Introduction to Electoral Administration in South Sudan

11-13 June 2024

South Sudan

The United Nations Integrated Electoral Assistance Team (UN IEAT) in South Sudan successfully conducted a three-day BRIDGE modular workshop on Introduction to Electoral Administration. Held at Aweil Grand Hotel in Aweil State in the Northern Bahr el Ghazal region from June 11 to 13, 2024, the workshop was aimed at enhancing 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 and was facilitated by Tomsie Dlamini, King Rudi and Taona Mwanyisa.

A total of 25 participants, that included 9 women and 16 men, were drawn from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), government officials, the media, and officials from UNMISS. Notably, the government officials represented key thematic ministries such as gender, education, peacebuilding, information and communications, and culture, youth, and sports. This diversity allowed for rich discussions on issues of inclusion and peace in elections.

The workshop tackled key issues hindering equitable electoral processes in the country, notably the dearth of electoral information available to citizens. It underscored the necessity of ensuring equal access to electoral mechanisms for all, including marginalized populations such as women and persons with disabilities.  This emphasis on inclusivity lays the groundwork for a more representative and democratic electoral landscape. 

Furthermore, the workshop was instrumental in establishing a framework to bolster civic engagement in elections in the state. Specifically, it outlined strategies for civic and voter education initiatives aimed at enlightening citizens on their rights, roles, and responsibilities as voters.  Such efforts are vital for fostering an informed electorate capable of meaningful participation in the electoral process.

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.

This BRIDGE workshop was instrumental in enhancing the awareness of electoral stakeholders, promoting inclusivity, fostering civic and voter education, and facilitating knowledge-sharing and dialogue among participants.

“We did not have knowledge of electoral processes, and this is the first time that we have participated in a training of this nature. The enquiry method used in the hands-on facilitation method allowed us to connect what we learnt in the workshop and the real-world situation and this is addition to contextualising it to the South Sudan situation.” Maria Angela Charles Kuel participant with the Narrative Hub in Aweil.

The workshop was officially closed by Mr Alfred Zulu the Human Rights Officer (Aweil, Team Leader) and Madam Teresa Thomas Dhel, Acting Chairperson of the State High Election Committee in Northern Bahr el Ghazal. There was general consensus among the participants that trainings such as this may contribute significantly to  the country’s efforts for the forthcoming elections to be credible and peaceful.

Tomsie Dlamini, Taona Mwanyisa, King Norman Rudi
Face to face workshop
Audience(s) for this workshop:
Electoral Management Body, Civil Society Organisation, Non Government Organisation, Government, Media
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