Regionalisation in BRIDGE refers to a strategy to promote the use of BRIDGE at the level of a region, including building interest and commitment among regional stakeholders, setting regional objectives and timelines, developing regional human resources, contextualising materials and supporting regional networks and partnerships.
In this regard BRIDGE implementers can conduct BRIDGE on a regional basis, that is, the program may be customised to suit and include a number of countries or client organisations within a particular region. For example, implementers may wish to work with regional associations of electoral administrators to conduct BRIDGE workshops at a central location, or take a sub-regional approach by conducting BRIDGE workshops in various locations. This could be particularly useful if the region is widespread, yet is united by cultural or language links.
It should be recognised that regionalisation brings with it inherent challenges due to the diversity: culturally, geographically as well as differing challenges and priorities.
Regionalisation can be beneficial for a number of reasons:
There are a number of elements that together create a regional strategy including:
A regional approach can be used to create a pool of BRIDGE resource persons including facilitators, implementers and translators. Sometimes it can be a more effective economy of scale to have the BRIDGE resource persons spread through regions rather than all concentrated in one country where opportunities to implement BRIDGE activities may be more limited.
One of the benefits of a regional approach is that it creates opportunities for practitioners to develop networks. Networks can be beneficial for strengthening the notion of professionalism as well as providing access to comparative experience which is made easier by personal connections.
Regional networks can be maintained through regional communication strategies for example regional events, newsletters, online forums, etc.