As part of its ongoing project in Africa International IDEA organised a 5-day BRIDGE training in English on “Electoral Dispute resolution” from 17-21 October 2011 which was held in Accra, Ghana.
AusAID through its Africa Governance Fund is funding the IDEA project “BRIDGE Capacity-Building Training for Election Management Bodies in Africa: Support to the IDEA – African Union Joint Activity Plan 2011 – 2013”.
Twenty-two participants (7 women and 15 men) from 10 countries participated in the workshop. The countries represented were:
2. Sierra Leone
8. South Africa
11. United Kingdom (Representative of the Commonwealth Secretariat)
The Bridge facilitating team which prepared and delivered the course comprised of:
• Aiah Matia, Accrediting facilitator, Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone
• Pauline Dadzawa, Semi-accredited facilitator, Electoral Commission of Ghana, Ghana
• Kelechi Akubueze, Semi-accredited facilitator, African Union, Nigeria
• Augustine Okrah, Semi-accredited facilitator, Electoral Commission of Ghana, Ghana
• Margot Gould, Accrediting facilitator, International IDEA
• Theo Dowetin, Accrediting facilitator, International IDEA
At the end of the course Pauline, Kelechi and Augustine were awarded their full accreditation as BRIDGE facilitators after successful completion of the required fieldwork component.
The training workshop followed a 5-day workshop structure of a Module workshop.
DAY1 Introduction to BRIDGE, methodology, Key Understandings and, Learning Outcomes of Course, Introduction to EDR; International Human Rights Instruments and Electoral Rights,
DAY2 Participants EDR Experiences, the Electoral Cycle, Prevention of Electoral Disputes and Electoral Dispute Resolution Models, Legal Framework
DAY3 Electoral Dispute Resolution and Alternative Electoral Dispute Resolution mechanisms; EDR Principles, Case Studies of different countries
DAY4 Electoral Stakeholders and disputable matters during the 3 phases of the Electoral Cycle; Supporting Stakeholders in EDR
Day5 Individual Feedback on the Re-integration Plans
Websites: BRIDGE and ACE EKN; group final oral and written evaluation, closing ceremony and certificates.
The participants were provided with materials that included the following:
1. Electoral Dispute Resolution Module Handouts
2. International IDEA Handbooks (Electoral Justice, Electoral Systems Design, Electoral Management Design)
3. Guidelines to Understanding, Adjudicating, and Resolving Disputes in Elections (GUARDE). IFES
The different materials which extensively cover various EDR issues proved to be excellent reference documents during the course and for the future reference.
At the opening ceremony held on Monday 17 October 2011 there were 3 speakers representing the project organisers IDEA, the African Union and Australia who funded the project.
The speakers were:
1. Ms Margot Gould, BRIDGE Project Manager, Africa Programme, International IDEA
2. Mr Kelechi Akubueze, Advisor, Elections Management Bodies, African Union.
3. Ms Susan Ulrich, Deputy High Commissioner. Australian High Commission Accra