The Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO), that was established in 1991 and is based in Budapest, Hungary, organized and implemented a regional BRDIGE module workshop. The five days long workshop from 2 – 7 October was the second activity of a whole sub-regional program funded mainly by IFES and co-supported by the UNDP.
As the first regional BRIDGE for members and staff of the regional election management bodies, the training aimed to introduce the BRIDGE facilitation methodology as it was rather unknown in this region. And, it also served as an introductory workshop for a regional Train the Facilitator workshop that will be held from November 21 till December 2 2011 in Budapest, Hungary.
During these 5 days that gathered 15 professionals from the region from different countries as Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia, representatives were guided through the BRIDGE foundation modules by the lead facilitator, Arpine Galfayan, and her co-facilitators, Lysiane Darnat, Joram Rukambe and Anna Sólyom. As all attendees were either public servants working for their national EMBs or members of their national electoral commission, the workshop after a short introduction to electoral administration focused on Strategic and Financial planning.
By the end both participants and facilitators agreed that the chosen topic of Strategic and Financial planning was the best to start with, as it is strongly connected to every operations of an election management body both in regard of its inner and external actions. At the end of the workshop, as some of the participants will not participate in the regional Train the Facilitator training, Arpine guided us through a short BRDIGE implementation presentation where participants could come up with a strategic plan on how they would report back to their sending organisation of the present training and how and when would they introduce and organise a BRDIGE training in their own country. Some great strategic plans were drafted and I am convinced we will hear about the implementation of these ideas in the future.
The introduction of BRIDGE as a training methodology was successful, however there is a lot more that can be done in the European region. ACEEEO aims to continue to implement BRIDGE modules after the TtF in November, first of all to give the opportunity for full accreditation for semi-accredited facilitators. Secondly we intend to deliver BRIDGE for more EMBs, to make them more familiar with BRIDGE that could be used well in their own regular training methodologies.
At least but not last, 3 semi-accredited facilitators completed their field work during this workshop and gained their full accreditation: Lysiane Darnat, Anna Solyom and Joram Rukambe. Congratulation for them!
We look forward to implement our first TtF that is coming in the very near future with Ross Attrill, Arpine Galfayan and Anna Solyom.