The Fijian Electoral Education Centre (FEEC) which is the education and capacity building arm of the of Fijian Elections Office (FEO) organised the first local BRIDGE Introduction/Strategic Planning modules workshop from the 29th September to 2nd October, 2015.
The workshop was opened by the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Ms Osnat Lubrani who acknowledged the work of BRIDGE partners that originated the world renowned program. In her speech Ms Lubrani stated that BRIDGE is special because it does not only concern about skills development program but it increases knowledge and seeks to address attitudes in order to improve quality of elections administration management.
There were twenty (20) participants of which thirteen (13) were FEO staff, five (5) were Trade Union Election Presiding Officers and two (2) members of the public who gave their expression of interest to attend the workshop.
Participants in each day noted the high volume of new and exciting things they learnt about elections. The workshop offered good insights, sharing of ideas, experience and having an in-depth understanding of the whole electoral process.
Some participants shared that their expectations were different thinking that BRIDGE was something like a normal workshop where there were more presentations and less group activities. However, after going through the four days’ workshop they realised the fun and interactive sessions BRIDGE had to offer including brainstorming, group work, plenary discussions, role plays, etc. The sessions gave them insights to learn more and get better understanding of the different activities around the electoral cycle.
The FEO was privileged to have an independent Accrediting Facilitator, Ms Vake Blake from the Tongan Electoral Commission who observed and was responsible for the accreditation of the three (3) semi-accredited Facilitators. After the workshop the three (3) officers were accredited to workshop level – Ms Ana Mataiciwa, Mr Don Kadir and Ms Salaoetau Yavaca.
The workshop was closed by the Supervisor of Elections Mr Mohammed Saneem who acknowledged the assistance of Ms Vake Blake in assessing the semi-accredited Facilitators. He further stated that this BRIDGE workshop was an example for the calibre of workshops the FEO intends to run for its future trainings.
This is a milestone to the Fijian Elections Office as we now have the services of an Accrediting Facilitator plus three (3) workshop Facilitators who can run BRIDGE workshops independently at the same level as those workshops run internationally.