Myanmar’s Union Election Commission Begins Five-Year Strategic Plan

July 12, 2013, 1:38 p.m.

Myanmar’s Union Election Commission Begins Five-Year Strategic Plan

Originally posted at IFES.org on July 10th.

Strategic planning is key to a successful electoral process. To assist Myanmar’s recently-formed Union Election Commission of Myanmar (UEC), IFES Chief of Party in Myanmar Paul Guerin and IFES Operations Officer Meredith Applegate facilitated a strategic planning workshop for the UEC. The June 18-19 workshop followed the outline detailed in IFES’ Strategic Planning for Effective Electoral Management, which has helped election commissions around the world create practical plans for well-run elections. As a next step, the UEC will form a strategic planning committee facilitated by IFES with the goal of producing a five-year strategic plan over a four to six month period. The plan will include detailed goals and principles; work plans with clear responsibilities for each department; and budget estimates and other tools to monitor and evaluate the UEC’s performance in implementing the plan. This plan will be shared with external stakeholders to solicit and incorporate feedback during the process before it is finalized. The UEC aims to complete and publish the plan by December 2013. Twenty-two members of the UEC, including three commissioners and staff from various departments, attended the workshop. Fourteen new UEC regional directors were also invited to attend as observers. Participants were divided into groups that worked together to review elements of a strategic planning cycle; discussed the UEC’s vision and mission statements; spoke about developing strategic goals; and how to monitor and evaluate the UEC’s progress in meeting these goals. As a comparative exercise, the UEC also reviewed strategic plans produced by Pakistan and the Philippines. The Strategic Planning Workshop was the first event held at the new IFES-supported UEC Training Center. Housed inside the UEC Office in Naypyitaw, the center will be used for ongoing capacity-building efforts with the UEC at both a regional and national level. The center contains a resource desk for UEC staff to access training materials and a library of international reference materials. A Training Unit, which will be housed inside the Training Center and will be responsible for preparing materials and organizing workshops, will also be established as part of an upcoming UEC restructure. This work is part of IFES’ USAID-funded Elections and Political Processes Assistance program in Myanmar.

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