From the 18 until 22 of June 2012 in the context of the SWAY4EDU Project, ECES and the Centre for Creative Leadership-Leadership Beyond Boundaries organised the Training in "Leadership and Conflict Management Skills for Electoral Administration" (LEAD) in Brussels, Belgium. The training session lasted around 5 days and was provided to the representatives of the 10 electoral management bodies of the Economic Community of the Central African States plus Togo, Burkina, Mali and Madagascar.
This five days course was the first LEAD implemented to the benefit of members of Electoral Commssions and opened the way to the future implementation of the curriculum. The training aimed to develop capacities in the cross-roads between leadership and conflict management by building on the specific experiences, knowledge and exchanges among members of the electoral commissions that were participated in the training workshop.
Through the several leadership development excercises and working sessions, participants have been supported in strengthening of their leadership skills and in the improving of their conflict management skills. Participants have also been provided with the resources and skills to replicate this training and thus guarantee the sustainability of the project.
- DAY 1: Participants discussed the issue of social identity and worked on the principles of electoral administration, conflict management in electoral administration and the different styles of leadership and conflict management.
- DAY 2: was devoted to the essential elements of leadership. The participants worked on different leadership styles and reflected the values that result.
- DAY 3: aimed to the essential elements of conflict management. Mechanisms of conflict management, triggers, skills and methods of conflict management were studied.
- DAY 4: was devoted to the concepts of transparency and integrity of Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) and assistance to stakeholders.
- DAY 5: Mediation and negotiation exercises, accompanied by simulations, have completed the training.
In line with the LEAD pedagogical approach, the course used adult education techniques that, instead of relying on traditional lecturing, focused towards practical solution of the real-time challenges that members of electoral commissions are faced with.
The course was further enriched by the experience and the comprehensive knowledge of participants as well as the exchanges among them. Given that this was LEAD’s inaugural training course, the entire agenda of the course was given to the participants for evaluation. Feedback received from the participants was favorable, as they rated LEAD as one of the most innovative tools for the prevention of election-related violence.
In the framework of the SWAY4EDU project, participants of the LEAD training have also attended the training in communication and satellite applications for electoral processes (CASPE) in the Chateau de Betzdorf, the premises of SES (Société Europenne des Satellites, the world’s second-largest telecommunications satellite operator) in Luxembourg on 25 and 26 June 2012.