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Bangladesh Election Commission Officers and staff from the UNDP's Supporting Election Management in Bangladesh (SEMB) team participated in a lively Train the Facilitator workshop at a Government Training Centre in Dhaka from 4th to 16th March 2012.

Bangladesh Election Commission Officers and staff from the UNDP’s Supporting Election Management in Bangladesh (SEMB) team participated in a lively Train the Facilitator workshop at a Government Training Centre in Dhaka from 4th to 16th March 2012. The workshop marks the beginning of a plan to use BRIDGE to meet the strategic goals of professional development within the Election Commission. Participants attended a BRIDGE Showcase the previous week so that they could experience participatory learning and the BRIDGE methodology before the TtF. Alistair Legge and Helena Catt were the facilitators for both the TtF and Showcase. The workshop was funded by UNDP, EU, DIFID and USAID.

The 20 participants collectively had over 180 years of experience in running elections in Bangladesh and overseas. Few had any prior training experience but all took to the task with enthusiasm and confidence resulting in all 20 becoming semi-accredited at the end of the two weeks. Indeed the participants were so confident that the facilitators handed over roles such as daily summary and review of the energizers from the middle of the first week.

Participants were appreciative and enthusiastic about the adult learning methods and repeatedly commented on how effective and interesting the workshop was compared to the trainings that they were used to attending.

Several participants commented that they were please to learn ‘a positive way to pass on knowledge’ where ‘the facilitators are attuned to the participants’.

One participant said ‘if these methodologies had been used in any of my school or college years then I would be a more confident person now’.

Laughter, mutual respect, confidence and willingness were nicely balanced to create a thoroughly enjoyable and productive TtF. BRIDGE in Bangladesh has got off to a strong start – expect to read more workshop reports throughout the year.

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