LEAD Training in Barcelona 2013
The 2013 edition of the Dealing with Electoral Violence: "Leadership and Conflict Management Skills for Electoral Stakeholders" (LEAD) took place in Barcelona from the 14th until the 18th of October 2013.
The course has been organised by ECES, the Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL), and The Barcelona International Peace Resource Center (BIPRC) and was attended by more than 25 participants coming from Nepal, Macedonia, Afghanistan, Italy and Spain.
The overall objective of the 2013 edition of the LEAD Training was to look into ways in which representatives of electoral stakeholders could improve their leadership skills and take on board means for preventing and/or mitigating the escalation of election-related violence and conflict throughout the respective electoral cycles. The specific goal of the LEAD training was therefore to identify and develop the skills, behaviour and attitudes that can be operationalised for the management of potentially violent and conflicting situations that can emerge during the electoral process.
The LEAD training combines participatory adult education techniques with a value-based approach. Instead of relying on traditional lecturing, it is activity-based and places emphasis on practical solutions for real-time challenges that electoral stakeholders are faced with. By relying heavily on the interaction between the participants, LEAD empowers them to bring creative ideas to the table and reach for “outside the box” during brainstorming sessions.
Before the beginning of the course, participants were provided with a list of readings that enabled them to learn about key concepts that were addressed throughout the training. Additionally, participants were also asked to fill out an online questionnaire, which helped them internalize the most fundamental concepts mentioned in the readings. Furthemore, the questionnaires enabled the facilitators to tailor their agendas according to the needs and preferences of participants. Beside readings, participants were also provided with several visual tools, which introduced them to "real life" examples of the risks related to post-conflict elections and to electoral processes in general.
This five days training has been divided as follow:
Day 1: Introduction to the issues and challenges of leadership in the electoral process. During this first day participants were introduced to the essential elements of leadership and were invited to watch the movie An African Election, filmed and directed by Jarreth Merz. Divided according to the main actors in the movie, participants were later asked to analyse the film, and looked at how a good leadership can indeed contribute to the smooth development of an electoral process.
Day 2: Elections and Elections-related Violence. During the second day fundamental concepts related to the elections and democracy were presented, as well as were the main characteristics, actors and timing of election-related violence.
Day 3: Election Observation and Media Monitoring: tools to prevent the eruption of violence. After analysing the main phases of vulnerability in the electoral cycle, through media monitoring and electoral observation, participants learned about how the eruption of violence and conflict could be prevented. A last session about Boundary Spanning Leadership has controbuted to enhancing the work level considering the real and imaginary limitations linked to the management of elections.
Day 4: Managing the change: introduction of technology in elections and regional implications of electoral conflicts. What is important to take into account when introducing technology in elections? The fourth day of the training focused mainly on the challenges related to such interventions. Moreover, a very dynamic group work took place related to the importance of strenghtening and developing negotiation skills.
Day 5: Planinfication and related challenges. The last day focused on the importance of answering to the V-U-C-A (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world and how a good process of giving and recieving feedbacks can contribute to answer to such challenges.The training closed with a very dynamic closing ceremony in which participants committed themselves to respect their new idea of leadership and congratulated each other for the great work done.
Thanks to all of you for the great work and see you next year!