Voter Education Workshop in Erbil, Iraq

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IFES Iraq in partnership with the IHEC plan to implement a series of (4) workshops including a preparatory workshop for the Voter Education (VE) program using BRIDGE methodology. 

The workshops will be implemented in different governorates targeting the Media, training and political entities sections’ staff at the GEOs. The objective is to promote voter education & awareness in specific areas of the electoral process in preparation for the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2014. 

In this context, the first VE workshop was held in Erbil – Iraq between 8 and 11 of September 2013. Sixteen participants from the IHEC national and governorate offices (Kirkuk, Salahadin, Anbar, Diyala and Ninava) participated in the 4-day training course. The workshop was inaugurated by H.E. Mr. Sarbast Mustafa, the chairman of IHEC.

Four BRIDGE facilitators participated in the preparation and delivery of this workshop:
1.     Ossama Kamel (Independent BRIDGE expert facilitator)
2.     Hazim Qassim Nahoo (IHEC BRIDGE workshop facilitator)
3.     Nibras Ahmed Ibrahim (IHEC BRIDGE workshop facilitator)
4.     Mohamed Dhirgham Khairi (IHEC BRIDGE workshop facilitator)
 
The workshop focused on the practical aspects of voter education programs using the eight steps approach. Mainly the seat allocation formula, women’s quota, campaign expenses regulations and electronic voter registration. In addition, it was agreed to include the basic notions of voter education in addition to the electoral cycle. 

Participants were highly engaged in the activities and discussions since they are going to apply what they learnt in a series of voter education workshops. This workshop was a good occasion for them to practically learn about the design and delivery of voter education workshops and public meetings.

By Ossama Kamel

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