September 2004 saw the first francophone Train the Facilitator run in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. It was organised by the Centre for Democratic Governance (CDG) in Burkina Faso with the assistance of International IDEA and the UNDP, and facilitated by Maria Helena Alves, Haoua Bissiri and Alexandra Hovelacque, with CDG Director Augustin Loada and the invaluable assistance of CDG staff. This is the conclusion from the report on the session:
Despite difficulties with the translated documents, control of the time and the initial misunderstanding about the objective of the BRIDGE TtF Course, the facilitators believe that the main objective of the course has been achieved. Overall, participants were very satisfied and recognized that they learned a lot during the two weeks.
Some of them showed great interest in using BRIDGE training in their countries (in particular Chad, Ivory Coast and DRC which all have major electoral events planned over the two coming years).
Participants funded by UNDP were very eager to promote BRIDGE once back in their country offices and even at the regional level. Participants also asked a lot of questions about how to organize and conduct BRIDGE courses, how to get full accreditation and how to get support from the founding organizations.
Although not all the participants may become facilitators themselves, it is very likely that this first Francophone TtF created a momentum and was a very good way to advocate for BRIDGE in this part of the world. There is probably a need to follow up on this momentum and to pay particular attention to the issue of translation and adaptation both with the view to promote BRIDGE as a tool to reinforce capacities in electoral administration in the region but also with the view of maintaining its integrity and credibility.