The National Electoral Commission (NEC) of Rwanda in collaboration with the Governance team of One UN Rwanda, held the BRIDGE workshop on Contestants, Media and Elections for the Political parties and media practitioners during December 17-21, 2013, in Musanze, Rwanda. This workshop aimed to:
The 5-day workshop was facilitated by Shalva Tskhakaya and Natia Kashakashvili in English with assistance from local facilitator Jean de dieu Rutatika. In total 25 participants (15 male, 10 female) attended the workshop, out of which 12 were political party representatives and 13 from the Media representatives.
The workshop was opened by the NEC Chair Prof. Kalisa Mbanda, NEC Executive Secretary Munyaneza Charles, NEC commissioner Mrs. Uwera Pelagie, UNDP Resident Coordinator Mr. Lamin M. Manneh, Mayor of Musanze and head of media council. The guests welcomed the participants and talked about the importance of the workshop and wished them successful conduct of the workshop. The workshop agenda focused on International Standards for elections, Electoral Cycle, Legal framework for elections, effect of electoral systems on Political Parties, Level Playing field and regulations for underrepresented groups. Code of conduct for Political Parties and Media was one of the main focus of the workshop and several aspects of regulating the media.
Participants praised the methodology used at the BRIDGE workshop and impact of learning while having group discussions. Even though all the topics presented were of major interest and importance for both target groups (Media and Political Parties), it is recommended to hold BRIDGE workshops for one target audience at a time to better focus on their primary roles and responsibilities in elections.
In recognition of completion of the five-day training course, participants were handed the BRIDGE certificates.
NEC of Rwanda sees BRIDGE workshops as one of the best tool for the capacity building of its staff, therefore it’s very welcoming that NEC plans to focus on the capacity building during the non-election period.