BRIDGE customised workshop in Kenya
29 November 2011
Pursuant to a series of interventions of providing capacity for election practitioners agreed upon by the International Institute for Democracy and Election Assistance (International IDEA) and the then Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) now the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of Kenya, six of the twenty four semi-accredited workshop facilitators conducted a three-day customised workshop in Tulaga-Munyaka, Kenya from 16-18 November, 2011.
The workshop was customised from modules covering the Legal Framework, Access to the Electoral Process, Electoral Assistance, Electoral Contestants, Media and Elections, Electoral Security, Electoral Observation, Polling, Counting and Results. The customised coursework was informed by the ten civic by-elections countrywide with one parliamentary by-election in Kitutu Masaba. All these by-elections are scheduled for 28 November, 2011.
The team of facilitators arrived three days ahead of the commencement of the training and embarked on material preparation customizing the selected modules to the Kenyan context.
The group of twenty-four participants trained as Presiding Officers and Deputy Presiding Officers drawn from members of the community, attended the workshop. 80% of the participants had been involved in the 2007 referendum. This was the first team to be trained through the BRIDGE methodology which espoused a lot of excitement among the group who marveled at the unique approach. Participants were divided into two groups to allow for the highest level of participation and identification of the most suitable candidates to take charge of election processes on by-election day. Each group was assigned three facilitators and sessions ran back to back. A common agenda was followed by both groups.
This was a team of ‘firsts’:
- The first to be trained through the BRIDGE methodology.
- The first to conduct by-elections under the renamed IEBC.
- The first to conduct by-elections under the commissioners sworn in on 14 November, 2011.
The idea of being ‘firsts’ in so many respects made the team feel special and so did the facilitators who stepped up their performance and excelled in the delivery of content citing that being first was good but being first and doing what you are ‘first’ at, gratifying.
The team was drawn from the IEBC staff of BRIDGE semi-accredited facilitators consisting of:
1.1 Eisha Omar Mohammed Oshan
1.2 Charles Maina
1.3 John Muhia Mwangi
1.4 Liban Mohamed
1.5 Moses Sunkuli
1.6 Samuel Seki Lepati
The above-team was supported by Tomsie P Dlamini as lead facilitator. Throughout the delivery of the workshop, facilitators exerted themselves from the onset and remained committed to maintaining high standards in conducting the workshop. Facilitators described the experience of delivering course content to eager participants as “exhilarating”, “fulfilling”, and the wonderful notion of “being appreciated for contributing towards the skilling of new administrators in the election process”. The team of facilitators re-committed their efforts of promoting democracy through an informed citizenry, intimating that, through these efforts, Kenya election processes will change for the better.
Participants expressed their gratitude to the exposure to the new approach of conducting workshops commenting that in as much it was informative, activity-packed, it was also great fun and exciting.