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.
In presenting the awards, the Commissioner acknowledged the commitment and passion which all of the award recipients across the AEC brought to their work in 2009, and thanked them for their contribution towards enhancing the AEC’s reputation for excellence.
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.
The workshop was initially planned for representatives of six provinces and two municipalities of Vanuatu. However, in attempting to fast track the rolling out of GEPG using BRIDGE methodology in the Pacific other participants were included: two men from PNG and another from UNIFEM Regional Office in Suva,Fiji.
Moldova is a small country in Eastern Europe, neighbouring Ukraine and Romania. It used to be part of the Soviet Union for about 40 years and became an independent parliamentary republic in 1991 after collapse of the USSR.
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.
The second BRIDGE TTF in Peru, and the 4th in Latin America, took place in Lima on 12 – 19 October 2009, two years after the first one. This TtF was supported technically by International IDEA and co-funded by the Jurado Nacional de Elecciones (Peruvian EMB) and IDEA (through a regional BRIDGE project supported by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation in Development, AECID).
To run a BRIDGE workshop in the “capital of Europe” has been a long-standing discussion amongst some of the key election practitioners working in Europe. This “dream” came true with a Train the Facilitator (TtF) workshop co-hosted at the UN House and the NEEDS Offices in Brussels from 9th to 20th November 2009.
In November the BRIDGE Office launched a new BRIDGE website. Essentially this has meant that we have upgraded the Content Management System (CMS) that the site uses as well as changing the design of the site.
Since 2007, with generous support from the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), IFES has been working on a project aimed at a broad-based, results-oriented dialogue on global standards and best practices in political finance.
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).
In November 2009 Michael Lidauer, Training Coordinator from the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) in Stadtschlaining, Austria conducted a specialisation course on ‘Election Observation and Assistance’.
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.
With the aim of developing the capacity of electoral stakeholders in Egypt, IFES and UNDP in partnership with the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) agreed to join effort to organize a series of BRIDGE workshops for selected participants representing various election stakeholders in the country (Media, Electoral Commission, Ministry of Interior, NGOs, and Parliament).
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.
Introduction The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in cooperation with the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) hosted the "Sub-Regional Building Resources in Democracy, Governance & Elections (BRIDGE) Gender and Elections Module Workshop" for Countries in Northern Micronesia - 13 to 23 July, 2009 (Pohnpei, FSM).
Pakistan has held sporadic provincial and general elections since 1947 and 1970, respectively. Nine general elections have been held, but electoral cycles have often been truncated by periods of military rule. The Electoral Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is the independent electoral management body (EMB) responsible for both national and local elections. The most recent elections were held on February 18, 2008.
Just about 6 months after a first TtF was conducted there in December 2008, BRIDGE in Colombia has taken new momentum with the holding of the first Module workshop on "Polling, Counting & Results", in Bogota, from 3 - 6 August. This workshop was held with the technical support of International IDEA and funding from the Registraduria Nacional de Estado Civil (Colombian EMB) and the AECID (Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development).
The Communication and Information Strategy Branch of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) recently held the first two-day BRIDGE workshop for its national office staff. The fact that many of its staff have not been through a full election cycle provided a strong motivation for putting aside the daily tasks to stand back and consider the bigger election picture.
Electoral system choice is a hot topic in Nepal as the Constituent Assembly is soon to decide upon a new electoral system and constitution. To assist with the debate three BRIDGE workshops were run on the topic of electoral systems in July. They were organized by International IDEA in collaboration with UNDP, IFES and the Nepal Electoral Commission.
The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) in pursuit of good electoral administration has always given high priority for capacity development of the election officials. Beside on the job training, the officers were sent to learn from the already established Electoral management Bodies around the globe to gain knowledge and expertise. For this reason, the ECB was interested to learn more about BRIDGE.
UNDP/Georgia with the financial support of EU, implements the project "Developing Capacities for Democratic Institutions for Fair Electoral Processes and Active Civil Participation" and has been widely supporting the EA training programs since 2003. The conduct of the TtF was planned through the BRIDGE Needs Assessment mission in Georgia that was conducted in March 2009 by the BRIDGE expert facilitator Ross Attrill. The aim of the the TtF was to accredit the facilitators who in their turn shall conduct the BRIDGE workshops to strengthen the capacities of the District and Central Election Commission of Georgia. TtF was held through July 6 - 17, 2009 in GPH Hotel, Kobuleti, Georgia.
Brian Latham (Lead and Accrediting Facilitator) and Gordon Marshall arrived in Timor Leste with short prior notice to deliver three workshops consecutively over an eight working day period. We arrived early on a Friday morning and spent a very busy Friday and weekend with Augusto Pereira and Pedro da Silva (translator) preparing for the first two workshops which were scheduled from Monday to Friday that following week.
Introduction and Background The last fifteen years witnessed an increase number of election all over the world. Many electoral assistance providers, therefore, have gradually begun to recognize that building in-country electoral capacity is much more important than providing ad hoc electoral assistance from outside. The aim of electoral assistance should, therefore, be to achieve sustainable electoral development by helping emerging democracy building local capacity and share comparative experience in the field of election management.
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.
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.
BRIDGE, the world’s foremost elections curriculum, has undergone some changes. For one, it is no more known as BRIDGE Project, but simply as BRIDGE. Other changes are more fundamental than this. At the last meeting of the BRIDGE Partners (UNEAD, IDEA, IFES, UNDP and AEC) in November 2008 in Sydney, it was decided to streamline the facilitator categories. No longer is there a reference to Level 1 to 5 for facilitators, but the names are more reflective of the reality on the ground. One major change is that the person who accredits a facilitator is called an Accrediting Facilitator. This person is no longer the highest rank of facilitator that you can find. Clearer guidelines on the facilitator structure has emerged. The picture above spells it out more clearly. Distribute it to fellow BRIDGE Facilitators. Spread the word. More details on the changes will be in the next Network Newsletter. […]
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.
Introduction and Background The last fifteen years witnessed an increase number of election all over the world. Many electoral assistance providers, therefore, have gradually begun to recognise that building in-country electoral capacity is much more important than providing ad hoc electoral assistance from outside. The aim of electoral assistance should, therefore, be to achieve sustainable electoral development by helping emerging democracy building local capacity and share comparative experience in the field of election management.
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).
Number one! We humans love to be first to do things. Bhutan is a unique country, which already has achieved its fair share of 'firsts', especially when it comes to its recent transition to become a Democratic Constitutional Monarchy.
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.
Jakarta in Indonesia was the location for a recently held BRIDGE course on Electoral Dispute Resolution. Upcoming elections in Indonesia, scheduled for 9 April, meant that election fever across the country was heating up during the course preparations. Amidst daily newspaper headlines on the elections and campaign posters starting to decorate the capital, course preparations was in full swing by the time we arrived on the ground.
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.
During the weekend of 14-15 February 2009, seventeen members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) participated in a BRIDGE Project showcase event organized by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). The event was organized to introduce the BRIDGE Project to senior decision makers and management of the ECP and aimed at equipping participants with enough background to make an informed decision about whether this curriculum would be an appropriate professional development tool to be used by the ECP.
My fellow participant Coralie-Ann Bishoff Towgood and I from the Cook Islands attended BRIDGE “Train the Facilitator” (TTF) workshop which was co-sponsored by UNIFEM’s “Gender Equality to Political Governance in the Pacific: Stronger Women Citizens and Leaders” project. .
A Media and Elections Module - BRIDGE regional workshop was identified by the USP Democracy and Electoral Studies Project to enhance capacity toward Working with Electoral Stakeholders. This regional workshop was attended by 22 participants from Kiribati, Vanuatu,Solomon Islands, Fiji and UNDP. Majority of the participants were from Vanuatu. The workshop proper was held from Monday to Friday (midday), with a cultural tour conducted on Wednesday whereby participants had to identify cross cutting themes and report back the next day.
Final Report on the BRIDGE Training Workshop (28 February - 4 March 2009), Cairo, Egypt Introduction and Background The last fifteen years witnessed an increase number of elections all over the world. Many electoral assistance providers, therefore, have gradually begun to recognise that building in-country electoral capacity is much more important than providing ad hoc electoral assistance from outside. As a result, the aim of electoral assistance should be to achieve sustainable electoral development by helping emerging democracy building local capacity and sharing comparative experience in the field of election management.
From 25 January to 5 February 2009 in Amman, Jordan, IFES conducted a BRIDGE Train the Facilitator (TtF) workshop for 21 participants, of which 12 were from the Jordanian Ministry of Interior (MoI), 3 from the Civil Status and Passports Department (CSPD), 1 from the Jordanian Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MoMA), 2 from the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Palestine, and 3 from IFES staff.
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.
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.
For the first time in Egypt, BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections) Train the Facilitator's Workshop was held in Ain Sokhna, from November 23 - December 02, 2008. This workshop is considered as an important milestone in the "Support for BRIDGE training for electoral process stakeholders" project signed on April 02, 2008 between UNDP Egypt, the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) and IFES as technical implementer of the project. The project aims to Deliver BRIDGE trainings to major elections stakeholders in Egypt as well as to Strengthen election monitoring unit at the NCHR. To achieve the project objectives, there was a need to have a pool of Egyptian BRIDGE facilitators from the NCHR and other organizations. This "Train the Facilitators" (TtF) workshop is the first of two workshop to be held in Egypt as part of the above-mentioned project with the aim of establishing a pool of Egyptian BRIDGE facilitators
Introduction and Background With the aim of contributing to the electoral reform process in Egypt, IFES and UNDP-Egypt in cooperation with the NCHR organized BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance, and Election) training in 2007. The workshop brought together selected participants representing various election stakeholders in Egypt to enhance their understanding of the principles that underpin the electoral process and share with them comparative experience from the region and other parts of the world as a framework in which to assess their own local experience and draw on best practices and lessons learned and was delivered by "IFES". IFES is one of the BRIDGE partners along with EAD, UNDP, IDEA and the Australian Election Commission (AEC).
The first BRIDGE TtF ever conducted in Colombia, and only the 3rd to take place in Latin America, took place in Bogota on 1-6 December with the support of International IDEA. The workshop was co-funded by the Registraduria and IDEA (through a regional BRIDGE project supported by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation in Development, AECID).
The fifth of the planned BRIDGE modules with staff of Secretariado Tecnico Administracao Eleitoral (STAE) was to have been conducted in Dili in October as were the previous four BRIDGE Modules delivered in 2008. However, whenever an opportunity presents itself it is certainly part of BRIDGE philosophy to 'seize the day'!