Operational Planning

7-10 May 2024

South Sudan

The United Nations Integrated Electoral Assistance Team (IEAT) in South Sudan implemented a 4-day BRIDGE Operational Planning workshop for the National Election Commission (NEC) of South Sudan.

The workshop, conducted in Juba, South Sudan during 7-10 May 2024, was led by BRIDGE facilitators Natia Kashakashvili and Shalva Tskhakaya. The workshop was organized for representatives of NEC, who are involved in developing and coordinating the election operational plan, including: focal points within the Board of Commissioners responsible for oversight for operational planning; members of the NEC Secretariat at headquarters responsible for developing and coordinating the NEC operational plan, including staff with election operational and administrative support functions; members/staff of NEC state offices responsible for coordinating the operational plan in their area of responsibility; representatives of UN IEAT who will be supporting the NEC in operational planning. Twenty-seven participants (8 female and 19 male) attended the workshop.

The workshop was opened, and participants welcomed by the head of the UN IEAT in South Sudan, Darren Nance. The workshop agenda covered a comprehensive range of topics essential for effective operational planning in electoral processes. It began with establishing the purpose and main principles of operational planning. This was followed by an exploration of the challenges and complexities involved, such as balancing time, cost, and quality, as well as prioritizing tasks effectively. Participants also considered the importance of risk management, focusing on identifying risks specific to elections and preparing contingencies. The workshop then progressed through the different practical steps of the operational planning cycle, including developing assumptions and creating a concept of operations, and creating timelines, schedules, and contingency plans based on the electoral calendar. Incorporating support processes, including polling station identification, staffing, procurement, and logistics, was thoroughly covered, alongside warehouse operations, packing, distribution, and retrieval of election materials, electoral security and developing a training plan. The agenda also included sessions on implementing and monitoring the electoral operations plan.

Participants provided overwhelmingly positive feedback, emphasizing the importance and relevance of the topics covered. Participants appreciated the interactive nature of the course, including group work, open discussions, and energizer exercises, which enhanced engagement and learning. They found the course content informative, applicable, and well-structured, covering a wide range of topics essential to operational planning. While many participants expressed satisfaction with the workshop’s duration and organization, some suggested extending the training period to allow for deeper understanding and practice, and others emphasized the importance of continued training and support for electoral commission staff in operational planning processes.

The workshop concluded with closing remarks delivered by Evelina Krinickaite, Senior Electoral Officer of the UN IEAT, and Prof. Abednego Akok Kacuol, Chairperson of the National Election Commission (NEC).

Natia Kashakashvili, Shalva Tskhakaya
Face to face workshop
Audience(s) for this workshop:
Electoral Management Body
Modules used at this workshop:
Operational Planning
Expected Outcomes:
Provide Electoral Principles to Staff, Preparation for Electoral Event, Professional Development of Staff