BRIDGE in Georgia was first introduced in 2003 as HYBRIDGE for the operational training of EMBs; since then BRIDGE methodology has been used for 7 different EMB operational training programs.
Recent Capacity Building initiatives, launched in March 2009 (from Needs Assessment to TtF and 5-day BRIDGE courses for DEC members) aimed at enhancing the capacity of the medium level EMB of Georgia. BRIDGE program in Georgia is implemented by UNDP/Georgia project Promoting Dialogue and Capacity for Effective National Electoral Processes funded by the European Union. Within the same framework, 4-day BRIDGE course was conducted in late October for the Legal Department of the CEC of Georgia and 2 upcoming events for the CEC members and the Training Centre are planned for December, 2010.
For better planning and identification of the future training needs of the other stakeholders, UNDP/Georgia Electoral Project has decided to introduce BRIDGE to Observers and conducted 3-day Showcase for 20 representatives of five major Observer Organizations (International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), Georgian Young Lawyer Association (GYLA), Public Movement Multinational Georgia (PMMG), Transparency International (TI), New Generation New Initiatives (NGNI)) on 2-4 November, 2010 in Sheraton Batumi Hotel, Batumi, Georgia. Observer Organizations represented the high management and central office staff for the showcase. UNDP Project Manager, project Civic Education expert, CEC PR department staff member and CEC Training Centre staff member were also participating in the showcase. The training was conducted by Natia Kashakashvili and two semi accredited facilitators: Giorgi Sharabidze and Lasha Meladze.
Agenda for the showcase were compiled of main topics such as: Electoral Cycle, EMB models, Codes of Conduct, Electoral Systems, Voter registration, Planning and Dispute Resolution. Through the evaluations the major topics of interest were revealed: Electoral Systems and Dispute Resolution. Overall, the Showcase has met its aim, participants mentioned that the outcome exceeded the initial expectations and expressed their extreme interest towards future BRIDGE courses, especially in course to gain the trainers’ skills. UNDP Project manager has received the special thanks from the heads of the Observer Organizations, naming the showcase – “fantastic training of satisfaction”.
UNDP/Georgia project aims at engaging resources for future capacity building of the medium level EMBs of Georgia and further explore the chances to target the other possible BRIDGE audiences.