monitoring, management, prevention and enforcement. In this context it is essential that electoral professionals consider the various types of contestants and the contests they compete in, what the contestants’ motivations might be, and how they might be organized. BRIDGE and the resources it uses emphasize there are certain common principles underlying the game of electoral politics, but there are such a variety of contexts they exist in that we apply the adage no size fits all. This is particularly the case when discussing contestants. So the first section of this module deals with different approaches to electoral democracy, ideas behind representation and how it manifests in different electoral systems, and asks participants to create their own party. This is followed by an outline of the types of contestants your EMB might deal with, criteria for registering a political party, and the principles underlying political organization and competition. It concludes with activities looking at the internal functioning of political parties, and the role of Codes of Conduct for the regulation of party and candidate behaviour. The second section of the Module keeps the broad view of Contestants to look at them and their interactions with the EMB through all parts of an electoral process, for example, boundary delimitation, voter registration, voter education, pre-polling, polling, counting and certification of results. Often during these other parts of an electoral process an EMB might find contestants to be groups who can be engaged in very positive ways to improve the quality of the process. There are moments in the electoral process where the EMB’s and contestants’ interests overlap: getting the eligible population to register and to vote, monitoring the behavior of their competitors as party agents and reporting infringements, and knowing the facts presented in voter information and education campaigns. Well informed and well trained party agents acting within the law and a Code of Conduct can go a long way to protecting an electoral process. Hence this part of the module challenges participants to find strategies to coordinate with and mobilize contestants in an informed and appropriate way, so contestants can become educators on those electoral operations, and seek to engage their potential constituents in ways that are beneficial to the electoral process. The third section of the module takes the participant straight into the quite technical business of managing contestants during a crucial part of any electoral process: candidate nominations. One of the most significant and central challenges for an EMB is to ensure ballot papers for every voter arrive at every polling station on time with the correct name of the correct candidate in the correct place. When you take away the logistical aspects, it is accurate candidate nomination that determines an EMB’s success at this most vital task. Success will often be invisible to voters and candidates (they expect the ballot paper to be accurate), but failure could be obvious and nationally embarrassing. If you are satisfied with a 95% accuracy rate, it might mean in a local government election with 200 constituencies you would be satisfied you only had to re-run 10 elections because the EMB caused ballot papers in 10 constituencies to be wrong. Perhaps even 5% inaccuracy can damage an EMB’s and therefore an election’s overall credibility. Finally, some EMBs are not involved in regulating political campaigns and therefore invest their time after nominations with polling and counting preparations, while others have also to fulfill legal responsibilities towards the contestants, their political party’s organization and their campaigns. In that regard we will examine Contestants’ Codes of Conduct, financing and media time during the campaign and the various roles an EMB might be asked to perform, particularly at the level of an Electoral Commission or other quasi-judicial electoral body. [1] http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill, 8 August 2006 [2] http://www.aceproject.org/ace-en/topics/pc/default, 8 August […]
October 18, 2011

Electoral Assistance synopsis

Analysis of two decades (and millions of dollars) of electoral assistance have led to a body of lessons learned and new approaches to support. Viewing electoral assistance within the wider context of democracy and governance support, supporting an electoral cycle rather than electoral event, and recognizing and identifying aspects of enhancing credibility are some examples of new thinking in this field. Electoral assistance can take many forms, from the direct transfer of funds to ensure the holding of a specific electoral event or institutional support of an electoral management body) to broader programs such as those supporting professionalization of electoral administration on a regional or global basis, or supporting the development of networks of electoral stakeholders to better monitor or advocate for credible electoral processes. The electoral assistance module is one of the new modules introduced in BRIDGE Version 2. It forms part of the stakeholder cluster of modules, recognizing the important role that stakeholders potentially play in an election – in this case, donors or electoral assistance providers. The module explores electoral assistance from a number of perspectives ranging from policy level (the importance and role of elections, an overview of electoral support) to the practicalities (the electoral cycle, project identification and formulation).  A course developer/facilitation team should ideally adapt the material to suit the particular needs of the course participants.  A few scenarios for the usage of the module material are: A course for desk officers of aid agencies and foreign ministries, to deepen their knowledge of how electoral support works best, and how it fits within the broader remit of democracy support;    A workshop for electoral officials responsible for liaison and coordination  in order to prepare a strategy and the internal mechanisms for handling the support; A workshop for policy level staff members of aid agencies and ministries of particular countries who are reassessing or redesigning their democracy aid guidelines; As a dialogue tool prior to an electoral process between potential donors and electoral/government officials, to clarify views, concerns, and mechanisms in advance. In each of the example cases listed above, the course developer/facilitation team will have a responsibility to pick and choose carefully from this module, and from other modules (in particular the Introduction module, the Observation Module, and any of the architecture, stakeholder or operational modules of particular concern in the context), as well as adding material (such as specific project documents from previous elections in the same country, or project templates and guidelines from the particular agency). The most substantive section of the module is a step by step run through of the electoral cycle, in each step including an assessment of the particular challenges associated with that stage. This section, rich with PowerPoint presentations, can be adapted fairly simply to suit a general audience with an interest in learning more about electoral processes and electoral administration. At least one of the two main texts of the module should be acquired for participants in advance of running the course and incorporated into the course accordingly, namely the EU Methodological Guide on Electoral Assistance, and the UNDP Election Assistance Implementation Guidelines (available from the respective organizations or downloadable from the […]
October 18, 2011

Civic Education synopsis

Civic Education addresses civil society’s participation in democratic and development processes at both local and national levels. It is an important means for capacity development on the societal level by empowering people for effective civic engagement. It is an essential dimension in strengthening a society’s ability to manage its own affairs and is complementary to capacity development on the individual and institutional levels. At the core of Civic Education are the values and principles of transparency, participation, responsiveness, accountability, empowerment and equity. This module uses a broad, educational definition of Civic Education and in this context refers to School & Community Based Civic & Citizenship Education. This module should be used in conjunction with the Voter Information module. There is much overlap between Voter Information and Civic Education modules – many repeated (generic) sections – and many complementary activities. When facilitators are designing agendas for their participants – they should have a clear understanding of the terminology used in these modules (especially how Voter Information / Education, Voter Awareness, Electoral Education, Civic Education are defined and differentiated), and a clear idea of what the participants are expecting the topic to be about. Training objectives should be built around the needs/expectations of the participants. Agendas (of 1 to 5-day durations) have been designed that examine the concepts of Voter Education and Awareness programs, and Civic (and Electoral) Education programs – discretely, and also in combination (so both are covered). The subjects covered in this module include: Definitions of Civic Education: Different definitions and contexts of civic education are explored, as well as related topics of voter information and electoral education. Rationale for Civic Education: Reasons for increasing the participation of citizens in the democratic processes are explored in a number of contexts. The importance of promoting democratic practices in all aspects of society is emphasized. Also, the quality and nature of democratic participation as a means to increasing “social capital” is investigated. Principles of and Standards for Effective Civic Education: International standards for effective civic education programmes (universality, clarity and impartiality) are demonstrated in a number of case studies and practical exercises. Strategies for increasing participation of key stakeholder groups and beneficiaries such as youth, media, women and people with disabilities are discussed. Developing Civic Education Programs: Strategies for planning effective civic education programs are developed. Techniques for identifying different educational needs of all stakeholders in the civic education process, such as surveying, are investigated. Assessing resources (human and material), selecting objectives and designing activities are investigated with a variety of activities. Both school based civic education and community based civic education are considered during the design process. Finally civic education is considered in the shorter time frame of electoral education prior to an electoral event. As with other BRIDGE modules, practical considerations are given to program design and implementation such as methods of monitoring and evaluation and the development of timelines and detailed plans. The module provides a much-needed framework and methodology for EMBs, educators and other providers of civic education and to potential voters and society at large. By taking these approaches and principles to heart, civic education values can be instilled in society from a very young age, vastly improving the quality of their participation in democratic processes their electoral system and ensuring the sustainability and vitality of democratic […]
October 18, 2011
AssistanceHQ

Electoral Assistance

This is a central point for all information relating to the Electoral Assistance module. The objectives of the Electoral Assistance module are: To sensitise donors to the importance of a) seeing elections as a cycle rather than an event, b) credibility in the electoral process. To explore good practice in electoral assistance, both from the perspective of those giving and receiving the assistance. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Electoral Assistance module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Electoral Assistance module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
MediaHQ

Media and Elections

This is a central point for all information relating to the Media & Elections module. The objectives of the Media & Elections module are: To explore electoral principles, structures and processes as they affect media regulation, campaign and election coverage and voter education. To develop or improve mechanisms for communication between EMBs and media in advance of an electoral process. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Media & Elections module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Media & Elections module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
TrainingHQ

Electoral Training

This is a central point for all information relating to the Electoral Training module. The objectives of the Electoral Training module are: To explore the principles of training; To consider the implementation of training including needs assessment, training plans, training strategy, and logistical arrangements; To provide participants with concrete training skills. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Electoral Training module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Electoral Training module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
ExternalHQ

External Voting

This is a central point for all information relating to the External Voting module. The objectives of the External Voting module are: To explore the principles of external voting (why have external voting and why not? What are the criteria for eligibility as an external voter? What is required to vote?). To consider the implementation of external voting including logistical arrangements (What are the voter registration methods for external voters? What are the voting methods? Where do they vote and when?) Include also cost of external voting. To discuss the political impact of external voting. To design an evaluation or reporting process of external voting activities. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the External Voting module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from External Voting module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
ContestantsHQ

Electoral Contestants

This is a central point for all information relating to the Electoral Contestants module. The objectives of the Electoral Contestants module are: To explore electoral principles, structures and processes as they affect party and candidate representatives. To understand the nature and organisation of political contests in order to effectively manage them. To develop or improve mechanisms for communication between EMBs and parties. To understand the technical, legal and operational aspects of candidate nominations in order to ensure a credible electoral process. To understand the conditions required to guarantee equitable access to media and the appropriate use of campaign finances, in order to establish a level playing field for all contestants Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Electoral Contestants module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Electoral Contestants module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
SecurityHQ

Electoral Security

This is a central point for all information relating to the Electoral Security module. The objectives of the Electoral Security module are: To explore the role of security as an integral element of elections. To appreciate that threats or hostile action against electoral personnel and processes can serve to undermine the goals of democratic elections, and affect election outcomes and the political composition of legislature. To explore the role of security in procurement, establishment, training and deployment of personnel and assets. To explore the issues associated with information security. To explore the role of military and police working with election management bodies. To practice drafting assessments of threat and risk. To develop an election security plan. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Electoral Security module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Electoral Security module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
Post-electionHQ

Post-election Activities

This is a central point for all information relating to the Post-Election Activities module. The objectives of the Post-Election Activities module are: To emphasise the importance of the post-election period to electoral stakeholders, electoral officials and policy makers as the opportune moment for reflection and forward planning. To explore all aspects of sustainability as related to elections. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Post-Election Activities module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Post-Election Activities module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
PollingHQ

Polling, Counting & Results

This is a central point for all information relating to the Polling, Counting & Results module. The objectives of the Polling, Counting & Results module are: To provide the tools to develop a thorough logistics plan for polling, counting and results. To examine the standards, principles and management techniques that are fundamental to good logistical planning. To consider the resources (human and material (sensitive and non-sensitive) required for Polling, Counting, Results. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Polling, Counting & Results module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Polling, Counting & Results module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
Pre-electionHQ

Pre-election Activities

This is a central point for all information relating to the Pre-election Activities module. The objectives of the Pre-election Activities module are: To provide the tools to develop a thorough logistics plan in a professional, ethical and confident way. To explore the complexity of the logistical operations of elections. To emphasise the importance of thorough planning of all aspects of elections. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Pre-election Activities module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Pre-election Activities module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
RegistrationHQ

Voter Registration

This is a central point for all information relating to the Voter Registration module. The objectives of the Voter Registration module are: To explore the principles of voter registration (why have registration? What are the criteria for eligibility?); To understand the legal foundations and three main types of voter register; To practice the major operational steps towards successful voter registration; To provide election designers, policy makers and advocacy groups with alternative approaches to voter registration; To expose participants to the logistical arrangements and implementation steps of a voter registration exercise. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Voter Registration module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Voter Registration module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
CivicHQ

Civic Education

This is a central point for all information relating to the Civic Education module. The objectives of the Civic Education module are: To explore the principles of civic education. To explore the different types of civic programs. To explore different mediums used in civic education programs. To consider the Program Elements – Preparation, Design and Planning, Implementation, Issues and Evaluation. To design a plan/program for civic education in your country. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Civic Education module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Civic Education module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
InformationHQ

Voter Information

This is a central point for all information relating to the Voter Information module. The objectives of the Voter Information module are: To explore the principles of voter information and education. To explore the different types of voter information and education programs. To explore different mediums used in voter information and education programs. To consider the Program Elements – Preparation, Design and Planning, Implementation, Issues and Evaluation. To design a plan/program for voter information and education in your country. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Voter Information module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Voter Information module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
ObservationHQ

Electoral Observation

This is a central point for all information relating to the Electoral Observation module. The objectives of the Electoral Observation module are: To explore the principles of electoral observation (why have observers? who should they be? what should they do?). To consider electoral observation assessment guidelines and instruments. To design a code of conduct for observers. To design a plan for managing observers. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Electoral Observation module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Electoral Observation module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
DisputeHQ

Electoral Dispute Resolution

This is a central point for all information relating to the Electoral Dispute Resolution module. The objectives of the Electoral Dispute Resolution module are: To consider the bodies responsible for managing election conflicts and disputes To consider some of the mechanisms used and their advantages and disadvantages To consider accepted standards and principles for dealing with conflicts and disputes To practise some of the skills used in best practice in informal conflict management To explain a typical court process and its advantages and disadvantages in dispute resolution Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Electoral Dispute Resolution module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Electoral Dispute Resolution module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
GenderHQ

Gender and Elections

This is a central point for all information relating to the Gender & Elections module. The objectives of the Gender & Elections module are: To introduce and examine the standards, principles and management techniques that are fundamental to good electoral practice; To serve as a foundation module for further deepening study of elections in the specialised modules of the BRIDGE curriculum. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Gender & Elections module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Gender & Elections module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
AccessHQ

Access to the Electoral Process

This is a central point for all information relating to the Access to the Electoral Process module. The objectives of the Access to the Electoral Process module are: Identify areas of the electoral process where access may be an issue – what access problems, what parts of the population are affected, and what solutions exist Provide a networking opportunity for advocacy groups, as well as specific tools to analyse the electoral structures and procedures and develop strategies to promote access. Emphasise the importance of consultation processes throughout the electoral cycle – from post-election analysis through design of materials and procedures – in order to affect real improvement of access. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Access to the Electoral Process module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Access to the Electoral Process module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
FinanceHQ

Political Financing

This is a central point for all information relating to the Political Financing module. The objectives of the Political Financing module are: To introduce the main principles, structures and institutions underlying a credible and workable political financing regulatory framework To encourage participants to identify, explore, and seek resolution to significant political financing issues and stumbling blocks in their immediate environment To allow participants the opportunity to reflect on how their learning apply to the specific work tasks, and, where possible, to experience political financing tasks and enhance skills to support the professional and political work of participants Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Political Financing module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Political Financing module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
TechnologyHQ

Electoral Technology

This is a central point for all information relating to the Electoral Technology module. The objectives of the Electoral Technology module are: To set a framework for policy makers, electoral officials and electoral stakeholders to decide on the appropriate level of technology; To provide an overview of the state of the art of technological application in elections; To explore a sound management approach in introducing new technologies. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Electoral Technology module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Electoral Technology module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
ManagementHQ

Electoral Management Design

This is a central point for all information relating to the Electoral Management Design module. The objectives of the Electoral Management Design module are: To explore the elements of electoral management design, and categorise the main types of electoral management bodies. To consider how design and institutional culture affect the credibility of the electoral management body. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Electoral Management Design module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Electoral Management Design module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
LegalHQ

Legal Framework

This is a central point for all information relating to the Legal Framework module. The objectives of the Legal Framework module are: To explore the universally accepted standards of elections and how they apply through legal frameworks. To assess elements of the legal framework and how they meet international standards for democratic elections. To identify the requirements of free access to the electoral process for candidates, voters and the media. To demonstrate how the integrity of the electoral process is guaranteed by the voting procedures, a transparent, accurate and rapid tabulation of results as well as by provisions for transparency in the legal framework. To design a legal framework that can respond to complaints and violations. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Legal Framework module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Legal Framework module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
PlanningHQ

Strategic & Financial Planning

This is a central point for all information relating to the Strategic & Financial Planning module. The objectives of the Strategic & Financial Planning module are: To introduce and examine the planning and project management skills that underpin any successful electoral endeavour to serve as a foundation module for the operational planning cluster of modules of the BRIDGE curriculum Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Strategic & Financial Planning module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Strategic & Financial Planning module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011
DelimitationHQ

Boundary Delimitation

This is a central point for all information relating to the Boundary Delimitation module. The objectives of the Boundary Delimitation module are: To explore alternative approaches to boundary delimitation; To introduce the main principles underlying a credible and acceptable boundary delimitation process; To experience delimitation tasks such as allocating seats, producing databases of maps and data, evaluating district plans and preparing an operational plan for the conduct of a delimitation process. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Boundary Delimitation module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Boundary Delimitation module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 18, 2011

Boundary Delimitation synopsis

Delimiting electoral district boundaries can have major consequences for the voters, political groups and communities of interest residing within these constituencies as well as for the representatives elected to serve these constituencies.  Ultimately, the election outcome and the political composition of the legislature may be affected by the constituency boundaries.  A failure to recognize the importance of the electoral boundary delimitation process and its impact can have serious ramifications: If stakeholders suspect that electoral boundaries have been unfairly manipulated – benefiting some groups at the expense of others – this will affect the credibility and the legitimacy of the election process and its outcome. In this module we explore the potential consequences of drawing – or not drawing – electoral boundaries and identify the principles that lead to a fair and effective delimitation process if electoral district boundaries are to be created.  Participants examine alternatives for structuring the boundary authority and rules for carrying out the process.  In addition, participants engage in a number of activities designed to familiarize them with the tasks involved in delimiting electoral boundaries.  Countries that delimit districts must establish a structure and a set of rules for carrying out the process. This module introduces participants to a wide variety of options by comparing and contrasting the delimitation practices of numerous countries and considering the potential consequences of adopting these differing approaches, encouraging participants to evaluate which methods are potentially sustainable in their own context.  The subjects covered in this component of the module include: Boundary Authority: Who will draw the constituency boundaries? What are the functions of this body and the skills needed to be successful? Is the legislature to have any role in the process?  If not, who will have the authority for selecting the final constituency plan?  Should the constituency boundaries be subject to challenge (for example, in a court of law)?  Delimitation Trigger(s): What prompts a delimitation exercise?  Is there an established time frame (e.g., delimitation must occur every ten years), or does delimitation follow a national census, or perhaps it must be conducted prior to every parliamentary election?  Public Access to the Delimitation Process: Should some mechanism exist for public input into to the delimitation process?  If so, how should this mechanism be structured?  Establishment of Delimitation Criteria: What criteria should the boundary authority take into account when delimiting constituency boundaries?  At a minimum, constituencies should be as equal in population as practicable.  Other criteria the boundary authority might be obliged to take into account include geographic features, compactness and contiguity, communities of interest, and protection for special minority groups. In addition to requiring a structure and a set of rules, boundary delimitation involves performing a range of potentially quite complex tasks.  This module offers a number of hands-on activities designed to acquaint participants with such common delimitation tasks as: Allocating legislative seats to administrative regions of the country (e.g., states or provinces); Producing a database minimally composed of maps and population data; Drawing electoral district boundaries either manually or with computer software; Evaluating potential electoral district plans, and producing a final delimitation report for public consideration and for implementing the electoral boundaries, and Preparing an Operational Plan that lays out all operational, budgetary and logistical implications of these policy decisions and outlines the conduct of the delimiting process A key understanding underlying this module is that the delimitation of electoral boundaries has an impact on the electoral process and its outcome.  A fair and effective delimitation process can contribute to the credibility of the electoral process – and perhaps, more importantly, a poorly devised and executed delimitation process can lead to questions about the legitimacy of the electoral process and the electoral outcome itself.  This module provides participants with the theoretical foundation and many of the practical skills needed to design and carry out a successful boundary […]
October 18, 2011

Access to the Electoral Process synopsis

In many places in the world there are people who struggle to be heard. When it comes to having a voice in the highest authority in the land, the difficulties in some countries can be almost insurmountable. Access issues affect all aspects of an election. People with special needs face numerous barriers to participation in political and electoral processes. This module examines strategies for promoting their participation in elections, This module is designed for women and men in electoral management bodies, governments, donor agencies and NGOs, gender specialists, disability specialists, as well as individual consultants and trainers, who are interested in access issues in relation to election processes, and/or have the responsibility of ensuring fair access in their organizations. The module explores some key governmental and societal elements that must be aligned to ensure all eligible voters are able to participate in all election processes. These include: legal framework social and political opportunities and openness to political participation access to voter registration and voter education election management and election observation Sequence of Topics What is Access? Understanding Human and Political Rights Understanding Electoral Rights and Our Commitments Understanding Groups with Access Issues Understanding the Categories of Groups Access Issues and Strategies in an Election Context Planning for Access Workplace Diversity Evaluation and Conclusion Module aims: Identify people who may have special access needs in the election process, e.g. who have access issues due to their race, colour, age, sex, sexual orientation, minority status, language, literacy level, citizenship status, level of mental or physical ability, past or current incarceration, socio-economic status, place of residency or employment, employment status, HIV/AIDS status, health etc. Gain appreciation of access-related electoral issues and concerns Provide guidance on monitoring the electoral participation of special access needs groups Identify potential areas of discrimination in electoral processes Acquire skills in identifying and analyzing concerns through case examples of strategies and practices to address concerns Assess the obstacles faced by people with special access needs in public life. Compile ways in which people with special access needs can increase their role in election administration Formulate Action Plans: Institutional and Individual. Contents of the Workshop/Module The module is structured around the various phases of the electoral cycle, election stakeholders and political life: 1.         Election Phases Explores the level of participation for people with special access needs as voters, candidates and elected representatives, as well as in leadership roles within state institutions, electoral management bodies and political parties.  Explores how the legal framework and media structures affect these people. Explores the nature of the barriers faced by people with special access needs in participating in each stage of the electoral process (including poverty, literacy and cultural factors) Explores a range of strategies to assist people with special access needs in accessing electoral processes.  Cites various international declarations and resolutions that highlight government obligations to ensure this.  2.         Election Stakeholder Organisations In election administration, as in the wider world, people with special access needs seldom occupy high-ranking positions or possess significant public status.  In this module, participants explore some of the obstacles faced by people with special access needs in the workplace and public life, and look at ways in which they can be overcome. The module focuses on analyzing and addressing inequality in the staffing, procedures and culture of organizations as well as in development programs.  It covers practical strategies and skills for mainstreaming the inclusion of people with special needs, including the use of planning frameworks, logical frameworks and inclusive policies that address typical access issues.  Critical analysis of current theory and practice is encouraged throughout the course. It also explores best practices from around the world that enhance the participation of people with special access needs in both post-conflict and more stable democracies. 3.         Political Life This module explores the concept that democratic elections are key to peace-building in post-conflict situations, and that the inclusion of all types of people is vital to ensuring sustainable democracy.  Elections provide a key opportunity for people who regularly suffer discrimination to have their voices heard and their concerns addressed.  Through participating in elections, their potential contributions to peace and democracy can be maximized. Through regular contact with officials, political parties, media representatives, NGOs and other electoral stakeholders, people with special access needs can provide valuable insights into the rights of all types of people, the barriers to equal participation in public life, and the reforms that might help overcome […]
October 18, 2011
IntroductionHQ

Introduction to Electoral Administration

This is a central point for all information relating to the Introduction to Electoral Administration module. The objectives of the Introduction to Electoral Administration module are: To introduce and examine the standards, principles and management techniques that are fundamental to good electoral practice; To serve as a foundation module for further deepening study of elections in the specialised modules of the BRIDGE curriculum. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Introduction to Electoral Administration module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Introduction to Electoral Administration module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE […]
October 11, 2011

Electoral Systems synopsis

Choosing an electoral system is increasingly being recognized as one of the key institutional decisions for a democracy. Electoral system reviews and discussions are being held all around the world. Often these discussions are initiated by political parties and candidates who understand that the electoral system determines to a large extent how many seats they will get themselves and they will seek to determine and adopt the electoral system which will benefit them the most. Such considerations will most likely be part of any review process, but the aim of this module is to broaden the discussion and feed into debates in countries wanting to address wider problems of for example inclusion, accountability, or representation. This module starts by defining what an electoral system is and discusses why we have electoral systems and what makes them important. It then moves on to suggesting a classification of electoral systems which sets the scene for the rest of the module and offers a basis for understanding how the different building blocks/ the different components can vary between the systems. The overarching key understanding of this module is that all electoral systems have advantages and disadvantages – affecting a wide range of areas – which means that looking at what criteria the electoral system should fulfil is a good place to start when introducing or changing an electoral system. There will always be tradeoffs between the different criteria and therefore it is not possible to identify one best system as what is best will be determined by the priorities of the country in question. This is why the following sections of the module focus on how to determine the respective pros and cons of the different electoral systems and reach an understanding of different groups in society having different priorities and reaching different conclusions when it comes to deciding which system is the fairest and the most suitable one. Even though electoral systems have implications on a number of different areas – ranging from the political party system to the role of the opposition and voter registration – most of these implications can be traced back to how votes are turned into seats on election day. One simulated election result therefore acts as the basis of all electoral system illustrations in this module and shows how the same vote distribution can lead to completely different results depending on what electoral system is chosen. The module also has a specific focus on how electoral systems affect the representation of women, how they affect cost and sustainability issues and how systems can be designed using a holistic view on different elected bodies. It closes by discussing direct democracy provisions and some more in-depth issues relating to electoral system […]
October 6, 2011
SystemsHQ

Electoral Systems

This is a central point for all information relating to the Electoral Systems module. The objectives of the Electoral Systems module are: To introduce alternative approaches to and classifications of electoral systems; To introduce the main principles and criteria for electoral system design; To consider the implications of alternative electoral systems on the representation of various groups in society, on cost, and on the sustainability of institutions. Synopsis Click [here] for a synopsis of the Electoral Systems module. Facilitator Only Access You will need to be logged in to the website with facilitator access to be able to see these materials. Primary Curriculum Files The primary curriculum files for this module include documents for the Facilitators Handbook (OHPs, HOs, FRs) and the Participants Handbook (PNs) as well as PPT and AV documents where relevant. Key Understandings & Learning Outcomes The Key Understandings document outlines all the key understandings, learning outcomes and assessment criteria for this module. Agenda Library The agenda library includes the sample agendas listed in the Facilitators Notes as well as real agendas from Electoral Systems module workshops that have been run around the world, submitted by BRIDGE facilitators. […]

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