The Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE), the National Elections Commission (CNE), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) jointly organized a Regional Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) workshop on financing of elections on 26-28 August in Dili, Timor-Leste. The workshop was supported by Japan and the Republic of South Korea. More than 30 people attended the workshop from EMBs and CSOs across the region. The workshop represented the first time that the BRIDGE module on Financing of Elections developed by International IDEA could be piloted. All participants rated the content and presentations completely satisfactory across the 3-day workshop. The workshop coincides with Timor-Leste celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Popular Consultation in which the Timorese people exercised their right to self-determination and voted overwhelmingly for independence.
The BRIDGE financing of elections workshop explored some of the general principles of sound financial planning – in a general sense, and also specifically in relation to electoral events and the electoral cycle. The workshops specifically aimed to accomplish the following: introduce participants to the concepts and principles of financial planning; explore working definitions of election costs; election budgets and revenue sources for funding the administration of elections; explore the types of costs and cost considerations and budget methods that are used by EMBs; provide practice advocating for scarce funds, and for developing business cases for funding requests; provide some tools for effective financial planning; provide an opportunity for participants to develop their own plans, budgets, etc for their own context. And pilot and further develop the version 3 module ahead of its official launch on the BRIDGE website in late 2019.
Thirty-three (33) election professionals and electoral reform advocates from Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malawi, Mozambique and Timor-Leste participated during the workshop (6 female and 27 male). The EMB participants included officials from STAE, CNE, the Indonesian General Election Commission, the Union Election Commission of Myanmar, the Election Commission Malaysia, the Philippines’ Commission on Elections and the Election Commission of Thailand. Civil Society Organizations were represented by the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), NETGRIT, the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), Rainmaker Myanmar, and the Open Forum for Democracy Foundation. International organizations that participated included UNDP Timor-Leste, IFES Indonesia, IRI Timor-Leste, and SADC.
International IDEA delivered welcoming remarks and official statement from the BRIDGE partners available via: https://www.idea.int/news-media/media/welcoming-remarks-regional-bridge-workshop-financing-elections