Promoting accessibility of the electoral process in Armenia
25-26 November 2021
Access and Elections workshop was organized with technical assistance from the Electoral Support Project in Armenia 3 (ESPA-3) project funded through a basket fund with contributions from the European Union, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Sweden, the Confederation of Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the UNDP as implementing partner, the workshop was also made possible thanks to the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Strengthening Electoral Processes and Political Accountability in Armenia (SEPPA) project, implemented by the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS). The workshop aimed to examine international standards, barriers, solutions, and discrimination aspects for the people with disabilities. Participants were trained on how to build inclusive voter education campaigns and develop advocacy strategies on inclusion.
The workshop was conducted on November 25- November 26, 2021 in Yerevan, Armenia and facilitated by international facilitators Iuliia Shypilova, Arusyak Terchanyan and Tetyana Bibik. Thirty-one participants from the civil society, Central Election Commission and UNDP attended the workshop.
Special inclusion approach was developed to engage participants with disabilities into the workshop. Facilitators designed special energizers suitable for this special group of participants. The participants greeted such an inclusive approach and marked the format of the workshop as the one that allows all participants to be active and included during the whole period of the workshop. Participants underlined the topic of inclusion as the most actual for Armenia, since the country requires to develop procedures and policies to ensure full and equal participation of people with disabilities in the political life. In addition, participants considered that both international practice and experience of other countries bring many useful models that they may use during the whole election cycle and especially for the inclusive voter education.
The workshops goals were successfully reached. Final evaluation was arranged by targeting the stakeholders’ learning outcomes and future usage of the knowledge. Participants greeted the format of the mixed groups of participants by saying that the government officials needs to be included into the development of policies and standards for the people with disabilities. Workshop’s participants valued the interactive approach and practical work in groups that allowed them to learn from each other.
At the end, all the participants have received certificates in recognition of completion of 2-day Access and Elections workshop.