BRIDGE TTF Antananarivo
Train the Facilitator Session, Antananarivo Madagascar
In the framework of the PEV-SADC project, a BRIDGE Training The Facilitator (TTF) was given in Antananarivo, Madagascar, between 16 – 26 July 2013. The beneficiaries of the TTF in Madagsascar were organisations accredited by the Electoral Commission to observe the election (led by the Comité nationale d'organisation des élections KMF-CNOE). Particular attention was given to election observation issues during the TTF, given that these organisations are presently operating in a delicate political and electoral context. The training comprised 24 participants among whom 55 percent were male participants and 45 percent female, representing the capital and several other provinces.
The participation of member organisations from a number of small provinces were considered a particular important element in order to reassure that knowledge dissemination and coverage is as evenly spread as possible across the fourth largest island in the world.This training took place simultaneously with another TTF, given in the framework of "Project in Support of Credible and Transparent Elections in Madagascar" (PACTE) with leading partner European Centre for Electoral Support, ECES together with Electoral Reform International Services (ERIS) and the Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA).
The election is Madagascar was foreseen this summer, 2013, but postponed due to political turmoil and opposing opinions of some of the presidential candidates eligibility to run in the election. Thus, the training was strongly anchored in the particularities surrounding the Malagasy election, while connecting to regional and international experiences, shared by the facilitating team.
The facilitators quickly formed strong professional and productive relationships with the participants, which were maintained throughout the workshop. The team had a sound mix of extensive BRIDGE experience, professional experience, and country background and consisted of Ms. Samia Mahgoub, Belgium.
Furthermore, Ms. Eva Palmans, Project coordinator for PACTE and Ms. Monica Frassoni, President of ECES attended the workshop and shared their experience. Ms. Frassoni, who was appointed Chief Election Observer during the Presidential elections in Chile and Venezuela, 2006, presented a much appreciated episode steaming from her own experience of the potentials, pressure and pitfalls related to election observation. Present through out the workshop was also the founder of the Tunisian Election Observation platform, Mourakiboum, Rafik Halouani and Eric Despallier, Senior Elections Advisor for the project PACTE, also Country Director for ERIS in Madagascar to further infuse the content with vivid examples through self-experienced case studies. This diverse and well-experience team had a positive, immediate impact on the workshop quality and ability to cover multiple topics from contexts all over the world. This conducive and participatory forum brought participants from the different networks closer together and facilitated further valuable collaboration and exchange between the projects and the beneficiaries. This training will be followed by BRIDGE workshops, geared towards the specific needs and requirements that unfolded during this profound and comprehensive BRIDGE TTF, while continuing to follow closely the development of the Malagasy electoral context.