From December 5-12 the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators (PIANZEA) network, with funding from AusAID through the Pacific Governance Support Program (PGSP), conducted two BRIDGE Modules in Auckland New Zealand.
The first module, Electoral Observers was run from December 5-7 with the second, Election Disputes Resolution, being conducted from December 10-12.
BRIDGE was first delivered in East Timor back in 2001, with Paul Guerin and Ross Attrill developing and delivering the very first modules. After a six-year break BRIDGE returned to the place it first started, with the delivery of two Introduction to Electoral Administration Modules conducted in Dili 6 December and 11 - 14 December).
From June to November in 2007, the IEC (Independent Election Commission) with financial support of TAF (The Asia Foundation ) conducted the Electoral Systems and Public Outreach BRIDGE modules.
BRIDGE came to Polynesia in September, following successful courses in Micronesia and Melanesia, when the Cook Islands hosted the Voter Information module. Participants from Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga and Niue joined their Cook Islands hosts at the Edgewater Resort for the four-day course.
The BRIDGE course has been implemented in Afghanistan since 2005. The IEC (Independent Election Commission) of Afghanistan and other stakeholders (like FEFA) found the BRIDGE project to be the best and most productive curriculum to build up the election knowledge for the individuals that are actually involved with the running of elections.
The PIANZEA Network conducted their fifth Workshop in the very beautiful Iririki Island Resort in Port Vila Vanuatu. The PIANZEA Workshop is conducted biennially and is a meeting of electoral commissioners (or their representatives) from each of the 20 member electoral management bodies (EMBs) of the Pacific region plus associate members the University of the South. The focus of the Workshop was on boundary delimitation. The Workshop was facilitated by the AEC's Ross Attrill and Alistair Legge and administrative support was provided by Erik Scholte.
The Electoral Systems module of BRIDGE will be conducted for representatives attending the fifth PIANZEA (Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators Network) meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu. This course is funded under AusAID's Pacific Governance Support Program and will commence on April 19 at the close of the PIANZEA meeting.
Afghanistan continues to use BRIDGE to train electoral staff. The third and fourth sessions of the Election Preparation module was conducted during January and February in Kabul.
We the small brother island countries continuously treasure the virtues in you.
You do not only provide written recourses, financial support but visited or invited us to attend round table trainings and discussions (Workshops)
Under the PNGEC/AEC Twinning Project, a one-week BRIDGE workshop specifically designed for the PNGEC was conducted three times during 2006. At the request of the PNG Electoral Commissioner the workshop was held for newly appointed Returning Officers.
The 3-day Bridge Implementation Workshop in Melbourne provided the opportunity for PIANZEA election administrators to meet and share recent experiences in their respective jurisdictions. At the end of the workshop, everyone agreed that the Implementation Workshop had succeeded in providing guidance for designing and setting up Bridge training courses. It also familiarized everyone with the scope and flexibility of Bridge training material, and how to best implement it.
AusAID through their Pacific Governance Support Project funded a recent BRIDGE Implementation Module Workshop in Melbourne, Australia on 11 – 13 December inclusive. The purpose of the workshop was to provide guidance to individuals and organisations responsible for designing and setting up training courses that use material taken from the BRIDGE Project curriculum.
Based on a request form the Bangladesh Election Commission (BEC) to implement a BRIDGE program in Bangladesh, a BRIDGE TtF Program was held in Dhaka city from 11 – 21 September 2006, organized by the BEC - Electoral Training Institute and jointly funded by the Australian High Commission (AHC) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Bangladesh.
The fifteenth BRIDGE Train the Facilitator course was held in Suva, Fiji from 17-28 July 2006, organised by the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). The course was run under the auspices of PIANZEA, and funded by AusAID's Pacific Governance Support Program, with the aim of training a solid group of regional BRIDGE facilitators to support the growth of BRIDGE in the Pacific in the next five years.
Electoral officers have been encouraged to interact more with people they hold training discussions with as part of a new mode of learning.The Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections trainers course (BRIDGE) is a participatory project that allows everyone to be part of the training, said Elections Officer Ilisapeci Natau.
AIPRD/Logica-AusAID Program in collaboration with USAID-LGSP Local Election Project. This is the 2nd Phase of ABRIDGE in its assistance to the 5 villages of Lhoong Sub-District. Module 7 on Preparing for Election Event was chosen after a long discussion. The aim of the training was to encourage creative and critical thinking to equip the village election committee to see what are the aspects involving preparations for the event.
ABRIDGE Module 1 on EMB was conducted in the District of Lhoong, Aceh Besar Regent of Nangroe Aceh Darrusalam (NAD) for Phase 1 on June 10, 2006. The one day training was facilitated by AIPRD/Logica (Local Governance and Infrastructure for Communities in Aceh) - an AusAID funded project and conducted by an accredited BRIDGE facilitator contracted under LGSP (Local Governance Support Program), a AUSAID funded project.
During March 2006, logistics and integrity management training was conducted in Nanggroe Aceh Darrusalam (NAD) for KIP (Independent Electoral Commission) for Local Elections (Pilkada) in Indonesia. This training used BRIDGE.
LGSP-USAID ran a marathon training programme in the 2nd and 3rd week of March at Cakradonya Hotel in Banda Aceh. The programme was funded by JICA and managed by Forum LSM, while supervised and facilitated by LGSP-USAID and KIP.
The third Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators (PIANZEA) Network BRIDGE Advisory Group Meeting was held in the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji between 27-28 April 2006. The meeting followed on those held in Canberra in March 2004 and in Honiara in May 2005, and was funded by AusAID under the Pacific Governance Support Program.
AUSAID have provided funding for BRIDGE scoping missions in South Asia.Between May 9 to 19 Ross Attrill will travel to Bangladesh and Bhutan, with the aim of designing an appropriate capacity building program for electoral administration in each country based on the BRIDGE Project.
The Asia Foundation (TAF)implemented the first BRIDGE Train the Facilitator(TtF) course in Afghanistan from the 15th to 26th of March 2006. Organizing and conducting the TtF country-wide was a complex and challenging task which required clear lines of communication with provinces, accountability and logistic support. Following the development and approval of the course strategy and methodology,TAF Electoral Project Team contacted the BRIDGE Project office to select facilitators to run TtF jointly with TAF Electoral Project Team. As a result of these discussions the BRIDGE facilitators included: Joanne Cheah, Lynne Puckeridge, Wael Ishmael Al-Faraj and George Baratashvili.
A radio program 'Late Night Live' on the Australian Broadcasting Authority, recently aired a discussion about the forthcoming elections in the Solomon Islands. The program titled 'Clean Elections, Solomon Style' touches on how the BRIDGE course has been used in this context. You can listen to the interview by downloading it from the media section of this site or simply by clicking the following link:
On the 6th and 7th of March 2006 Bridge Module 3: Public Outreach was undertaken in the Northern Territory of Australia. This was the first time this module has been delivered.
The module was chosen by the NT AEC office for its relevance to current operational activities and also its broad appeal to the non-electoral participants in the course.
Attendees came from the AEC’s Northern Territory Office, The Northern Territory Electoral Commission and the Northern Territory Parliament House Liaison and Information Unit. All participants came with some degree of experience in public outreach activity, although the degree of experience varied significantly.
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.
In the course of the 2005 Parliamentary Elections in Afghanistan, developing a professional Capacity Building Program for the JEMB and JEMBS staff to run follow up elections in the future became one of its key priorities for JEMB. It was recognized that the building of a strong and stable Electoral Administration capacity in this country is a very important task in order to conduct credible Elections. To sustain the Electoral Administration in developing democracies, it is significant for Electoral Administration staff to be properly trained and supported.
Fiji Times Online www.fijitimes.com
THE Elections Office is focusing on building a strong team of certified electoral administrators to face the challenge of conducting a transparent and fair election.
The training program is organised by the Democracy and Electoral Studies (DSP) Program of the Institute of Governance at USP and is being run in partnership with the Elections Office and the Australian Electoral Commission.
Press Releases - Fiji Government Online (www.fiji.gov.fj)
Workshop vital to election preparation - Naivalu
The 'Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections' (BRIDGE) workshop organised for Electoral Administrators and District Commissioners from through out the country is vital and of great importance said the Commissioner Northern Misieli Naivalu.