Introduction to Electoral Administration

4-6 June 2024

South Sudan

The United Nations Integrated Electoral Assistance Team (UN IEAT) in South Sudan successfully conducted a comprehensive three-day BRIDGE modular workshop on Introduction to Electoral Administration. Held in the Western Equatoria town of Yambio from June 4 to June 6, 2024, the workshop aimed to enhance the electoral knowledge of a diverse group of participants. The training focused on key standards, principles, and election management techniques essential for effective electoral practice throughout the electoral cycle. The BRIDGE workshop was facilitated by Tomsie Dlamini, King Rudi and Taona Mwanyisa.

 The interactive training sessions engaged a diverse group of 26 participants, comprising 10 women and 16 men. The participants were not only from Yambio but also hailed from surrounding counties, extending the training’s reach beyond the city limits to encompass some remote and hard-to-access areas within the state. This broad geographic representation was an encouraging development, as it fostered the creation of a pool of BRIDGE-trained individuals affiliated with various organizations across the state . Such an inclusive approach ensures that the knowledge and skills imparted during the training permeate through multiple sectors and regions, amplifying its potential impact.

Participants were mostly drawn from civil society organizations, National Elections Commission (NEC) representatives, and some government officials. This diverse representation allowed for robust discussions during the plenary sessions. Notably, the voter education session sparked animated discussions, highlighting the need to expand civic and voter education training to the states. Participants felt that such training would assist voters in making informed decisions during voting.

 Key areas of focus for the training included:

  • Exploring electoral standards and the significance of international obligations and good practices.
  • Exploring the nature and purpose of the legal framework and how it is applied in the electoral context.
  • Introducing the main principles of electoral system design.
  • Exploring various models of EMBs, their functions and guiding principles.
  • Exploring opportunities for promoting equal access to electoral processes.
  • Introducing concepts and methodologies of electoral operational planning as a management tool.
  • Discussing rationale and importance of voter and civic education programmes.

The training was greatly appreciated by the participants, who emphasized the need for increased training in the area of electoral democracy as the country prepares to conduct its first elections since independence. CSOs indicated that the sessions provided insights in reviewing content of their programmes. The knowledge acquired will also help them in scoping and aligning their strategic activities with the upcoming electoral processes. At the closing ceremony, UNMISS Civil Affairs Team Leader Emmanuel Dukundane expressed his gratitude to the participants, stating, “You are a cohort of ambassadors, adequately equipped to share the knowledge gained in your respective communities.” The workshop’s success in Yambio underscores the importance of continuous capacity building to ensure credible and inclusive electoral processes in South Sudan.

Tomsie Dlamini, Taona Mwanyisa, King Norman Rudi
Face to face workshop
Audience(s) for this workshop:
Electoral Management Body, Civil Society Organisation, Government
Modules used at this workshop:
Introduction to Electoral Administration
Expected Outcomes:
Provide Electoral Principles to Staff, Professional Development of Staff, To develop a support network for stakeholders in electoral processes