First BRIDGE Workshop on Electoral Administration and Accessibility Implemented in Guatemala
by Fernanda Buril*
From January 31-February 1, 2019, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) Resident Director for Guatemala Alessandra Rossi and Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) Facilitator Lluís Juan Rodríguez implemented a BRIDGE module in Guatemala. The workshop was the first BRIDGE Electoral Administration and Accessibility training in Guatemala. Thirty participants from the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (CONADI) and other partners participated in the interactive workshop, where they had the opportunity to learn more about electoral processes and discuss key aspects of their work and role in fulfilling citizens’ right to political participation.
During the two-day workshop, BRIDGE participants were exposed to comparative perspectives on models of election management bodies across the Latin American region and all the necessary steps for a successful electoral cycle. The didactic methodology of BRIDGE also included team-building activities, hands-on civic campaign development and evaluation, and engaging discussions about professional ethics and integrity.
In his opening remarks to the second day of the BRIDGE workshop, TSE President Magistrate Mario Aguilar thanked IFES for its continuous support to the TSE and praised BRIDGE’s objectives to promote democratic principles and electoral best practices and to enhance participants’ skills with useful tools and resources. CONADI President Sebastián Toledo also mentioned the importance of the workshop in giving electoral accessibility and inclusion the attention and priority these topics deserve.
Under the Electoral Governance and Reforms Project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, IFES will continue to collaborate with the TSE to strengthen the capacity of its personnel to administer successful, transparent and inclusive elections and contribute to the consolidation of democracy in Guatemala.
*Fernanda Buril is a program officer for the Americas and technical coordinator for electoral operations at IFES.