The pilot module of the BRIDGE Civic Education Development Project (CEDP) travelled to a very different part of the world after the first-ever trial in Vanuatu in May 2009. The cool mountain air of landlocked Bhutan proved a contrast to the tropical heat of the islands of Vanuatu, however the enthusiasm and commitment of participants and facilitators remained as strong as ever.
The much anticipated world-first trial of the BRIDGE Civic Education Development Project's (CEDP*) module workshop titled 'Democracy in Our Place' was held at Le Lagon Hotel in Port Vila, Vanuatu from the 25th to 29th May, 2009. The workshop was a huge success - due to the combined efforts of a lot of people - most of whom worked full-time for many weeks and months behind the scenes ensuring that all aspects of the workshop addressed so that we would maximise the learning opportunities for all the participants and the CEDP team alike.
The Democracy in Our Place foundation module within the CEDP has taken shape in the last couple of months. We now have a detailed module structure and several sample lessons already being edited. This follows an intense and productive writers meeting held in Melbourne in January 2009. There are now eight writers - in various parts of the globe - writing a series of activities to complete the module. If the first drafts are anything to go by, this module is going to be full of creative activities that will serve as inspiration for all BRIDGE facilitators, whatever modules they are delivering! The project team can also confirm the location for the first trial workshop – Vanuatu. We have received some interest from local organisations in collaborating on the pilot, and will be consulting further with stakeholders in-country.
Over twenty civic education specialists from the Asia Pacific region met at the Rendezvous Hotel Brisbane from 14-16 October 2004 to provide strategic advice to the BRIDGE Civic Education Project (Establishing a Civics and Governance Component within BRIDGE). The meeting was very productive – providing a very broad range of views from different perspectives, including: practitioners from different contexts, academics, non-government organisation representatives, class room teachers, adult trainers and curriculum writers, etc.
Program Context The Civics and Governance Component within the BRIDGE Project (the BRIDGE Civic Education Development Project) is funded by Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and is in line with their organisational goals and objectives under their Building Demand for Better Governance Initiative. The project links in to the broader objectives of the Australian Government’s aid program (including the Anti-Corruption for Development strategy, and advancing gender equality), such as assisting developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, in line with Australia's national interest. Australia's aid program focuses on the Asia Pacific region.
In August 2008, the AEC’s BRIDGE Project Office Team will be starting work on the development of a Civic Education component for BRIDGE; initial funding for the activity is being provided by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
Two Solomon Islanders who have been working on the Civic Education Project (CEP) have been selected to work with curriculum writers from around the world to write version 2 of the Building Resources In Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) manuals. Audrey Manu, the CEP National Coordinator and Tina Harihiru, one of the CEP Provincial Team Coordinators for Malaita were two of the three writers who wrote the curriculum for the Civic Education Project. The third writer was Linda Puia Tamaika. The CEP has just completed its second Phase across the country.