On the 10th December, 2014, the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) staff convened in the north-western coast of Zanzibar Island, United Republic of Tanzania, to attend a 3-day BRIDGE modular training on Pre-election Activities. With exception of four, all other participants were selected from different department and units of ZEC Office and District Election Officers. The other four participants come from the funding organization, UNDP Tanzania, through Democratic Empowerment Project (DEP).
This BRIDGE Training forms part of implementation of the component 2 of the DEP strategic goal of supporting and empowering ZEC in its efforts to improve the electoral management capacity in order to conduct credible, transparent and peaceful elections in Zanzibar and contribute to the consolidation of democracy in the United Republic of Tanzania.
The BRIDGE facilitation team which prepared and delivered the course comprised of Zefanias Matsimbe (Accrediting Facilitator, Lead Facilitator and Consultant, Mozambique), Emmanuel Kawishe (Accrediting Facilitator, NEC Tanzania), Hamida Kibwana (Workshop Facilitator, UNDP – DEP Tanzania) and Khamis Issa Khamis (Semi-accredited Facilitator, ZEC Zanzibar).
The workshop introduced the participants to the BRIDGE learning methodology, which has a strong emphasis on adult learning techniques by capitalizing on individual experience, knowledge sharing and peer learning. Despite the fact that some participants were coming from technical (IT) and administrative and financial departments they quickly familiarized themselves with the BRIDGE methodology and excelled in participation.
All twenty seven participants departed with a well-deserved certification for successful completion of the course. In the evaluation forms participants assumed they enjoyed each and every moment of the training and look forward to using BRIDGE methodology and training techniques in their training programmes, particularly in preparation for the two important electoral events in 2015, namely the referendumon a new Constitutionin April and general elections in October.
The objectives of the course were achieved as participants acquired knowledge on important aspects to consider in preparation for an electoral event, such as the importance of logistics planning for an electoral event; the key elements in election planning; the key dates in election planning; recruitment and staffing; planning the transportation of election materials; packaging of election materials; storage, distribution and recovery of election materials.