Greetings from Macedonia for the entire BRIDGE community!
In the dawn of the early parliamentary elections scheduled for December this year, the State Election Commission of Macedonia organized a three-day customized Electoral Training workshop. The workshop was conducted on the lakeshore of Dojran, from 14th until 16th September. IFES, as a distinguished partner of the State Election Commission, funded this event.
The accrediting facilitator, Ljupka Guguchevska and the workshop facilitator, Dobre Janchev, have been very meticulously planning this workshop, working on customizing the modular activities to fit the context and suit the participants’ needs. We had a very unique advantage having the workshop facilitator to be the State Election Commission’s secretary general at the same time, which added so much value to the workshop’s content. During the delivery of the workshop, we were offered the valuable help and support by the head of the Training Unit of SEC, Admir Shabani, which we appreciate very much.
The newly established pool of SEC’s trainers, all of them headquarters and regional offices SEC’s staff, were participating the workshop. All of the participants are highly qualified, very experienced, enthusiastic and dedicated elections professionals, which made meeting of the workshops’ objectives quite easy and successful.
The purpose of this particular workshop was to strengthen the capacities of the newly established pool of SEC’s trainers to face the challenges of the modern electoral training. Throughout the workshop, facilitators guided and supported the participants towards reaching the following learning outcomes:
ü The ability to recognise that different needs and audiences require different training methods;
ü The ability to identify the capacities of the staff needed for an effective and efficient training department;
ü The ability to identify the steps needed in planning any training;
ü The ability to understand how to deliver training in a positive and effective way;
ü The ability to recognise some of the main sources of information.
Participant also explored the current training manuals and materials that SEC has adopted, and worked on developing various training activities based on these materials, to successfully cascade the knowledge and target the audiences.
Through the sessions of individual work, work in pairs, small groups work and whole group activities, participants experienced various aspects of the topic and practiced the skills they were objected to gain during the course. All participants were highly motivated and enthusiastic, and managed to reach the objectives successfully.
This was the first time that most of the participants experienced the BRIDGE methodology. All of them highly appreciated the positive learning environment that facilitators created, the encouragement for participation and discussion, the appreciation for diversities of background and opinions throughout the course, and the quality and usefulness of materials. Their evaluation and comments were very positive, stating that they would gladly recommend BRIDGE to their colleagues, and that they are looking forward to the next BRIDGE workshop in Macedonia.
During the closing evaluation session, one of the participants reminded us of a story:
“Once upon a time, King Solomon, because of his good deeds, was offered to choose what he would be given: wisdom and knowledge, long life, wealth, possessions, or honour. King Solomon chose wisdom and knowledge, and by having these, he gained everything else. I feel like King Solomon today!” our participant said.