One of the strategic priorities of the Mauritanian Electoral Commission (CENI) is the capacity building of its members. Through the BRIDGE training – part of a larger USAID-funded program of electoral assistance with the goal of promoting successful and transparent elections in Mauritania – IFES worked closely with the CENI to enhance its members’ capacity in general electoral administration.
Over four days, from February 10-13 2013, BRIDGE Facilitators Veronique Idiema Kando, Vice-President of the CENI in Burkina Faso and Doudou Dia, Director of Gorée Institute in Senegal, conducted a session involving thirty members of the CENI and two staff members of the Haute Autorité de la Presse et de l’Audiovisuel (HAPA). The participants gained an understanding of the electoral cycle, the legal framework, electoral campaign techniques, voter education, voting operations, and electoral dispute resolution. While providing insight into electoral management issues from an international, comparative perspective, the international facilitators were assisted by two national experts who helped contextualize the issues covered during the workshop.
Participants appreciated the participatory and questions-answers approach. They equally enjoyed the extracurricular activities, especially the ice breakers and “anti-sieste” that energized them after lunch.