Promoting valuable knowledge about elections, a three day workshop on an internationally recognised electoral programme ‘Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections’ [BRIDGE] will be conducted from 9 – 11 this month at the Southern Cross Conference Room.
Workshop participants for the BRIDGE Module titled ‘Introduction to Electoral Administration’ will include all registered Political Parties and interested individuals selected from an Expression of Interest process.
The MOG Report states that ‘more comprehensive training for party polling agents on their role and responsibilities in the electoral process should be provided by political parties or other responsible bodies’.
In line with this reflection, FEO has conducted seven  BRIDGE training workshops since 2015 following FEO’s Strategic Plan Goal 8 which is to enhance knowledge and skills of the FEO staff and stakeholders through training and capacity building.
The lead facilitator for the workshop is Mr Brian Latham who comes with a broad experience in BRIDGE. In the BRIDGE field for the past thirteen  years, Mr Latham has worked as a lead/accrediting facilitator, facilitator and participant in various BRIDGE workshops globally including Civic Education Module Workshop – Leadership Post-Conflict in Nepal, Voter Education and Gender and Election Modules in Australia, Train-the-Facilitator in Fiji and Indonesia amongst numerous other workshops.
This will be the second workshop Mr Latham will be facilitating for Political Parties, the first being an Electoral Contestants module and Introduction to Electoral Administration module in Bhutan in 2012.
The second co-facilitator, Ms Ana Mataiciwa, Legal Compliance Coordinator at the Fijian Elections Office [FEO], is a fully accredited BRIDGE Facilitator and has experience in facilitating the ‘Introduction to Election’, ‘Election Security’ and ‘Disabilities Rights and Election Training’ Modules.
An Expression of Interest was also put out to members of the public to submit applications if they are interested in being part of the training programme.
The names to fill up the six  positions that were available for this training have been finalised by FEO and include Ms Daiana Tagivakatini, Legal Practitioner; Ms Tearoba Tekaireiti, Machinist at Classic Apparel; Mr Riyazud Din, a student at the Fiji National University; Mr Rajesh Kumar Tahal, Assistant Social Science Teacher at Ba Sanatan College; Ms Rigieta Lord, Assistant Lecturer for the School of Humanities and Arts at the University of Fiji; and Ms Patricia Mallam, Tourism Planning and Strategic Communications Consultant.
The Supervisor of Elections, Mr Mohammed Saneem, will also be presenting to the participants on some key milestones that the FEO intends to achieve before March 2018. These milestones are part of FEO’s next election plans.
“To give effect to the Multinational Observer Group Report recommendations, FEO has opted to obtain services of a highly accredited international facilitator, Mr Brian Latham, and also a very learned set of co-facilitators in the field of elections,” said Mr Mohammed Saneem, Supervisor of Elections.
“The FEO envisages that participants at this workshop will be able to pick up on key basic knowledge in the field of election that will assist them to better prepare themselves and their parties for future elections.”
Click on the link for background information on BRIDGE: www.bridge-project.org