Introduction to Elections – Virtual Workshop in the Pacific Islands
17-25 March 2022
The biggest group yet of electoral officials from the Pacific logged on to Zoom on the 17 March to attend a virtual 4-day BRIDGE workshop on Introduction to Electoral Management.
The workshop was organised by the PIANZEA Network (Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators’ Network) and a total of 22 participants from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and the Republic of the Marshall Islands attended the workshop. The workshop was funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
The BRIDGE facilitation team was made up of Alistair Legge, Ross Attrill and Sara Staino from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). The facilitators were assisted by the AEC’s Community and International Engagement team who efficiently dealt with all the technical and administrative issues of the workshop.
The workshop covered principles of election administration and good electoral governance, and provided an introduction to legal framework, electoral systems, electoral management and electoral operations. During the last day of the workshop the facilitators’ trialled some new activities form a brand-new BRIDGE module (yet to be launched) on Institutional Excellence in Electoral Management.
The workshop also included a panel discussion with Vitilevu Simati, Assistant Electoral Commissioner from the Electoral Commissioner in Samoa and Karyl Winter, International Programme Manager from the Electoral Commission of New Zealand, covering a variety of election related matters and sharing of best practices across the region, including thoughts on developing your career as an electoral administrator and civil servant.
Perhaps the biggest challenge faced by the facilitation team was trying to cover all the essential material in the Introductory module into a shortened online environment.
“Another day, where a lot of things learnt useful information for the EMB” was typical of the comments in the daily evaluations.