Introduction to Electoral Administration in South Sudan

18-20 June 2024

South Sudan

From June 18 to 20, 2024, the United Nations Integrated Electoral Assistance Team (UN IEAT) in South Sudan organized a 3-day BRIDGE modular workshop on “Introduction to Electoral Administration” in Wau State, Western Bahr el Ghazal. The training, supported logistically by the UN IEAT as part of the broader UN Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS), aimed to enhance the electoral knowledge of a diverse group of participants. This initiative demonstrates the UN’s commitment to strengthening electoral processes and capacity-building in South Sudan.

A total of 25 participants, comprising 13 women and 12 men, attended the training. These participants were drawn from the State High Election Committee, civil society organizations from Wau and its surroundings, the media, public institutions, the Integrated Electoral Assistance Team in Wau, the UNDP, and members of the United Nations Police in Wau. The diverse composition of participants fostered a rich exchange of ideas on electoral practices. Representatives from the State High Election Committee, civil society organizations, media outlets, public institutions, and UN agencies brought unique perspectives to the table. This multifaceted group enabled cross-sectoral discussions, allowing for the exploration of electoral practices through various lenses. The interplay of different viewpoints contributed to a more comprehensive understanding of electoral challenges and potential solutions, enhancing the overall quality of discourse on electoral administration in South Sudan.

The session focusing on Electoral Management Body (EMB) and stakeholder relationships sparked engaging discussions. Participants from various organizations and operational areas were able to identify their roles as key stakeholders to the National Election Commission (NEC). This session also enhanced participants’ understanding of how to effectively engage with other crucial stakeholders in the electoral process, particularly in the realms of civic and voter education. Media representatives gained a deeper appreciation of their critical role in disseminating electoral information, especially in the current era of social media and the associated challenges of misinformation and disinformation. This heightened awareness underscored the media’s responsibility in ensuring accurate and timely electoral coverage.

Additionally, the workshop was pivotal in highlighting the importance of increasing the participation of marginalized groups in electoral processes. Participants gained a deeper appreciation of the adverse effects of excluding groups such as people with disabilities and women from these processes. There was a consensus, particularly among civil society organizations, on the necessity of intensifying efforts to ensure these groups are included in electoral activities.

Key areas of focus for the training included:

  • Exploring electoral standards and the significance of international obligations and good practices.
  • Examining the nature and purpose of the legal framework and its application in the electoral context.
  • Introducing the main principles of electoral system design.
  • Exploring various models of Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs), their functions, and guiding principles.
  • Promoting equal access to electoral processes.
  • Introducing concepts and methodologies of electoral operational planning as a management tool.
  • Discussing the rationale and importance of voter and civic education programs.

The workshop was officially concluded by Mrs. Junior Mugebe, Human Rights Officer as well as the Wau Focal Person of the Integrated Electoral Assistance Team. In her closing remarks, she encouraged participants to apply the knowledge gained during the training to begin preparations for the elections within their respective thematic areas. She also urged them to use this knowledge to promote the message of peace in the upcoming elections. Feedback from participants indicated a consensus among them that the training would significantly contribute to Wau State’s efforts to conduct credible and peaceful elections.

Tomsie Dlamini, Taona Mwanyisa, King Norman Rudi
Face to face workshop
Audience(s) for this workshop:
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