CUSTOMIZED BRIDGE TRAINING – DELIMITATION OF CONSTITUENCIES

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A new era of BRIDGE has started in Pakistan with the launch of a core BRIDGE module designed by the Election Commission of Pakistan and UNDP. The core module builds on the understanding that the most sustainable BRIDGE programs focus on extensive customization of the curriculum, broad implementation, and systematic facilitator accreditation.

The delimitation of constituencies is part of a customized comprehensive curriculum framework which targeted the front-line staff of the ECP at the district, divisional, provincial and national level.

The facilitator team developed the module during a series of working meetings held in 2014. The Delimitation of Constituencies is part of a broader strategy to build the capacity of mid-level officers, and a world-class corps of Facilitators within the ECP – able to sustain the program by applying BRIDGE effectively without international assistance.

Two workshops were held in Lahore from 24th November – 5th December 2014 and two were held in Karachi from 8th December – 19th December 2014 on the “Delimitation of Constituencies” which was a customized workshop and met with interest and enthusiasm from the participants, the facilitator group, and the leadership of the ECP. The final 5th workshop on the “Delimitation of Constituencies” was held again in Lahore from 5th-9th January 2015.

Participants were unreserved in their praise for the extent of customization done to prepare the module and the variety of teaching techniques integrated into the curriculum. Significant practical work was done on the maps from Punjab and Sindh on which the participants delimited the constituencies. They worked on both rural and urban delimitations and gave presentations on how they did it and which techniques were applied. They shared the challenges they faced and how they tackled them. It was great to see their enthusiasm and they are now confident and looking forward to doing it properly when they are back at their respective duty stations.

A range of teaching methodologies were employed throughout the workshop. The facilitators included presentations, open discussions and agreement and disagreement discussions to obtain participants views and opinions, group work to enable participants to practically apply the skills in the workshop, personal stories to share their diverse experiences from different provinces. Training methods took into account of the special needs of the participants including their ability to understand difficult concepts and the desire to engage participants in a rewarding learning experience. The last two days of the trainings consisted of working on the urban and rural maps of various districts.

During the workshop the participants displayed increased confidence and demonstrated real growth in their skills. Topics covered were both challenging and interesting that has gained the interest of the participants to take part actively in the discussion on various issues to clarify the point. Personal experiences and stories allowed participants to further explore the advantages and disadvantages of various processes to refine the role of electoral management bodies in Pakistan. The participants demonstrated a diverse set of skills in the training due to their experiences in different provinces. The commitment level of participants showed that how successful methodology of the BRIDGE training is. The participants really liked this exercise and felt confident in doing the delimitation of constituencies in their own districts when they go back.

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