UNDP Moldova
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UNDP Moldova

The public libraries from Moldova are electoral education friendly

71 librarians, from different localities of Moldova, were trained in the electoral field, to be able to inform their visitors about the parliamentary elections.
The voters from Taxobeni village, Falesti district, during an electoral information session that took place at the local public library.
Lilia Dubasari, the head of the public library from Taxobeni village, Falesti district.

“I organized two information sessions for the inhabitants of Taxobeni, where we talked about the right to vote, the modifications to the electoral system, what does an uninominal constituency means, etc. These discussions were attended by 38 people, who are employees of the local school, kindergarten, post office and mayor’s office. We organized group and individual discussions on electoral topics, also, for the library’s visitors,” says Lilia Dubasari, the head of the local public library, who has been working in this field for 26 years.

The librarians while participating at the electoral training provided by CICDE.
Lilia Dubasari while attending a BRIDGE course, organized by CICDE.

“Since 2015, our library has been equipped with computers, a printer, a laptop, a projector, and a screen, also, with new furniture. So, it has become a community center, where the beneficiaries come not only to borrow books, but can benefit from all these facilities, can communicate in a non-formal framework,” notes Lilia Dubasari.

After attending the BRIDGE course, Lilia Dubasari organized several training workshops and activities for the inhabitants of Taxobeni, but also for some colleagues from other libraries, from Falesti district.

Lilia Dubasari offers more details about the activities she organized for the villagers. “I have taken over the methods of providing information by using games, exercises, or on-line questionnaires from the training organized by CICDE. To inform the library’s visitors, I used the leaflets received at the CICDE training, which contain information about the new electoral system. Our library provides the “Career Lab” service and, last June, the beneficiaries of this service participated in a training about youth education. In the first session of the training, the participants learned about the advantages and disadvantages of several political regimes types, so such as: dictatorship, anarchy, and democracy. In the second part, we all together have discussed about the importance of young people’s participation in the Elections Day. Their active involvement can make politicians pay more attention to the youth’s problems. Moreover, the young people from the locality have the opportunity to take the online course, developed by CICDE, “I elect my Parliament in 60 minutes”. This course explains how the parliamentary elections are organized and take place. In my opinion, it is very useful and interactive.“

The participants of a BRIDGE workshop during different interactive activities.
Dr. Doina Bordeianu, BRIDGE accrediting facilitator.

“During the workshops, I used the approach of “eight steps” of designing, organizing and delivering a civic education program for voters. I have provided to the participants the necessary tools to carry out different civic education activities in their communities. The BRIDGE methodology involves a very interesting combination of theory, practical activities, individually or in group, and experience exchange. The session which energized the participants was that one when they were asked to design a specific civic education material or tool: either a song, a slogan or a poster. Another session, that motivated them and boosted their confidence was when they put in practice their knowledge and developed an one year work plan on civic education.”

Pavel Cabacenco, the director of CICDE.

Pavel Cabacenco, the CICDE’s director, mentions: “The purpose of the course was to present different ways in which the civic education can be promoted in libraries, and to discuss the particularities of the new electoral system, to encourage the librarians to become promoters of civic education. The libraries, part of the Novateca network, are endowed with equipment and we can benefit from it to promote the E-learning platform on civic education, developed by CICDE with the support of the United Nations Development Programme. A good example is the online course “I elect my Parliament in 60 minutes.” The librarians who participated at the BRIDGE workshops were involved in the piloting this online course and then they came up with some suggestions for improving it. Afterwards, our training’s beneficiaries have organized in their communities various activities using the CICDE’s informational materials, published with UNDP Moldova’s support. In the future, we will continue our collaboration with libraries to disseminate information and promote civic education among voters, regardless of what type of elections we will have.”

The purpose of CICDE’s training was to encourage librarians to become promoters of civic education.

“After attending the CICDE’s training workshop in the electoral field, I also trained 17 librarians from Falesti district. Then, each of them organized discussions in group or one-on-one with the citizens from their localities, using informational materials provided by CICDE, such as the “Democracy can be learned” brochure, which were very useful. The young people were interested how can they be involved in the electoral process. I explained how can they participate as observers or operators during the Elections Day. Together we navigated on the Central Electoral Commission officials web pages: www.cec.md, www.verifica.cec.md, www.voteaza.md. The discussions for elderly were focused on such topics as: the mixed electoral system, the uninominal constituency, the electoral candidates, and how many ballots will they receive at the polling station, what types of ID should they have for voting. The topics related to the elections are usually very “sensitive” and a lot of effort has to be done in order to have smooth and efficient discussions. The interactive methods of teaching, which I have learned during the CICDE’s training, have helped me avoid any difficulties in this regard.”

During these months, after attending the BRIDGE training and till the Elections Day, Lilia Dubasari has used several CICDE’s resources for informing the library’s visitors, developed with UNDP support, such as: printed materials, the E-learning platform, as well as the Electoral Commission websites.
Eva Bounegru, project manager, UNDP Moldova.

Eva Bounegru, the UNDP’s project manager “Enhancing democracy in Moldova through inclusive and transparent elections”, says: “Civic education promoted at all levels of the society is the most effective way for developing a sustainable democracy in our country. UNDP Moldova supports the initiatives of civic education and voters’ information. We all need to be aware that fair and transparent elections do not only depend on electoral officials, candidates or journalists. They depend on each individual citizen. For that, every citizen needs to obtain a thoroughly electoral knowledge to become a responsible and involved voter. And now, this knowledge can be gained, also, from the libraries.”

The BRIDGE training workshops for the librarians took place with UNDP Moldova’ support.

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