UNDP ESP, with facilitator support from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) conducted two, two-day workshops in Kathmandu, Nepal on 16-17 and 18-19 March 2015 at the Election Commission of Nepal’s Electoral Education and Information Centre (EEIC).
The first workshop, combining the Civic Education and Voter Information BRIDGE modules, was opened by the Chief Electoral Commissioner of Nepal, Mr Neel Kantha Uprety. He welcomed the participants and thanked the AEC for sending the experts for this training. He said that the establishment of the EEIC has played a significant role in disseminating Electoral and Voter Education throughout the country and it is a historical symbol in tying up the cordial relationship between AEC and ECN.
The workshop was for EEIC staff from Kathmandu and the five different regional offices, covering a range of topics relevant to the day-to-day workplace activities of the participants. These included the principles of Civic Education and Voter Information programs, steps in planning programs, available resources, potential audiences, getting youth involved, program content and evaluation of programs.
Facilitators for this workshop were Ms Nikila Shrestha (UNDP ESP), Mr Surya Prasad Aryal (EEIC), Mr Brian Latham (AEC) and three semi-accredited facilitators, Mr Hemraj Aryal (EEIC), Mr Bardinath Gairhe (EEIC) and Mr Paul Eklom (AEC)
Due to the limited English language skills of some participants, translations of some Bridge participants’ notes and handouts, and the use of an interpreter, were required.
Participant feedback from the workshop was very positive, although the time allowed for individual sessions and the brevity of the two-day course was felt to be too short by some. The participants were very enthusiastic and committed in that that they will do their best to impart the knowledge that they have received from the training.
At the end of the training program the ECN Secretary, Mr Madhu Prasad Regmi issued certificates to the participants. During his closing remarks Mr. Regmi highlighted the success of the EEIC and informed the participants that very soon the ECN will be reaching rural Nepal through the mobile EEIC and regional EEICs.
The second workshop, on Leadership in the EMB, and based on the Strategic and Financial Planning BRIDGE module, was opened by Acting Chief Election Commissioner Mr Dolakh Bahadur Gurung. Others present in the opening ceremony were Commissioner Mr Ayodhee Prasad Yadav, ECN Secretary Mr. Madhu Prasad Regmi, UNDP Electoral Support Project Chief Technical Advisor and Project Manager Mr. Andres Del Castillo, IFES Country Director Ms. Elizabeth Cote, Mr. Brian Latham (AEC) and Joint Secretaries of the Commission.
Acting Chief Election Commissioner Mr. Gurung extended greetings to all participants and highlighted the importance of leadership training in the present context. He said that there is a high importance placed on human resources in the election world.
Also speaking on the program, Mr Andres Del Castillo said this is the right time to have Strategic and Financial Planning BRIDGE module training for the ECN officials because the ECN is working on and finalising its 2nd 5 year Strategic Plan.
The Leadership workshop was for ECN senior management – Under Secretary level and below. The workshop was observed throughout the two days by various Joint Secretaries. Topics covered included ethics, communication, Employee motivation, strategic management and planning, policy formulation and implementation, decision making and change and result management.
Facilitators for this workshop were Ms Nikila Shrestha (UNDP ESP), Mr Surya Prasad Aryal (EEIC), Mr Shanti Ram Bimali (BRIDGE , IDEA), Mr Paul Eklom (AEC) and Brian Latham (AEC).
Due to an impending by-election, some participants had to leave the workshop at times to attend to by-election business.
Again, in this workshop feedback was most positive, from both the participants and the Joint Secretaries who observed proceedings over the two days.
All the joint secretaries were very curious to learn new things from the training – they not only observed the sessions but also actively took part and gave their feedback and comments.
Responding on behalf of the participants’, Mr Baburam Shrestha (Under Secretary, ECN) thanked the organizers for designing such a useful BRIDGE modular training. He also said the content was complete and the materials provided to the participants were worthy.
The workshop was closed and participation certificates issued by the ECN Joint Secretary, Mr Bir Bahadur Rai.
Mr Rai also issued BRIDGE facilitator accreditation certificates to Mr Paul Eklom for attaining Workshop Level and to Mr Surya Prasad Aryal for attaining Accrediting Level.