By Natia Kashakashvili
UNDP’s Strengthening Electoral and Legislative Processes (SELP) project provides technical assistance to support the institutional development of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the Senate and the National and Provincial Assemblies. The core focus of programme activities is developing the professional skills of the Honorable Members as well as the Secretariat officials to enhance the key functions of each institution. UNDP, jointly with ECP, has launched a comprehensive training programme for the capacity building of ECP officers across Pakistan; this training programme consists of Non-BRIDGE and BRIDGE training modules.
For the purpose of professional development of ECP Officers, UNDP, jointly with ECP, has conducted 4-day BRIDGE modular workshop on Legal Framework during 7-10 October, 2019. The workshop was conducted at the premises of ECP’s Federal Election Academy.
The objective of the workshop was to review all the levels of Legal Framework that govern the conduct of the elections, as well as to review current electoral legal framework of Pakistan that was formed after the extensive electoral legal reform.
The workshop was attended by 29 Election Officers across Pakistan Provincial and District offices. The workshop was facilitated by BRIDGE facilitators Natia Kashakashvili (accrediting level lead UNDP facilitator), Asif Ali Yasin (accrediting level ECP facilitator), Abdul Qayyum (workshop level ECP facilitator), Ikram Ali (workshop level UNDP facilitator). The workshop language was mainly English; though due to the participants’ diversity, local facilitators were facilitating sessions in Urdu.
Workshop followed the activities envisaged by the Agenda. First two days of the workshop agenda mainly concentrated on international aspects of the electoral Legal frameworkbased on the V2 legal framework module and sessions of the other two days – electoral legal framework of Pakistan.
The participants were introduced to the intensive interactive teaching methodology for the first time; therefore, participants took some time (even days) to get acceptive of adult learning methodology. Even though participants expressed extreme interest to the topics presented, they were mentioning through the written feedback that they don’t want to work in the groups, rather they prefer lectures. With the hard-work of the facilitators, participants started to appreciate BRIDGE methodology and expressed interest and engaged in the activities (it must be noted, that this workshop became break-point that paved the way to the smoother conduct of the further workshops).