Orientation for Conflict Mediation Coordinators
ECES is currently implementing an orientation for the provincial conflict coordinators in Gauteng, South Africa from February 11-14, 2019. This orientation is part of part of the PEV-RSA national project, funded by the European Union. The PEV RSA project (www.democracy-support.eu/southafrica) is 24 months (2018/20) and is implemented by the European Centre for Electoral Support in partnership with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The opening ceremony has speeches from the Senior Manager of Electoral Matters and Project Coordinator, Granville Abrahams. Abrahams emphasized the importance of the work that will be done by the attendees, in ensuring that electoral violence in all of its forms is eliminated and to ensure that the elections occur in a way that is fair for everyone.
Participants to the training are the conflict managers from all 9 provinces of South Africa. By bringing together the conflict prevention coordinators from across South Africa, the project can find synergies and share lessons from the different geogrpahic regions of South Africa.
While this training includes parts of the LEAD curriculum, it is uniquely crafted to give the Provincial Conflict coordinators the tools needed to manage and mitigate risk in the upcoming May 8 election. This training is part of the PEV RSA project’s capacity building component.
The curriculum on Leadership and Dialogue was crafted by ECES in partnership with Centre for Creative Leadership, CCL. CCL is based the US and delivers high-end executive education for world leaders. Such trainings are usually very costly and require far more time than what one usually can afford. The partnership between CCL and ECES emerged to make leadership training accessible and affordable for electoral stakeholders.
Leadership training blended with dialogue techniques has so far proven to be a winning concept. Leadership, both for the individual and organizational level, are essential components of electoral processes.
In sum then, this orientation workshop and training in Gauteng is a forum all the provincial coordinators can share lessons learned and also increase their capacities and further develop skills in leadership and conflict mediation. As the coordinators come from across South Africa, we can use their diversity to explore different approaches and reach out to different stakeholders and actors in the electoral space.
The workshop is being facilitated by the Project Coordinators Victoria Florinder and Granville Abrahams. It should be noted that the coordinators both hold senior roles in ECES and the IEC, with Victoria Florinder being Senior Election Conflict Management Advisor, and Granville Abrahams is Senior Manager for Electoral Matters at their respective organisations.