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



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