The International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Regional Program for Europe, along with the G17+ of Serbia, hosted a meeting of the IRI network of European Political Party Foundations and Institutes (EPPFI) from March 19-21, 2009 in Belgrade, Serbia.  A total of 29 participants from Serbia and other countries in the region took part in the program, which examined the success of the G17+ in establishing and operating a call center to manage voter-ID and mobilization efforts.  

G17+ representatives, including Minister of Youth and Sport Snežana Samardžić Marković and Campaign Manager Tomislav Damnjanović, emphasized the crucial importance of direct voter contact based on thorough targeting for the success of smaller parties such as G17+.  Damnjanović also convincingly illustrated the importance of voter identification and targeting for effective campaign strategies on the local level.

A visit to the party’s call center facility itself was a highlight of the program.  The G17+ party has used it to approach more than two million households in a country of approximately ten million.  G17+ Deputy Campaign Manager Marko Kronja and Call Center Manager Stevan Dmitrović briefed participants on the set-up, organization, management and use of the call center in the many recent elections in Serbia.  These presentations generated a very high degree of interest among participant parties, and a number of follow-up meetings have already been arranged.  

Through EPPFI, IRI’s Regional Program for Europe seeks to share the most creative applications of innovative political techniques in the region and to incorporate these in the development of internal training organizations within member parties.

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