IFES South Sudan Election Administration Support Program, funded by USAID, organized the “first-ever” BRIDGE training for the newly formed South Sudan National Elections Commission (NEC). Along with two IFES South Sudan team members and one officer from USAID, all eight commissioners including Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and Chief Electoral Officer participated in the five days BRIDGE foundation module, Introduction to Electoral Administration.
Eliane Torres, IFES Electoral Management Advisor in South Sudan was the lead BRIDGE facilitator, supported by BRIDGE facilitator Nawe Molly Kamukama and by IFES South Sudan Country Director Parvinder Singh.
Following two orientation seminars delivered by IFES to the NEC on electoral administration key concepts, this five-day intensive training covered topics relating to electoral architecture, stakeholders and operations in South Sudan context and focused on producing a To Do Activity List for the NEC to embark on completing following the training.
Organized in Nairobi, the training took place from 18th-22nd February, 2013 to take advantage of the Kenyan General Elections preparations. Thanks to IFES Kenya team support, the NEC was able to visit the Kenyan Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and meet several of their Kenyan peers, including the Chairperson, who exchanged advises and promised technical support. In addition, the NEC had the opportunity to explore the IEBC warehouse at a crucial moment of material deployment and sensitive material storage.
The training was further enriched with IFES Kenya team guest speakers. Country Director Mike Yard, Charles Lasham, Ronan McDermott and Moses Owuor made presentations on EMB planning, Electoral reforms and ICT support.
The participation in the training was full of enthusiasm and energy. The commissioners showed immense keenness to acquire knowledge and actively participated in module related activities.
At the end of the training, the To Do Activity List included, developing strategic plan, drafting internal rules & regulations, adopting code of conduct and determining the electoral calendar.