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.
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.
Version 2 is on track to be substantially completed by the end of June 2007. Editing is continuing on a number of modules and we are about to send the first of the modules (the Introduction module) to the partners as part of the partner approval process.
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.
On March 29th at the GEO event held in Washington DC , IFES and UNDP signed up to be new partners to the BRIDGE Project and join founding partners the Australian Electoral Commission, International IDEA and the UN Electoral Assistance Division.
The parliamentary elections to be held in Armenia on 12 May 2007 will be an important indicator of democratic progress. Between 19 February and 2 March 2007, International IDEA and the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) in Armenia trained 29 persons (including 27 from Armenia and 2 from abroad) to become professional and ethical trainers in (BRIDGE Train the Facilitator Course) electoral administration in Yerevan, Armenia.
In order to have a better understanding of BRIDGE-Armenia materials, methodology and approach, one of the PhD students of the University attended selected sessions of BRIDGE Armenia TtF as an observer.
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.
The Implementation workshop was held in Scandinavian House (New York) on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th March 2007, with 22 participants and 2 facilitators.
The workshop was facilitated by Yvonne Goudie (BRIDGE Project Office) and Deryck Fritz (UNEAD).
In January 2007, International IDEA and the Central Electoral Commission of Armenia published the Armenia BRIDGE Manual, focused specifically on Armenia's election administration experiences and needs.
In summary, the most complete modules are:
International IDEA, a founding partner of the BRIDGE Project, has organised a "Train the Facilitators" in Stockholm Sweden from Monday 29 January - Friday 9 February 2007. The course is being facilitatoed by 3 IDEA staff members, Margot Gould, Maria Gratchew and Emad Yousef. The fourth facilitator is Therese Pearce Laanela, former IDEA staff member and currently working as one of the contributors to BRIDGE Version 2. Ossama Kamel from IFES Egypt is co-facilitating the course to finish his accreditation as a BRIDGE facilitator.
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)
As 2006 draws to a close, it is timely to reflect on what has been a wonderful year for the BRIDGE Project and to thank the partner organisations and all of our facilitators and administrative support staff for their hard work and enthusiasm.
This year there have been more BRIDGE courses conducted than ever before. Excitingly, BRIDGE has been conducted in several African nations, in Latin America, in the Middle East, in the Pacific, in Afghanistan, in the Caucasus and in Bangladesh. There have been requests for BRIDGE from places as diverse as Bhutan and Armenia.
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.
"Elections are the largest and most extensive logistical exercise conducted during peacetime involving almost the entire adult population of a state or nation says Dr Abdalla Hamdok, IDEA Regional Director of Africa and Middle East Programme. Despite the complexity of the task there is no formal university level degree or diploma available for the study of election administration."
This is why in 2001 International IDEA, the Australian Electoral Commission and the United Nations developed the BRIDGE training curriculum specifically to meet the needs of election administrators. In fact, BRIDGE is now widely recognized as the most comprehensive training curriculum of its kind in the world.
In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, from 6 to 10 November 2006, International IDEA, the Electoral Assistance Division of the United Nations and the Spanish Ministry of Interior trained election administrators from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay
In Amman, Jordan, from 12 to 23 November 2006, International IDEA trained election administrators from seven countries in the Arab World: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Somaliland, Sudan and Syria.
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.
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.
The BRIDGE Project Office is looking for electoral photos for Version 2 which is aiming to include much more audio/visual material. The subject matter for the photos is as broad as the BRIDGE curriculum itself – encompassing all elements of elections.
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.
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.
BRIDGE Version 2 is bigger and better than Version 1, but we need your help to make it even bigger and better! Whilst we are extremely happy with development work so far, we realize that the curriculum needs many more personal examples and anecdotes scattered throughout its 3000 pages that the 16 modules has become! The last 4 years of BRIDGE course evaluations unanimously praises the inclusion of international examples/comparisons of all electoral topics – the resounding cry is for more.
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.
From 10 to 21 June 2006, a Professional Development Course (PDC) was conducted for 35 upper and middle managers of the Supreme Commission of Elections and Referendums (SCER) secretariat at the Taj Sheba Hotel, Republic of Yemen. IFES and UNDP agreed to form a joint project in collaboration with the SCER Training Unit to develop the PDC based on harmonized elements of both BRIDGE and the IFES Basic Electoral Administrators Training (BEAT).
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.
One of the recommendations of the 2005 BRIDGE Expert Advisory Group (EAG) meeting in Melbourne was to update BRIDGE to Version 2 by the end of 2006. The BRIDGE Project Office in Melbourne is coordinating this goal.
BRIDGE Version 2 is being further internationalised by commissioning expert writers from as many cultural and language backgrounds as possible. We have writers from every continent and region (the Americas, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Australia and New Zealand) – and this group will expand in the second ‘batch’ of writing contracts for the second half of 2006.
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.
Welcome to the new BRIDGE website.
If you are a BRIDGE facilitator, implementer, writer or just someone interested in electoral administration, please register your details to this site. You can access the registration form by clicking on the 'register' link on the right hand bridge panel on the front page of this site.
Once you have registered you will be able to be part of the BRIDGE forum discussions, contribute articles to the site and will be automatically recorded on the BRIDGE database that is regularly referred to when selecting individuals for various BRIDGE activities. Importantly, any BRIDGE password and username you were provided for the previous BRIDGE site will no longer work. All users (facilitators, implementers and writers) will have to re-register on the new site to gain access.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Although users of the BRIDGE Project have found it to be an extremely useful tool (as evinced by its increasing use around the world), those facilitating Version 1 of BRIDGE for the past five years are of the view that it would be desirable to rewrite some modules and develop new ones so as to keep BRIDGE up to date and to make it even more comprehensive.
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:
International IDEA and the Spanish Ministry of Interior held a showcase of the Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections curriculum (BRIDGE) at the training centre of the Spanish International Cooperation Agency (AECI) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, between September 13 and 16.
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.