On 27 September 2016, a hybrid, 3-day BRIDGE Voter Registration and Voter Education workshop was opened by National Election Committee (NEC) Commissioner, His Excellency Hang Puthea and IFES Country Representative, Sophie Lagueny at the Phnom Penh Hotel, Cambodia. A group of 25 people comprising members of the NEC secretariat and several representatives from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) were in attendance.
The workshop was comprised of a combination of activities from the BRIDGE Voter Education and Voter Registration modules as well as contributions from experts in the areas of External Voter Registration Audits and Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The workshop was designed to build capacity in these areas and provide an introduction to the methodology of BRIDGE as a capacity building tool. More importantly, the workshop offered insights into and planning opportunities on aspects of the work they are involved with in the current roll out of the Voter Registration process that will enable the upcoming local elections in Cambodia.
The workshop provided the opportunity for NEC staff to work alongside Cambodia’s CSO community. The participants engaged with openness and collegiality and worked as partners throughout the workshop on topics such as external voter audit.
As a result of this collaboration, participants produced draft plans on how best to use IVR for the rest of the Voter Registration process and for a Voter Education strategy to both inform and encourage Cambodians to participate in the process. These three days served to build the knowledge and capacity of participants. The methodology and content were very well received and participants displayed intelligence and energy in the activities provided to them. Participant satisfaction evaluations demonstrated a desire for more such opportunities in future workshops.
Participants also filmed the workshop so that they could share the learning with colleagues who were unable to attend.