A number of official visitors attended the opening of the course – Christina Landsberg representing AusAID who fund the BRIDGE courses, Seńor Tomas Cabral, Director STAE, Andres del Castillo representing UNDP and other UNDP guests.
During the week we were also delighted to have a visit from Luis de Sousa Sequeira who is currently working with AusAID in Dili, and a recently arrived UNDP volunteer. BRIDGE actively encourages visitors to observe and take part in its courses.
Facilitators included Eduardo Casimiro de Deus and Cate Thompson. Eduardo, as usual had taken the main responsibility for organising the course from the Dili end while Cate provided input from Australia. Augusto Pereira was able to join the team for just one day of the course due to his many other commitments at that time. His presence was greatly appreciated. Brian Latham joined the Dili facilitation team for the first time and was warmly welcomed and appreciated for his extensive skills having presented BRIDGE in various parts of the world over the past few years. He sometimes created quite the ‘height of competition’….
The Electoral Management Design Module explores elements of electoral management design, and categorises the main types of electoral management bodies. It also considers how design and institutional culture affect the credibility of the electoral management body.
It was extremely fortunate that we were able to invite Alan Wall to the course as our guest speaker. Alan was a major contributor to the base resource for this particular course Electoral Management Design: The International IDEA Handbook. See http://www.idea.int/publications/emd/
Alan Wall, Senior Advisor to Democracy International is a highly experienced election management professional, election expert and international program manager with more than 20 years of experience in electoral administration and democracy assistance. A long-serving election administrator from Australia, Alan has managed election and democracy programs on behalf of USAID, the United Nations, the Commonwealth and other organisations in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. See: http://democracyinternational.com/wall.html
Participants were enthralled with Alan’s stories from all around the world especially as they focused on the variety of electoral management body structures he had experienced. These personal experiences and anecdotes allowed participants to further explore the advantages and disadvantages of the various models and to consider any future implications for the ongoing development and refinement of the roles of the electoral management bodies in East Timor.
The course was a great success. The feedback from participants and visitors was positive and encouraging. The topics covered were both challenging and interesting. All who attended – facilitators, participants and visitors alike, enjoyed an engaging and stimulating learning experience.