IFES Georgia with the financial support of USAID and Central Election Commission of Georgia (CEC) in cooperation with the Centre for Electoral Systems Development, Reforms and Trainings (CEC Training Centre) implemented Professional Development Program for all permanent members of the District Electoral Commissions of Georgia. This is the third time (first phase in 2009 and second phase in 2012) that BRIDGE is used as the professional development tool for the mid-level electoral administrators with such a large scale.
Fifteen workshops on Managing Electoral Processes were conducted in Batumi, Georgia during Feb 29 to April 6, 2016. In total 370 participants attended the workshops, amongst them 209 were female and 161 male. Two facilitation teams and six facilitators were intensively involved in workshop preparation and conduct:
The curriculum of Managing Electoral Processes workshop was based on the three BRIDGE modules: Electoral Dispute Resolution, Strategic and Financial Planning and Pre-election Activities. The topics formed the following focuses: 1. Electoral Integrity (International obligations of Elections, Principles of Electoral Integrity, Dispute Resolution, Conflict Management and Principles of Voting Operations); 2. Planning for the Electoral Event (Importance of planning, Operational Planning, Logistics Planning, Warehouse operations) and 3. Skills to implement the operational plans (Time management, Team management and leadership, Recruiting skillful staff, managing communication chain).
The workshop achieved one of its aims: strengthened District Electoral Commissions as a team. The team-building was especially effective for the newly elected members; some of them after the first and second day of the workshop could engage with more courageousness in group activities. Therefore, the new DEC members have more confidence and they have been assimilated within the DEC team. The chairs of the DEC has mentioned that the workshop also gave them opportunity to assess the performance of each other (especially the newly appointed members) and to see where they need to support each other. Below are some of the evaluation remarks expressed by the participants:
As the result of the workshop conduct, the Professional Development Program achieved another aim: District Electoral Commissioners (DECs) increased capacities of Managing Electoral Processes using several planning tools. It is obvious observation that DECs were triggered to draft operational plans for their respective electoral districts; therefore engaging the temporary DEC members and the temporary DEC staff will be much more effective. DEC permanent members realized the responsibility of making maximum use of the team members’ capabilities and delegating when necessary.
It’s worth to mention increased professionalism of the Central Election Commission and the Training Centre BRIDGE facilitators. During the conduct of the workshops, IFES expert level facilitator has mentored semi-accredited facilitator – Zurab Khrikadze and by the end of the conduct of the fifth workshop, the facilitator was granted accreditation as the workshop level facilitator. The facilitators performed with full confidence of content knowledge and excellent level of facilitation. Below are some of the evaluation remarks expressed by the participants about the facilitators:
According to the verbal and written evaluations, pparticipants have praised the organizational conduct of the workshop as well as the Facilitation team’s efforts. Below is the summary of the evaluations expressed by the participants:
“Despite that BRIDGE itself is very refined project, we can see permanent progress of the BRIDGE workshops and each time the workshops are more effective and fruitful. Every time there are new discoveries”.
The workshops achieved its main goals. District Election Commission members are step ahead for the preparations for the upcoming Parliamentary Elections. Central Election Commission of Georgia plans to continue conducting further professional development workshops for the members of the District Election Commissions.