This evaluation resulted into formulation of the 2016 General Elections strategic plan. The Commission started implementing the strategic plan in 2013 and key to the plan is professional development of staff.
The 2011 general election evaluation highly recommended professional development of staff. BRIDGE being the only international recognized training in the field of elections was identified a rich curriculum to be used. The EC-Uganda like any other election management body takes BRIDGE seriously and has continued to fund its implementation. This training was part of the series of the planned BRIDGE training to be implementation.
The training was held at Jinja Nile Resort Hotel in Jinja. It was attended by twenty two (22) participants, twelve female and ten male. The course covered, Principles and standards of elections, the concept of free and fair elections, BRIDGE as a course, the electoral cycle, election management bodies, the legal framework, electoral systems, boundary delimitation, working with stakeholders, strategic and financial planning, civic education, voter education, voter registration, polling counting and results, polling environment and materials, electoral dispute, sustainability concepts, code of conduct and electoral integrity.
The four day intensive course was an eye opener to the Electoral Commission staff who had not attended any BRIDGE training. The excitement and enthusiasm during training was visible and one of a kind. Their exposure to the BRIDGE materials and information made them realize that, there is lack of professional information amongst staff even when, they have a lot of experience. The participants had a lot of experience in election administration and most of them have been working with the institution for a long time. The insight into BRIDGE curriculum exposed them to various areas of election information, basics principles and standards. The trainees were grateful to Electoral Commission for the rear opportunity accorded them. They pledge to adhere to the training objectives while conducting elections. BRIDGE trainings have made tremendous impact around the world and this one did not disappoint either. This was exhibited in their comments at the end of the training like:
“Before this training, I did not know that about principles of election administration.”
“Opening up my mind to other activities other than making maps”.
“I wish such training could be extended to all our staff, work would be more enjoyable and professional”
“This is a life changing training”
“Assessing plans before implementation”
“I will begin by drawing my plan, then my section plan”
“Acting professionally is very important for every member of the EMB and for the survival of the EMB.”
“From the electoral cycle, I learnt that post elections period is the most useful time for election managers as it helps them plan”
“I am grateful to EC for the training, I have handled many elections, but I did not know that, there are international standards, I am not wondering anymore, I will stick to the principles.”
The training was to build capacity, skills and knowledge for participants to be able to plan, administer and execute the election using international best practices and restore credibility to the conduct of elections in Uganda.
It was Facilitated by Nawe Molly Kamukama, Accrediting Facilitator, Ibrahim Kakembo and Richard Babo Kamugish, both workshop facilitators.