This is the second of the Foundation Modules of BRIDGE, because like sound electoral principles (as explored in the Introduction to Election Administration – the first Foundation Module), strategic and financial planning underpin almost every aspect of the electoral process. This module provides an opportunity for participants to explore all the elements that go into the development of both financial management and strategic planning. It contains both general management theories, and an exploration of the structure of election management bodies and the implications that organizational structure has for planning in the short and long term.
This workshop is designed for electoral management bodies, governments, donor agencies and NGOs, as well as individual consultants and trainers, who are interested in or concerned with any aspect of project management and financial management.
The module explores some of the general principles of sound financial and strategic planning – in a general sense, and also specifically in relation to electoral events and the electoral cycle.
The module is structured around the two central elements of its title:
Election administration is about achieving and improving outcomes each year and each election cycle. Strategic planning enables election authorities to develop a system to institutionalise continuous improvement at all levels of the organisation. Successful elections require effective planning and resource allocation.
Strategic planning, defined as a focused effort to produce decisions and actions that shape and guide what the election authority does, how it does it and where it will be in the future, is vital for election administration. The effectiveness of an EMB is at least partially determined by its organisational structure and the management relationships it has with other agencies and higher authorities. It is vital to make the most of human resources – given the often inadequate financial allocation that is provided for election authorities, and to use effective logistic planning tools and principles (such as Gnatt charts, timelines, checklists, etc). This module is the ’home’ for the topic of human resource management – in as much as it relates to election authorities. In this section, participants are able to explore the tools required for developing effective management policies and behaviours.
Financial Management and Planning:
Effective financial planning is essential if an EMB is to carry out its functions. Financial planning, in this module, is linked with strategic planning. Budget must be designed according to the strategic plan. Financial elements, including forecasting, creating budget lines, and so on, are explored here, and participants develop their own budgets for different aspects of the election cycle.
This module contains a lot of over-lap with topics and activities in the Introduction to Election Administration, and Electoral Management Design modules. For this reason, it should be used in conjunction with these modules – when designing/modifying courses.