Electoral Administration Better Prepared For A Stronger Democracy

Publication Date: 
17 Jul 2014

News Type:

Electoral Administration Better Prepared For A Stronger Democracy

"BRIDGE has changed my life! Starting today I feel more professional but also more available for listening and teamwork."
-Raphaelle Jeorveline Bareau, Network of Youth Parliamentarians

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) organized two workshops in recent weeks on the Building Resources in Democracy, Governance, and Elections (BRIDGE) Program. Sessions specifically focused on access to electoral processes in order to strengthen the professional capacity of Haitian institutions and to ensure an effective transfer of technical skills in the field of election administration.

Between June 9 and 27, 26 members of the Haitian Provisional Electoral Council and representatives of  civil society organizations had the opportunity to improve their knowledge of election administration; discuss the themes of fairness and equal access for people with disabilities in the political and electoral process; reflect on and propose strategies and lasting solutions; establish a network with certain entities including the CEP and civil society organizations; and make available a pool of Haitian BRIDGE facilitators who can provide meaningful replication of this training.

“The opportunity and responsibility of the participants in these trainings is to then replicate and transfer their knowledge and skills in their institutions established both in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area,” said CEP President Fritzo Canton.

“IFES has worked for 25 years for everyone to participate equitably in the political process as voters, candidates, election administrators and leaders of civil society organizations,” said IFES’ Chief of Party in Haiti Alessandra Rossi.

“UNDP is committed to enable managers of election administration to acquire the skills necessary to organize elections that enjoy the confidence of all stakeholders. By allowing genuine participation of all citizens, elections become a central pillar in achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” added UNDP’s Senior Director in Haiti Sophie de Caen.

This BRIDGE training will allow women and men who have obtained accreditation to transmit knowledge and skills acquired, in turn ensuring an effective and sustainable transfer of technical skills in the field of election administration to all relevant departments in the country. One of the workshops focused on election access and inclusion for marginalized groups, including women and persons with disabilities. Another workshop strengthened the capacity of future BRIDGE trainers. Samuel Cossy became the first person with a disability from Haiti to be trained as a semi-accredited BRIDGE facilitator.

IFES and UNDP, in coordination with the CEP, are laying the foundation for more effective and participatory democratic governance that can support credible and transparent elections. Elections offer a unique opportunity to establish and strengthen practices relevant to genuine social and economic development. Building democracy requires strong and representative institutions, and through the new BRIDGE accreditation, Haiti is on track to achieve its objectives.