BRIDGE in Electoral Assistance and Capacity Building Programs
August 17, 2009
Focus On: Showcasing BRIDGE
August 17, 2009

Once the program objectives are in place and parameters identified, implementers can begin to look at the BRIDGE components and workshop sequencing to determine which are most likely to address the set objectives. The best way to build support is to co-design the intended BRIDGE program with the clients themselves. This approach has proven far more effective than the ‘cold start’ approach where BRIDGE facilitators come into a country to facilitate with little or no face to face consultation with the client organisation.

Workshop components and scale

The key questions here are: How extensive is this program to be? What will best achieve the objectives? E.g. a BRIDGE showcase, an implementation workshop, an introductory module workshops, a TtF, module workshops.

Determining the program components and scale can be difficult unless a very experienced BRIDGE facilitator and/or implementer is providing guidance. The size of a program could be as small or as large as you need it to be (or as funding permits). Initially, the following questions should be answered to try to ascertain the scope/size of the program:

  • How many people in the organisation do you want to have (BRIDGE Project) trained?
  • What length of training should they ideally have?
  • What length of training can realistically be given to the recipients of the trainings?

Once determined – then ask:

  • How many facilitators will be needed to deliver the training to the intended audience? (More information on this can be found in 5. BRIDGE Facilitators.)

A recommended sequence of events for an extensive BRIDGE program is as follows:

  1. Showcase
    Description: The Showcase is a useful tool for exposing decision-makers to relevant aspects of the resources, materials and method of delivery of BRIDGE. It will help to give them a better and more informed understanding of the benefits they can derive from BRIDGE, and if it is suitable for their needs.

    It is highly recommended to use the Introduction to Electoral Administration module as the Showcase workshop, as this module showcases the BRIDGE methodology and establishes the appropriate pedagogical and ethical framework for the rest of the program. Alternatively, a customised showcase module using BRIDGE material from any of the 23 modules (as best fits the needs of the audience) could be used.

    Intended audience: Decision-makers. It is also useful for potential facilitators or implementers to attend.

    Who can deliver it: Fully accredited facilitators. Attention needs to be focussed on obtaining the ‘right’ type of facilitators, because high-level decisions need to be made on program tailoring, choosing the right mix of materials, and understanding the cultural make-up of participants.

  1. Conduct first module workshops
    Description: One or two workshops to allow a broader range of stakeholders to become familiar with BRIDGE.

    Intended audience: Client organisation staff, those who may become facilitators or implementers and other stakeholders.

    Who can deliver it: Fully accredited facilitators. Attention needs to be focussed on obtaining the ‘right’ type of facilitators, because high-level decisions need to be made on program tailoring, choosing the right mix of materials, and understanding the cultural make-up of participants.

  1. Begin the process of accrediting local BRIDGE facilitators at a Train the Facilitator workshop
    Description: Project partners should assess the appropriateness of conducting this workshop as the accreditation of local facilitators constitutes an important contribution to capacity building. The 10-day Train the Facilitator (TtF) workshop is designed to give practical skills and knowledge about BRIDGE modules to potential facilitators of BRIDGE, and to prepare them to deliver the workshops in the program. The successful completion of a TtF workshop is one step towards gaining full accreditation as a BRIDGE facilitator – the second is attending a module workshop as a participant.  The final step towards accreditation as a Workshop Facilitator is facilitating a module in the field under supervision, and it would be expected that this stage would be completed within the module phase of the sequence. For more information on TtFs and accreditation, refer to 5. BRIDGE Facilitators.

    Intended audience: Experienced trainers, preferably with a background in curriculum development.  Ideally participants will have a solid grounding in the methodologies and approaches of BRIDGE and capacity development. It is strongly recommended that a prerequisite for the TtF is participation in at least one BRIDGE module.

    Who can deliver it: Experienced accredited facilitators, with an Accrediting or Expert Facilitator as lead.

  1. Conduct Implementation Workshop
    Description: The objective of the workshop is to help local stakeholders in BRIDGE make best use of this Manual.  Where a BRIDGE program is extensive and the intention is for local staff to continue its implementation, this workshop is highly recommended.

    Intended audience: Implementers, managers and administrators of the BRIDGE program. It is highly recommended that participants in the Implementation Workshop have participated in the BRIDGE Introduction module, or a showcase. If not, it is highly recommended that a one-day showcase be incorporated into the beginning of the Implementation Workshop.

    Who can deliver it: A minimum of two very experienced BRIDGE facilitators, preferably Expert Facilitators. Ideally, one facilitator should be very experienced in facilitation and the other should have extensive experience in implementing or administrating a BRIDGE program.

  1. Conduct bulk of module workshops
    Description: This is the main bulk of the program.

    Intended audience: The client organisation and other stakeholders who can benefit from taking part. Ideally they should have some prior or current experience in the electoral field, or be about to take part in election-related activities. They should be motivated individuals, committed to the democratic process, and willing to share information and to assist in the setting up of national training programs. They should also be willing to participate in the evaluation and further design of the program.

    Who can deliver it: Fully accredited BRIDGE facilitators. Attention should be focused on obtaining the ‘right’ type of facilitator and the right team. It is recommended that at least one facilitator is ‘local’. Other considerations to keep in mind are gender balance, hierarchical balance, geographical balance and balance of electoral and/or training experience.

Initial identification of modules that meet program objectives

When the components and scope of a program have been identified (e.g. module workshops, Train the Facilitator and Implementation Workshops, and roll-out of more modules), the next step is the identification of the modules that would be most appropriate to meet the program objectives, and the time allocation/schedule of the program. Again, an experienced BRIDGE facilitator is recommended to assist in this process – as detailed familiarity with all the modules is needed at this stage to identify those parts of the modules which will be most appropriate. This is the initial stage of ‘customising’ a BRIDGE program: identifying the relevant objectives, Key Understandings and Learning Outcomes, activities from the 23 modules. An appropriate workshop agenda is then built and resources made accordingly. More information on the customisation process is in 4.  Designing and Customising BRIDGE Workshops.

Refer to: 8.3 Annex 3: BRIDGE Modules at a Glance for a brief outline of each of the 23 modules.
Ben
Ben

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