First BRIDGE workshops in Tunisia
22 November 2011
The January 14, 2011 nationwide revolution in Tunisia initiated a new era in the Region. After decades dominated by autocratic rulers, Tunisia started shaping the way toward democratisation. Following the toppling of long-term Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben-Ali, the Tunisian people turned to the polls on October 23 to elect an interim Parliamentary assembly, comprising 217 seats that will draft a new constitution and appoint an interim President. The election marked the start of a new democracy for the Arab country, which was the first to spark off the “Arab spring” revolution, followed closely by Egypt and Libya.
In an effort to assist Tunisia for the 2011 election, the project partners: UNDP, IFES, ERIS and EU, launched a series of BRIDGE workshops targeting local Civil Society organisations aiming to provide participants with an understanding of some fundamental concepts of electoral processes and related electoral activities. In particular, the project aimed to support domestic stakeholders and develop their capacity to act as active agents in the October 2011 NCA election in their role as civic and voter educators as well as local observers.
To achieve the above objective, the project partners organized four Introduction to the Electoral Process- Tunisia 2011 workshops, during the period September–October, 2011, in Tunisia. The four workshops covered different regions in Tunisia including Tunis- Hammamet, Tabarka, Kairouan, and Tozour. 110 participants representing different election stakeholders including members of IRIE, and Civil Society Organisations have attended the workshops. The workshops offered an opportunity for participants to gain and share skills and knowledge on main election topics relevant to their context and specific needs as identified in the preparation phase for the workshop.
The workshop was designed following the model of a 2-day workshop. During the preparation time, the facilitation team discussed and agreed on the topics and structure of the agenda that included session covering the following topics:
- Introduction to BRIDGE
- International standards and criteria for free and fair election
- Role of Civil Society in Election
- Gender and Election
- Electoral Framework
- Electoral Calender
- Electoral System in Tunisia
- Polling and Counting Processes
The facilitation team for the workshops consisted of 5 facilitators:
- Emad Yousef – BRIDGE Facilitator – IFES (Jordan)
- Sawsan Tawil- BRIDGE Facilitator – UNDP (Jordan)
- Donia Ben Romdhane- UNDP (Tunisia)
- Ali Albayati- UNDP (Iraq)
- Samia Mahgoob- ERIS (Egypt)
Donia, Samia and Ali have completed with these workshops their field component of the accreditation, and therefore have been fully accredited as workshop facilitators.