The first BRIDGE Training for the Egyptian Parliament

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Based on the success of the 2007 BRIDGE training in Cairo, UNDP Egypt, in cooperation with NCHR, and IFES decided to offer further technical assistance to different electoral stakeholders in Egypt

          

This joint project between UNDP Egypt and NCHR is implemented over 2008 with the following outputs and activities:

a) Strengthening election monitoring unit at the NCHR

  • Training for NCHR monitoring unit staff on 2 BRIDGE modules.
  • Training for NCHR-registered field observers in Sohag.
  • Workshops to establish criteria for enrolling election monitoring NGOs.
  • Develop a data base of (a) NGOs eligible to monitor elections (b) NCHR-registered field observers.

B) Develop appropriate course structures and appropriate adaptations of BRIDGE course materials for various stakeholder groups, and sign protocols for their participation.

 

Deliver BRIDGE training to:

  • High Elections Commissioners and staff;
  • Judges & Ministry of Interior;
  • Media and journalists;
  • The Parliament
  • Training for 20-24 persons to become Bridge Facilitators;
  • Summarize evaluation reports from each session and prepare final evaluation report.

C)   Develop election-related documents for NCHR to disseminate:  

  • Election processes (New Egyptian system and other countries for comparison).
  • How to conduct free and fair elections.
  • How to report elections fairly.
  • Voting and vote counting under Egyptian and international standards
  • Simple pamphlet on Electoral Rights for the general public.     

DAY 1:  Introduction, Election Management and Introduction to Electoral Systems

  
DAYS 2 & 3:   Electoral Systems, the choices and their consequences with some comparative experiences especially from the region i.e. Egypt, Palestine, and Jordan. Quota and the principle of representation and electoral reform.

  
DAYS 4 & 5:   Election Management Bodies (EMBs), their forms, roles, credibility, challenges and partners.
 
Choosing and Producing The Training Materials
BRIDGE version 2 curriculum consists of 23 modules. The Arabic translation process of these modules is in ongoing and will be concluded hopefully by the end of 2009. For that reason, a combination of version 1 (already translated) and version 2 materials was used in this training.


In addition to these materials, the facilitators produced new materials for new activities as well as new background materials covering some of the course topics.

The materials in the participants’ folders were supplemented most effectively with copies of:

  • The Egyptian Constitution, 
  • Electoral Law of Egypt, 
  • UN human rights and elections document, 
  • IDEA’s study: “Building Democracy in Egypt”, 
  • Egyptian State Information Service (SIS) Voter’s guide for Parliamentary Elections 2005,
  • Egyptian High Elections Commission’s guidelines for voting and counting procedures for 2007 Shura Council elections.
  • Palestinian Central Elections Commission’s manual for voting and counting procedures for 2006 parliamentary elections.
  • Yemeni Elections Commission’s manual for voting and counting procedures for 2006 presidential elections. 

The Participants
Twenty eight persons participated in this workshop. Twenty five of them were researchers from different departments within the People’s Assembly (lower house of the Egyptian Parliament). They were chosen from the following departments:

In addition to the participants from the Parliament, two participants were from the NCHR and one from IFES. Thirteen of the twenty eight participants were women.

  

 

Participants: Group Photo

      

The Facilitation Team
Three facilitators participated in the workshop:

  1. Emad Yousef – Consultant
  2. Ossama Kamel – Consultant
  3. Wael Al-Farag – UNDP

All the team members are international facilitators and provided a good mix of local, regional and international experiences and comparative knowledge. 

   

Conclusions
The participants were very satisfied by the workshop. Their daily and final evaluations reflected that. Most of them requested other workshops in different BRIDGE modules. Several participants demanded that the following workshops with the parliament target the same group that attended this workshop, thus deepening the electoral knowledge of a selected group within the Parliament, rather than providing the same modules to different researchers. 

 

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