A Customised Introduction to Electoral Administration
11-15 December 2023
ECZ Conducts BRIDGE Training for District Electoral Officers
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) organised and conducted a Customised BRIDGE Training using “Introduction to Electoral Administration Module for 15 District Electoral Officers (DEOs) in the Southern Province from 11th-15th December, 2023. The 5 – day workshop which took place at Kozo Hotel in the provincial capital, Choma District, was fully organised with the Commission’s own resources.
The purpose of the training was to equip the Electoral Officers with skills and knowledge in managing electoral processes as part of the preparations for the 13th of August 2026 General Election.
The workshop was officially opened by the Director of Electoral Operations, Mr Royd Katongo on behalf of Commissioner Ambassador Mrs. Ndiyoyi Mutiti who was scheduled to grace the event. In her remarks, Commissioner Mutiti called on the participants to seize the opportunity to share the various experiences so that they serve the nation better in the 2026 General Election and beyond. She emphasized on the need for full and active participation of all the participants. In addition, the Provincial Local Government Officer for the province, who is also Provincial Electoral Officer Mr. Charlston Hamulyata encouraged the participants to ensure that they embrace the values of the ECZ as they discharge electoral duties.
The two Officials also graced the closing formalities of the training immediately after the certification ceremony for the DEOs, which was punctuated by the certification of the two Facilitators Mr Royd Katongo and Ms Silvia Bwalya (both from ECZ) as Accredited BRIDGE Workshop Facilitators. The certificates were issued by Lead Facilitator Mr Harris Potani.
Mr Katongo told the participants that the ECZ values the role the DEOs play in the electoral process hence the investment in the capacity building initiatives which will enhance their capacity to deliver credible elections. The Provincial Electoral Officer, who participated as an observer, acknowledged that the DEOs had been given the right skills at the right time to perform the electoral work with professionalism.
Topics covered in this customised BRIDGE training workshop included the ‘Background and History of BRIDGE; Elections in the Global Context; the Legal Framework for Elections including international instruments; Types and Functions of Electoral Management Bodies; Electoral Systems; Sustainability and the Electoral Cycle; Institutional Excellence; and Boundary Delimitation. In addition to the handouts and participant notes given, the participants were also provided with important websites to access more reading material. These are BRIDGE website, ACE project, and IFES. Further, detailed discussions were done with a focus on the Zambian context.
The Facilitation team demonstrated a good, professional and productive relationship amongst themselves and this extended to participants who expressed satisfaction at the engaging and highly interactive sessions. The Facilitators, using adult learning and participatory methodologies, guided the participants throughout the five days to ensure that the learning outcomes were met. The participants, some of whom had conducted more than two elections, had rich knowledge in elections and this complimented the sharing of practical experiences.
At the end of the workshop, the participants unanimously commended the ECZ for the timely and excellently organised the BRIDGE Training Workshop. All of them attended the BRIDGE workshop for the first time and were excited that there was a resource which they could use as they performed their work as DEOs. The excitement can be attested to by the comments some of them made in the final evaluation:
One participant stated that: “appreciation to the ECZ , Team leader, Director of Electoral Operations and other Facilitators for the job well done”. Another one commented on the organisation: “I really enjoyed the training. It was very practical and serious unlike other trainings”. Another participant stated that one important and interesting thing was “the practicality of the topics that were presented to us: i.e. being in groups and working as a team”. A lot of them called for continued training and that the ECZ should plan another training focusing on election day.
The DEOs, through one of the participants who gave a vote of thanks, remained hopeful that more of such trainings would be organised in the future to enhance their delivery of credible elections that would meet the aspirations of the Zambian people.