CRISP - Crisis Simulation for Peace e.V.

Free + Fair Elections in Belarus

Since 2013, CRISP is working together with the Swedish foundation SILC in Lithuania especially on projects related to the situation in Belarus.In this 4-days workshop, we focused on the topic of “elections” as the main source of political legitimacy, with special emphasis on the role of social media and online tools, but also non-violent resistance, civil society and election observations.Besides analysing the pros and cons of the use social media in general, we also included a very practical part in order to give the participants the chance to practice political online campaigning. Based on a presentation of good practice examples from all over the world, we made the participants think about the extent to which they could include social media coverage into their personal campaigning strategies. The main activity was a one-day simulation game, in which the participants stepped into the roles of different stakeholders of a fictitious country and simulated the five months period before Parliamentary elections. The simulation game itself, gave the participants the chance to try out new ideas and knowledge they had gained as a result of the pre- simulation sessions.In the evaluation of the game with the participants, we focused on generating ideas for possible actions in Belarus, by taking examples from the simulation, combined with the experiences on political processes generated within the simulation. In 2014, the participants had the chance to plan small scale projects with the possibility to get a funding for these by SILC.

Date: 8. to 11. August 2013/10. to 13. June 2014 Participants: 25 young politicians from Belarus Location: Vilnius, Lithuania

Target Group

Together with our local partner SILC (Swedish International Liberal Centre) we invited 25 young politicians from Belarus to Lithuania.

Project Goals

The workshop had the overall goal of getting across a deeper understanding of democratic culture and procedures, as well as sharing inputs on forms of political participation in the run up to elections. From this the main goal is to shape the participant’s skills in: - Using social media for campaigning - Using methods of non-violent resistance - Increasing public speaking and debating skills - Planning and implementation of small projects