The First BRIDGE in the Republic of Macedonia…and first three Macedonian Workshop Facilitators

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Between the 11 and the 18 of July 2012 in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, a two days curriculum development and a three day workshop on “Strategic & Operational
Planning” were carried out. 

Between the 11 and the 18 of July 2012 in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, a two days curriculum development and a three day workshop on “Strategic & Operational
Planning” were carried out.The activities were implemented in collaboration and favour of the State Election Commission of the Republic of Macedonia and with the funding and support of the mission of the OSCE (Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe) in Macedonia.
 
This is was only the second time that a BRIDGE module was delivered in one of the Balkans countries after the ones implemented by IFES in collaboration with the Central Election Commission of Kosovo in 2010. However, this was first time ever that BRIDGE module was translated in Macedonian, customized and delivered in the Republic of Macedonia.
 
Dobre Jancev and Ljupka Guguchevska (from the State Election Commission, SEC) and Zage Filipovski (from the OSCE Mission) were the semi accredited facilitators that skillfully customized and delivered the module under the supervision of Fabio Bargiacchi as Accrediting Workshop Facilitator that was supported by a dedicated Macedonian-English interpreter. Zage, Dobre and Ljupka became Accredited Workshop Facilitators and now the Balkan area can count on four Accredited Workshop Facilitators, three of them coming from Macedonia, and one of them from Kosovo.
    
The agenda comprised a presentation of the historical background of BRIDGE and of the BRIDGE Methodology and sessions looking into the planning and project management skills that underpin any successful electoral endeavor such as:
• goals and objectives, why we do fail to plan,
• Introduction to Planning, Planning versus reaction, Systematic Planning,
• Electoral cycle and Strategic Planning,
• Management Principles, Organizational Ethics, Code of Conduct,
• Time Management, Goal Setting, Procrastination, Setting Priorities,
•  Decision Making Process,  Conflict Management Strategies,
• Symptoms and Causes of Stress and Stress Reduction Strategies,
• Operational Planning, Project Management Techniques, Communication Plan,
• Risk Management, Crisis Management,
• Electoral Management Design, Organizational Structure, Communication within the organization,
    
There were 18 participants for across the SEC and all the participants appreciated the content of the module and the adult interactive methodology. It was also a measure of the SEC and OSCE commitment to the program that the Vice President of the SEC (Subhi Jakupi) and the OSCE Head of Mission (Ralf Breth) participated to the closing ceremony and delivered the certificates to the Accredited Workshop Facilitators and to the participants, all staff of the SEC:
• Marijana Trajanoska, Advisor to the SEC
• Atanas Urumov, Head of Unit, Regional Branch Office
• Josif Vasilevski, Regional Branch Officer
• Snezana Kicevska, Regional Branch Officer
• Rahime Ziberi, Regional Branch Officer
• Xhelal Veliji, Regional Branch Officer
• Dehar Mustafi, Head of Regional Branch Office
• Hajriz Bajrami, Head of Human Ressource Unit
• Sulejman Sulejmani, Interpreter at SEC
• Suzana Nikoloska, Regional Branch Officer
• Mijasere Fejzuli, Regional Branch Officer
• Arben Fejzuli, Regional Branch Officer
• Ardita Jashari, Regional Branch Advisor
• Biljana Rizova, Head of the Training Department at SEC
• Rexhep Magashi, Regional Branch Officer
• Avni Abdulai, Head of Strategic Planning Unit at SEC
• Slavica Odzaklieska Blazevska, Associate at Press Center Unit
• Irena Kusterova, Financial Officer at SEC

This workshop once again proved that BRIDGE methodology definitely can work across different languages and cultures and that BRIDGE is perceived to offer a valuable opportunity for electoral professionals to assess the way they do their job and to look at ways of improving their skills and processes to meet the needs of electoral stakeholders.

In this context SEC and OSCE are considering to implement a comprehensive BRIDGE strategy starting with a training of facilitators aiming at accrediting a core group of local trainers as BRIDGE facilitators within the staff of the SEC at headquarters in Skopje and in the provinces. The final objective would be to have the necessary number of Macedonian Accrediting and Accredited facilitators to implement a BRIDGE strategy at national level for a sustainable and cost effective dissemination of electoral administration knowledge in the Republic of Macedonia.

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