Fijian Elections Office Voter and Civic Education Workshop

1-3 May 2024


Fiji Elections Office Uses BRIDGE Voter and Civic Education Module to Build Relationships with Key Stakeholders

As part of its strategic engagement plan, the Fijian Elections Office (FEO), with the support of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), developed a customized Voter and Civic Education Module to be conducted for stakeholders from Civil Society across Fiji.

On Wednesday, 1 May 2024, a group of 26 participants representing 15 civil society organisations and FEO staff, assembled at the Holiday Inn in Suva for a three-day workshop. The CSOs represented disability advocates, women’s advocates, faith-based organisations, youth groups and student organsations, and organisations focused on the health of Fiji’s democracy.

Day one of the program focused on the rationale for conducting Voter and Civic Education (VCE), the principles that underpin good VCE, and the eight steps that can be followed in developing and implementing VCE programs. Day two and the first part of day three focused on allowing the participants to experience working on those eight steps and providing inspiring VCE examples from across the region and beyond. The hope was that it would start the process of VCE skill acquisition, and working closely with the FEO and the materials they provide, to develop programs specific to each of the stakeholders’ constituencies.

Perhaps the most important part of the agenda was a planning exercise on the second half of day 3. The group was separated into the subgroups focusing on women, youth, people with disability, faith-based groups, and democracy defenders. They were asked to answer the following questions:

  1. Who is the target audience and why?
  2. What is the key message?
  3. Why do you need to communicate this message?
  4. How will you communicate the message?
  5. When do you need to communicate this message?
  6. Who do you need to communicate this message?
  7. What do you need to communicate this message?
  8. How can the FEO help?
  9. Future FEO collaborations?

The groups produced very considered and useful answers and the FEO looks forward to using them to guide future interactions.

The evaluations from the participants indicated that they all really enjoyed both the content and style of the workshop. Most importantly, they all felt they had learnt a great deal and now had a better relationship with the FEO.

The facilitation team comprised Rachel Simmons and Ravneel Chand, workshop facilitators from the FEO, George Kenatsi, a TTF complete workshop facilitator from the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner hoping to complete his workshop accreditation, and Ross Attrill an Accrediting facilitator from the AEC. They were ably assisted by Alena Vomani from the FEO and several of her FEO colleagues.

Rachel and Ravneel have gone from strength to strength in their short BRIDGE careers and are already extremely accomplished. And it is also pleasing to report that George did everything required of him, in order for him to achieve workshop accreditation.

When asked to reflect on the experience, George said:

“The FEO Voter and Civic Education module gave me the opportunity to put into practice the BRIDGE way of facilitating workshops. Facilitating alongside dedicated and supportive colleagues has provided me with invaluable insights into effective facilitation techniques and strategies and has inspired further growth in me as a BRIDGE facilitator. This experience was not only enjoyable and fun but enriching for my professional development. It reinforced the importance of teamwork in achieving successful outcomes in facilitating BRIDGE modules.”

Congratulations George!

We all look forward to seeing how the relationship between the FEO and its stakeholder grows over the coming years.

Ross Attrill – Accrediting Facilitator

Ross Attrill, Rachel Susan Martha Simmons, Ravneel Chand, George Sawa Kenatsi
Face to face workshop
Audience(s) for this workshop:
Electoral Management Body, Civil Society Organisation, Students
Modules used at this workshop:
Voter and Civic Education
Expected Outcomes:
Professional Development of Staff, To develop a support network for stakeholders in electoral processes