BRIDGE Testimonial

Image
A TtF for Latin America
December 19, 2006
Image
BRIDGE for Returning Officers in PNGEC
December 20, 2006

"Elections are the largest and most extensive logistical exercise conducted during peacetime involving almost the entire adult population of a state or nation says Dr Abdalla Hamdok, IDEA Regional Director of Africa and Middle East Programme. Despite the complexity of the task there is no formal university level degree or diploma available for the study of election administration."

This is why in 2001 International IDEA, the Australian Electoral Commission and the United Nations developed the BRIDGE training curriculum specifically to meet the needs of election administrators. In fact, BRIDGE is now widely recognized as the most comprehensive training curriculum of its kind in the world.

One such electoral administrator who has recently completed BRIDGE training volunteered the following comments about her experience on the course:

  • I found BRIDGE to be inspiring and valuable. I understand that this feedback is consistent with participant comments at the end of each BRIDGE course.
  • Often, especially in our busier electoral periods, we just don’t have time to reflect on the ‘bigger picture’ and consider how elections really ‘fit’ into our democracy or the importance of our electoral role.
  • Completion of the course clarified several processes and procedures that the AEC undertakes during an election period. In fact, I feel confident that I became aware of details that I didn’t even know existed prior to attending BRIDGE.
  • As national office staff are not ‘on the ground’ during elections, it is incredibly important for staff to attend BRIDGE courses to understand processes as we develop and produce the procedures and guidelines that all other staff to adhere to.
  • I now have a greater appreciation and understanding of the whole electoral system and can consider how we fit in with overseas systems. Participating in the course took away that blinkered vision and gave me the freedom to explore different electoral systems and recognise that there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong electoral system, rather, I was able to delve into how things could be done differently.
  • I was able to get a better insight into electoral ethics, influences, structures etc that all impact on the development of strategies that I am involved in developing as part of my current duties.
  • Three days of intensive participation enabled me to gain a depth of knowledge and richness of the information provided by the BRIDGE team. Hosting the course off site also meant that I was able to dedicate my attention to the course itself with little distraction or desire to ‘just duck back to the office’.
  • BRIDGE provides an unique opportunity to really delve into the why’s and what if’s with other staff. BRIDGE opens participants up to the ‘electoral world’!
  • Some staff have been at the AEC for YEARS and were unaware of some of the processes or issues discussed.
  • I came out of the course thinking that no electoral system is perfect by boy … ours is very robust and one of the best. I felt a great sense of pride for working at the AEC.
  • At the end of the BRIDGE course, I felt like I was part of something really important and I felt that I could contribute to the AEC better. I am confident that after attending BRIDGE I have become a public ambassador for the AEC and the role that we undertake. This is particularly so when people ask where I work and I receive a groaning response … I can hold my head high and discuss how lucky we are to have the electoral system we have compared to developing nations and the great work that the AEC is involved in.
  • After attending BRIDGE, I was able to respond more confidently to telephone interpreter service calls directed to our area.
  • Attending BRIDGE provides an opportunity for staff to pursue further electoral opportunities at a more involved level if they are interested.
  • BRIDGE is a course that professionally develops staff with skills that can be applied whether working in a developing democracy or an established one. A lot of criticism staff give of courses when sent externally is that they can’t relate it back to the AEC but BRIDGE provides information that all participants can directly relate back to normal day to day work.

Leave a Reply

Registration

Forgotten Password?