National Electoral Commission (NEC) of Rwanda in collaboration with the Governance team of One UN Rwanda have conducted BRIDGE workshop for EMB staff/trainers during 21-29 March, 2014.
The workshop aimed at equipping the NEC trainers with the skills of planning and implementing electoral training events. The workshop also aimed at guiding four semi-accredited facilitators through the accreditation process. The workshop was led by Shalva Tskhakaya (accrediting BRIDGE facilitator) and Natia Kashakashvili (expert BRIDGE facilitator) and co-facilitated by Jean Baptiste Munezero (semi-accredited facilitator, NEC Zone coordinator), Pacifique Nduwimana (semi-accredited facilitator, NEC Provincial coordinator), Gloriose Musekeweya (semi-accredited facilitator, NEC Zone coordinator-legal officer), Julius Nkusi (semi-accredited facilitator, NEC Zone coordinator). The semi-accredited facilitators were mentored before arrival of the facilitation team to Rwanda; close mentoring continued during the four days during 17-20 March, 2014 where facilitators were given the chance to master their sessions.
22 NEC staff (9 female, 13 male) participated in the workshop: five from the head office of NEC, 4 were NEC provincial coordinators and the rest were the Zone Coordinators. In order to build the pool of the strong trainer/facilitators within the EMB, 8-day customized workshop was conducted based on the Electoral Training Module. The workshop was held during March 21-29, 2014 (March 23rd day off) at Gorilla Hotel, Rubavu District, Rwanda.
The aim of the workshop was to transfer the knowledge on how to plan and implement electoral training events. The structure of the workshop agenda was scheduled in logical sequence in regards with planning and implementing the training program. The workshop was opened by the NEC Chair Prof. Kalisa Mbanda, who welcomed the participants and talked about the importance of the workshop and wished them successful conduct of the workshop.
Participants were first asked to focus on Adult learning approaches and effective learning environment and afterwards on Electoral Training Cycle and its sub-cycles in depth. Participants could see the bigger picture of planning the training program along with the budget, logistics and clearly outlined timelines within the operational plan. After covering main aspects of training program delivery, the agenda focused on the capacity building initiatives based on the SWOT. On the last day, all the participants started using the knowledge received and the activity “make it happen” was offered by dividing participants into specific focus groups and outlining the specific needs; as the concluding activity, coordination meeting was held to “unify” the needs of the whole election administration.
In recognition of completion of the eight-day training course, participants were handed the certificates.
The semi-accredited facilitators have met the main criteria for accreditation as a Workshop Facilitator: a minimum of 30 hours supervised customization, preparation and facilitation of BRIDGE module workshops in the field, that helped them to gain experience and confidence in using and modifying the BRIDGE curriculum documents, and to become conversant with the content of BRIDGE modules.
Workshop participants have positively evaluated the workshop in terms of content and methodology. The workshop has met its objectives: NEC has now BRIDGE accredited facilitators who are aware of all the necessary steps for implementing successful training events.
It is recommended to continue capacity building initiatives during the non-election period to strengthen NEC in relationship with the stakeholders. The training needs assessment activity has identified “working with the electoral stakeholders” as a priority for Zone, Provincial coordinators and management at NEC head office.
Prepared by Shalva Tskhakaya and Natia Kashakashvili