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Georgia Elections Assistance Programme  

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Training of Election Administration

Objective: Enabling the the CEC and lower election administrative bodies to develop expertise needed to adequately implement the election   legislation, thus contributing to the increase of public confidence in the election  process.

22 March 2004, Tbilisi. Information Session for PEC members


POST-ELECTION UPDATE:

On 23 to 25 March 2004, a total of 251 repeat training sessions for PEC Chair and Secretaries were conducted. The purpose of these meetings was to answer any final technical questions and to discuss recently issued CEC decrees on electoral procedures. Attendance to these sessions was well over the planned 5,682 PEC members, as many other additional PEC members also attended. This training proved a valuable last chance for information updates and clarifications of the recent decrees.

On Election Day, GEAP and other observer groups reported that the Precinct Election Commission members were much better trained for these elections than for previous elections. The OSCE/ODIHR International Election Observation Mission reported that “80% of PECs visited [demonstrated] good or excellent organization of the poll and understanding of the process.” This is a marked improvement from the figures of 68% in 4 January 2004 and 54% in 2 November 2003.

The improved performance of the PECs can primarily be subscribed to the increase in the number of PEC officials trained (25,000 or 58%, compared to 6,144 or 14% for Presidential Elections). Modifications in the training of trainers and improvements to the training modules is also likely to have resulted in better trained and more professional PECs. According to the OSCE/ODIHR preliminary statement of 29 March 2004, “PECs generally operated in a collegial manner and had benefited from the additional training provided by the CEC.”

Training manuals were distributed to all PEC members in the week prior to elections. Multiple copies were in evidence in PECs on Election Day and PEC members referred to them frequently. PEC Chairs reported that the manuals were very useful and they appreciated the level of detail and the translation into other languages (Russian, Azeri and Armenian). In contrast to the previous elections, almost all minority speaking precincts received training in a combination of Russian and either Azeri or Armenian language. Also, voter education materials and manuals were distributed in appropriate languages to almost all PECs

 

24 MARCH 2004 UPDATE:

On 22 March, the 75 CEC trainers were briefed on their duties as Election Day “Commissars”, monitoring DECs and report irregularities to the CEC. This was an initiative of the Chair of the CEC, based on recommendation by IFES, UNDP and GEAP to utilize trainers for quality control of procedures on Election Day.

 

23 MARCH 2004 UPDATE:

From 15 to 21 March 2004, some 1,125 Information Sessions were conducted for PEC members not included in the one-day training for PEC Chairpersons, Deputy Chairpersons and Secretaries. Although the meetings are voluntary and there is no compensation for travel costs, preliminary reports indicate that out of a possible 34,200 PEC members, an estimated 15,000 PEC members attended the 3-hour briefing. Despite recent events in Ajara, information meetings were continuously conducted in this region.

The two-day training of DEC members took place as scheduled on 13 to 14 March 2004. Despite the political tensions in Ajara, training of DECs was also conducted there. Training was successfully conducted in 74 out of the 75 DECs of Georgia.

 

22 MARCH 2004 UPDATE:

From 15-21 March, 1125 information sessions were conducted for PEC members not included in the one day training for PEC Chairpersons, Deputy Chairpersons and Secretaries. The training for these additional PEC staff was conducted in a three hour information session during which attendance was voluntary. The training was an abridged version of the full one day training given to the Chairs, Deputy Chairs and Secretaries. Topics covered included modules on: Observers; Conducting the Poll; Counting and Compiling PEC protocols; and Dealing with Complaints. A conservative estimate would be that 40-50% of “extra” PEC members received this information briefing throughout Georgia, or approximately 15,000 PEC members. OSCE Monitoring of the Information Sessions were conducted in Sagarejo, Gurjaani and Dedoplis Tskaro

11 March 2004, training at the Mtskheta DEC of PEC Chairs, Deputy Chairs and Secretaries from Mtskheta District


Training of Mtatsminda District PEC members (Phase I)


18 MARCH 2004 UPDATE:

Between 6 and 17 March 2004, 40,000 Georgian language PEC Training Manuals as well as 8,000 in Russian, Azeri and Armenian languages where printed. A Distribution Plan was developed by the CEC and reviewed by the OSCE on 12 March. On 17 March 2004 the distribution to the DECs commenced.

A total of 2,850 PEC Information Meetings began on 15 March throughout Georgia. These 3 hour briefings are for members of the PEC other than the Chair, Deputy Chair and Secretary. Although the meetings are voluntary and there is no compensation for travel costs, preliminary reports indicate that attendance and interest is high. Despite recent event in Ajara, information meetings are also being conducted in this region.

With participation of the OSCE the CEC, on 15 March 2004, held a productive meeting with 16 out of 17 Regional Training Coordinators in order to discuss the results of PEC and DEC training.

 

15 MARCH 2004 UPDATE:

The one-day training of Chairpersons, Deputy Chairpersons and Secretaries from 2,850 PECs was completed as scheduled between 6 and 12 March 2004. Accurate attendance figures are forthcoming from the implementing partners, but estimates based on multiple sources suggest that more than 7,000 PEC members have been trained from all of Georgia, including Ajara. In a small number of districts turn-out was low due to poor weather conditions, but make-up session were organized on 12 March 2004 where possible. Challenges remain in Azeri and Armenian minority areas due to the lack of qualified trainers with the appropriate language skills. Here make-up training sessions are also being planned.  The two-day training of DEC members took place as scheduled on 13 to 14 March 2004. Despite the political tensions in Adjara, training of DECs was also conducted there. Training was successfully conducted in 74 out of 75 DECs.

 

10 MARCH 2004 UPDATE:

Following the Training of Trainers which ended on 3 March 2004, the core of senior trainers from IFES, UNDP and CEC made the final changes and amendments to the PEC Training Manual - including input from the OSCE. It is expected that distribution will begin on March 13, when at least 20,000 copies will be printed.

On 6 March 2004, the CEC conducted a press conference to explain the programme for the training of PEC members. The initial training of some 8,500 PEC Chairpersons, Deputy Chairpersons and Secretaries began as scheduled on 6 March. Senior trainers from IFES, UNDP and the CEC began monitoring the training sessions. The initial feedback from monitors is that training sessions are very well attended in almost all cases. Cases of PEC members not attending training to date have been due to the national holiday on 8 March and poor weather.

On 9 March 2004, the Training Advisory Board met to discuss the details of the technical support role that trainers will play on Election Day. It was agreed that the 75 trainers would provide technical support to DECs. The terms of this arrangement will be officially announced by CEC decree.

 

3 MARCH 2004 UPDATE:

On 27 February the Agreement for the IFES component of the training project was signed by the OSCE (the Agreement with UNDP was signed on 20 February). Training of trainers for the PEC/DEC training was held from 26 February 2004 until 3 March 2004. In total, 109 trainers and 17 regional trainer coordinators were trained. The training was done by three senior trainers from IFES and UNDP. The training was organized into 9 modules presented over three days. One group of 64 was trained from 26-28 February 2004 and the remaining 62 were trained from 1-3 March 2004. From 27-28 February 2004 the training was monitored by the OSCE Project Manager. The trainers were observed to be very well organized and motivated. Almost all of the trainers being trained had previous election and training experience.  

On 26-28 February discussions were held with ODIHR’s EOM and a template was created for Long-Term Observers to observe and report on training of PECs and DECs to take place 6-25 March 2004. 

A final review and edit of the PEC training manual was done by the OSCE Project Manager on 2 March 2004 and submitted to IFES/UNDP in order to be incorporated before going to print on 4 March 2004. In line with lessons learned from Phase I, an additional section on voter marking has been added to the training manual by the OSCE Project Manager and the wording on the implementation of voter marking strengthened.

 

24 FEBRUARY 2004 UPDATE: 

The Agreement with UNDP was signed on 20 February. It is expected that the agreement with the second implementing partner, IFES, will be signed by 26 February. One of the most important recommendations provided by the Mission to the CEC is the establishment of a Training Unit. An Elections Training and Capacity Building expert has been hired and is now working directly with the newly established CEC Training Unit as well as in partnership with the IFES/UNDP training co-ordinators. The printing of 140 sets of training modules for Training of Trainers started on 20 February. Training of 108 trainers will take place from 25 February to 1 March. Final updates to the training manual will be completed as soon as the final amendments to the Unified Election Code are approved by Parliament. Translation into Armenian, Azeri and Russian is ongoing.

 

BACKGROUND

Among the shortcomings in election administration identified by key international observers for the November 2003 Elections was the inability of the Central Election Commission to carry out training for DEC and PEC staff tasked with the administration of polling stations.

Building on the experience of the 4 January Presidential elections, the projects aims to empower District and Precinct Election Commissions to develop the expertise necessary to adequately implement the election legislation, thus ensuring a smooth election process and the increase of public confidence.

This project will address the development of a more comprehensive PEC and DEC training, to be implemented by IFES/UNDP. One of the most important recommendations provided by the Mission to the CEC is the establishment of a Training Unit. An Elections Training and Capacity Building expert works directly with the newly established CEC Training Unit, and in partnership with the IFES/UNDP training co-ordinators.

DEC and PEC election administration officials will receive detailed and hands-on training to ensure transparency of their work, prevent fraud and to maintain their independence in a still politically charged environment.

PHASE II

Project Manager

Ian Smith
Implemented by:
UNDP
IFES
Total Budget
at EUR 420,933
Documents
Agreement with UNDP
Annex 1: Project Description
Agreement with IFES

 

 

OSCE Mission to Georgia OSCE website

OSCE Mission to Georgia • Krtsanisi Govermental Residence No. 5 • Tbilisi, Georgia • Tel./Fax: (+995 32) 910610
• e-mail: pm-ge@osce.org