Monday, 21 October 2013

Commonwealth Election Officials Receive Training at Election Commission Of India

A group of 24 election officials from 23 Commonwealth countries (including two from India) has commenced training at the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM), the training and resource centre of the Election Commission of India (ECI). The special six-day capacity development training programme titled “Election Management: the Role of Technology for 24 Junior Election Professionals of Commonwealth Countries will be conducted from 21st to 26th October, 2013. This is a pioneering initiative, conceptualized and implemented in partnership and collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat and AusAid, which is funding the programme. ECI is also an active member of the Steering Committee of the Commonwealth Electoral Network. 

The programme, the first of its kind, is built on peer support and is an important part of ECI’s South-South cooperation initiative, aimed at sharing its experience, skills and expertise with desirous countries of the Commonwealth. Apart from training sessions, the participants (more than half are women) will also get an exposure to ECI’s field-level electoral machinery. 

Addressing the delegates at the inauguration of the prestigious programme, Chief Election Commissioner of India, Mr. V. S. Sampath told the participants that Election Commission of India is proud that the very first activity of the ECI-Commonwealth partnership for capacity building and empowerment is being held at the India International Institute of Democracy & Election Management. He stated that ECI is happy to share its experience and skills in election management, acquired over a period of 60 years, with its Commonwealth counterparts. He also stated that feedback from every trainee in each international course is used by IIIDEM for further improvement and embellishment of future programmes. Election Commissioner, Mr. H. S. Brahma, welcomed the delegates and emphasized the importance of free and fair elections for sustaining democracy. He also recommended extensive and effective use of technology for better management of elections, and for increasing transparency and reducing scope for manipulation in electoral processes. 

The inauguration was attended by senior officials of ECI, Commonwealth representatives, led by Mr. Linford Andrews, Interim Adviser, Commonwealth Electoral Network; Mr. Bernard Philip, Deputy High Commissioner of Australia in India; and other diplomats from Commonwealth countries. 

IIIDEM, which is envisaged as a global centre of excellence for capacity development and collaborative research in matters relating to electoral democracy, has already conducted more than 50 national courses and 11 training courses/workshops for international participants, including Commissioners and election officials from Kenya, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Maldives (twice) and Nepal, two courses for ITEC partner countries and one course for South Asian EMBs. 

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