The first BRIDGE workshop on “Strategic Planning” to the Electoral Management Body of Guatemala (Tribunal Supremo Electoral-TSE), took place in Guatemala City, on 3 and 4 March. Around 35 participants (heads of departments and technical funcionarios) from all the departments of the organization enthusiastically participated in the two-day workshop, contributing to the discussions about the steps taken by the TSE on Strategic Planning, as well as sharing ideas on the vision, mission and principles of the organization. The experience of the 2015 electoral process is still fresh amongst the TSE staff and “Commissioners” (Magistrados) who undertook the electoral process under a lot of pressure based on the complex socio-political national context. The TSE has accomplished its tasks, at operational as well as decision making levels managing to maintain a high level of credibility.
The workshop constituted an opportunity for the different staff members of the TSE to share information about their departments, get to know each other better and consequently contribute to continue building the team spirit. As one participants said about the frequent group formation dynamics: “It´s good, at least now we know each other better, not only recognize the face”! Most participants had expectations about BRIDGE and its methodology as they had heard about it but had never had the chance to attend a workshop, therefore this was an opportunity to have an introduction to what BRIDGE is and explore possibilities of using it in Guatemala.
This Strategic Planning workshop was an initiative of IFES and the UNDP, in their support to the TSE, following a recommendation from the Lessons Learnt exercise undertaken by the TSE, last December, also with the support of IFES and UNDP. Jorge Guzman, from IFES and Fernanda Lopes, from the UNDP Regional Bureau Latin America and the Caribbean- Regional Hub (RBLAC-RH) facilitated together the first of what hopefully will be a series of BRIDGE workshops.