IFES South Sudan Election Administration Support Program, funded by USAID, completed the foundation modules in the BRIDGE training for the newly formed South Sudan National Elections Commission (NEC).Along with two IFES South Sudan team members and one Senior Electoral Affairs Officer from UNMISS, seven of the eight commissioners including Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and Chief Electoral Officer participated in the four days BRIDGE foundation module, Strategic and Financial Planning. The training took place from 8th to 11th April, 2013 in Juba, South Sudan.
Eliane Torres, IFES Electoral Management Advisor in South Sudan was the lead BRIDGE facilitator, supported by BRIDGE facilitators Helena Catt and Adolfo Cayuso.
This four-day workshop covered topics relating to strategic and financial planning as the NEC is about to embark on its first round of planning. As well as demonstrating the importance of planning across the work of the NEC and providing ground in appropriate approaches and methodologies, the training allowed the participants to initiate drafting NEC vision and mission statements as well as NEC strategic goals. The second edition of the IFES Practical Guide for Election Management Bodies to Conduct a Strategic Planning Exercise (Oct. 2011) formed the basis of this BRIDGE training.
Participants’ evaluations included acknowledgement that ‘planning is easier said than done’, awareness that ‘gap analysis opens the eyes to the distance between now and the elections’ and believe that ‘we feel sufficiently armed by this training to embark on planning for our new Commission’.
The commissioners are now fully acclimatised to BRIDGE methodologies and norms and are already discussing about which modules they would like to attend next. Upon recruitment and nominations, the NEC also expressed how useful would be to get the future NEC staff and State High Commissions members involved in next BRIDGE trainings.