The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Burundian Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) partnered to hold Burundi’s first BRIDGE training high in the hills of Ngozi, from March 3 – 6, 2010.
The Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and IFES-DRC relaunched their long-standing partnership during a vibrant BRIDGE course offered in Kinshasa from February 22-24.
This is a report of BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Election) Training Workshop for 17 Regional Elections Coordinators (RECs), Deputy Chief Elections Officer, (D-CEO) and five Directors of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), Kenya.
As part of the Joint Action Plan (JAP) between the African Union and International IDEA, a BRIDGE TtF workshop was organized in Accra, November 9th-20th 2009. This workshop brought together a multicultural group composed by African EMB senior staff, BRIDGE partner organizations (International IDEA and IFES) and the European Association of Election Administrators.
Angolan election administrators gathered nearby the lush cliffs of the Kalandula waterfalls to learn about elections management last month, as part of a USAID-funded training program led by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).
Dear BRIDGE Friends, We are happy to inform you that there are still a few vacancies at the BRIDGE Train the Facilitators Course being organised by International IDEA in Pretoria, South Africa from Nov 23 - Dec 4 2009.
The first TtF workshop within the African Union (AU) and International IDEA's joint project "Capacity-Building Training of Election Administrators in Africa" was held in Accra – Ghana in English from Monday June 8 to Friday June 19, 2009. This workshop is the first of 3 TtF workshop to be held for selected members of English and French speaking African EMB trainers in 2009 with funding from the Australian Government.
As part of its ongoing BRIDGE programme in Africa and funded through a grant from the Australian Government through AusAID International IDEA has developed a first draft of a French BRIDGE translation Glossary. A meeting of French-speaking BRIDGE facilitators took place on 16 and 17 April at IDEA Accra office. A follow-up session took place between two of the facilitators on 25 April (after the 5-day French professional Development BRIDGE workshop organised by IDEA on the 20-24 April in Accra). The objective of the meeting was to develop a unified French Translation glossary for BRIDGE and electoral terms that will be used for all future French translation exercises of BRIDGE resources. The glossary team used existing IDEA, BRIDGE & ACE resources to build the glossary, and consulted as well databases from specialized French and Canadian linguistic institutions. All in all, a total of 130 BRIDGE terms and 350 electoral terms have been included in the Glossary. This is fairly exhaustive and will certainly greatly help future translation efforts. In several cases, more than one translation in French was presented as translations often vary with the context and also the geographical region (even between Francophone African countries, different terms are often used for the same activity / concept). The purpose of the glossary is to become a resource to be used by translators to provide guidance in language use and to ensure a consistency of terminology in future translations. A similar glossary in Arabic has already been produced in 2008. The Glossary will soon be available on the BRIDGE Website.  Alexandra Hovelacque, Dieudonné Tshiyoyo, Nicolas Garrigue and Ibrahima […]
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and the African Union, with funding from AusAid, conducted a BRIDGE Professional Enhancement Workshop for 18 participants from 10 Francophone African countries in Accra from 20 to 24 April 2009. Participants were from Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Comores, DR Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo.
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and the African Union, with funding from AusAid, conducted a BRIDGE Professional Enhancement Workshop for 23 participants from 10 African countries in Accra from 9 to 13th March 2009. Participants attending came from Liberia, The Gambia,Sierra Leone, Zanzibar, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Bénin, and Senegal. The facilitation team was composed of Theophilus Dowetin, Head of IDEA Accra Office, Nicolas Garrigue Consultant and Philomena Edusei, Deputy District Director for the Elections Commission of Ghana.
In Pretoria, South Africa, from 2 - 6 February 2009, 22 senior election administrators from 9 Election Management Bodies in East and Southern Africa; Botswana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe are taking part in a 5-day BRIDGE professional development training workshop covering technical issues of election administration such as strategic planning, leadership, stakeholder relations, electoral dispute resolution and the electoral cycle. The technical training workshop is designed to enhance skills and knowledge in these areas and is intended as professional development training for participating election administrators.
CNE Angola and IFES hold BRIDGE training on Logistics. Chiefs of Logistics departments from each of Angola's 18 provinces, joined headquarters staff and commissioners in the scenic town of Sumbe, in West-Central Angola to take part in a three-day BRIDGE seminar. The National Election Commission, known by its Portuguese acronym CNE, hosted the seminar in cooperation with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems(IFES).
Introduction and Background In July 2007, Gorée Institute became the ACE project's Regional Electoral Resource Centre for West Africa. Its main duty was to promote the ACE Knowledge Network within the region and seek for opportunities to build the capacities of election's stakeholders. As the ACE project was being implemented in the region and the collaboration between International IDEA and Gorée Institute was strengthened, the necessity to link up BRIDGE and ACE appeared to be paramount.
From March 11 to 21, 2009 a BRIDGE workshop was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. This 10-day training targeted the political parties of Burkina Faso in addition to EMBs from Guinea-Bissau and Benin. The CENI (Independent National Electoral Commission) of Burkina Faso organized this BRIDGE with the support of UNDP. Mr. Moussa Michel Tapsoba, the President of the CENI headed both the opening and closing sessions of the workshop.
In 2005, a group of donors formed a basket fund project with the objective of supporting a free, open and accountable political system of governance and the consolidation of democracy in Ethiopia through the organization of the national and local elections, in accordance with The Constitution. The project assisted the Government and the NEBE with the conduct and overall management of the electoral process in 2005 and 2008 in cooperation with a wide range of national stakeholders including CSOs, political parties and media.
The mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho ran its first BRIDGE course in July 2008. With a population of around 2 million, Lesotho was the first country to adopt a mixed member proportional system in Africa. This electoral system and its seat calculation was the source of an extended dispute settled by the courts just before the BRIDGE course began. With the Electoral Commission being central to the disputed results, this was a hot topic during the BRIDGE course that was held in Teyateyaneng’s Blue Mountain Inn, just an hour’s drive outside the capital of Maseru.
I watched my bag being lifted over the edge of the ferry into waiting hands, praying that it would not drop into the harbour waters below. For eight days I was resident on the famous Gorée Island, just 1 km and a 30 minute ferry ride off the Dakar coastline in Senegal. For about seven days the small population of Gorée was boosted by 26 participants from ACE regional centres. The regional centres are located in geographically strategic places around the world, acting as regional hubs collecting and processing election-related information.
Since 2006 IDEA has conducted a series of regional BRIDGE courses for participants from East and Southern Africa. The regional approach hasshown to have a number of additional benefits beyond the impact of the training on improving the participants' skills and knowledge. One of the major benefits of the regional approach has been the comparative experience that participants are able to share from their diverse national backgrounds.
In a move to become more financially independent from the government and to build trust with stakeholders, the National Elections Commission of Liberia and IFES held an Electoral Democracy Training Conference with key stakeholders using the Bridge Curriculum.
Running training in a shopping mall proved to be a good decision. The accommodation venue in Gaborone was filled to capacity and the option was to run the course in a marquee tent. Having been in a similar situation before, we opted for the mall. This was to be the first time a BRIDGE course was to be run in Botswana.
Zomba, 11th February 2008 â€“ The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), with support from UNDP Malawi, are training the third group of secretariat staff at Hotel Masongola in Zomba, Malawi from 11th to 15th February 2008.
The Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (ZESN) hosted a BRIDGE course for the different organisations in its network in mid-January 2008. 36 participants from all over Zimbabwe joined together in Nyanga, in the eastern highlands of the country, to attend training in Public Outreach and Electoral Observation from 14 to 18 January. The setting could easily have been confused with Scotland rather than Zimbabwe, with trout fishing and a golf course set amongst forests and rolling mountains and a constant chill and misty days.
In the middle of the November spring rains in South Africa participants from southern and east African countries joined the first Implementation Workshop for BRIDGE to be held on the African continent. The 3-day Implementation Workshop is based on the BRIDGE Implementation Manual and aims to guide individuals and organisations responsible for designing and setting up training courses that use material taken from the BRIDGE Project curriculum.
International IDEA, IFES, and The National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia collaborated to bring BRIDGE training (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections) to the Commission's staff from June 11 to 22, 2007. The training marks the first time that BRIDGE has been conducted in post-conflict Liberia, and exemplifies strong collaboration in the recently - expanded BRIDGE partnership.
In Pretoria, South Africa, from 20 November to 1 December 2006, International IDEA and the Electoral Commission of South Africa trained election administrators from Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zanzibar.
In November 2005, Angola 2000 was appointed the umbrella organization for the Plataforma Nacional da Sociedade Civil Angolana para as Elieções (PNASCAE), a permanent body composed of civil society organisations involved in electoral processes. In December 2005, the President of the PNASCAE and Director of Angola 2000 requested SaferAfrica’s technical and financial assistance for capacity building of members of the PNASCAE. Angola 2000 and SaferAfrica have a Memorandum of Understanding that covers cooperation in the field of peace, security and good governance. SaferAfrica agreed to provide financial and technical assistance to the PNASCAE and to assist in the fundraising for the additional training.
The first BRIDGE training workshop for election-related civil society organisations was held March 6 - 17, 2006 at SaferAfrica, 173 Beckett Street Arcadia in Pretoria, South Africa. This was aimed at building the enabling capacity of the Plataforma Electoral Angolana [This is a coalition of Angola-based civil society organisation involved in the electoral process in Angola] to play an effective role in the electoral process in Angola. To achieve this aim, the training focused on selected components of the BRIDGE modules. The training was conducted in both English and Portuguese. This ABRIDGE workshop was funded and coordinated by SaferAfrica[SaferAfrica (www.saferafrica.org) is an independent, professional, non-profit association which assists in the development of responsible and self-reliant good governance structures in the South in peace and security] based in South Africa. The training was facilitated by Theophilus Dowetin with Kenneth Mpyisi as co-facilitator.
Ghana District Officers Group A BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections) training course in English was held in Accra, Ghana from December 1 - 9, 2005 for newly recruited District Electoral Officers of the Electoral Commission of Ghana. The Commission is scheduled to conduct nationwide Local Government Elections in 2006.
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:
Ghana welcomed BRIDGE in August 2005 when a Train the Facilitator (TtF) course was held in Accra, the first TtF run in West Africa. This course was co-organised by IDEA and the Association of African Election Authorities (AAEA) and trained 26 participants from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Liberia, Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana and the West African Network for Peace building (WANEP). These facilitators are now accredited to provide electoral management training in the region.
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.