The BRIDGE Methodology as it was presented by Ms. Rose Mutayiza, Mr. John Kamea and Mr. Romitesh Kant on Friday 25th July 2008 at the Fiji National Initiative on Civic Education Project site at 2/2 Clerk Street, Suva, will, in my view, greatly assist the NICE Project to achieve the objectives of its core business faster, more efficiently, more professionally, within the project time frame, within the allocated budget and up to the kind of standard that will inevitably leave a lifelong sense of commitment to democracy and the democratic process in the facilitators and participants for the following reasons:
In January 2007, International IDEA and the Central Electoral Commission of Armenia published the Armenia BRIDGE Manual, focused specifically on Armenia's election administration experiences and needs.
The first BRIDGE course to reach the shores of New Zealand arrived in February 2006 where 18 participants and several facilitators from various Pacific countries came together for a week of the usual BRIDGE activities and social outings. Pacific countries represented included: New Zealand, Cook Islands, Nuie, Tonga, Samoa and Tuvalu. There was also the welcome addition of a freelance election specialist who described himself as from Haiti/France/USA (now residing in New Zealand) – who added another international dimension apart from the Pacific contingency. The course provided an opportunity for the new Version 2 Introductory Module to be trialled, and for several of the participants who were semi-accredited at the June 2005 Fiji Train the Facilitator program to become fully accredited.
International IDEA and the Spanish Ministry of Interior held a showcase of the Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections curriculum (BRIDGE) at the training centre of the Spanish International Cooperation Agency (AECI) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, between September 13 and 16.
Over the last 15 years Electoral assistance providers have gradually begun to recognize that the building of a strong and stable electoral administration capacity in-country is more important than providing ad hoc electoral assistance from outside. One of the central components of IDEA's work in supporting capacity building of election management bodies in Africa is through the use of our BRIDGE Electoral Administrators Training Course.