Scoping missions should include at least one BRIDGE facilitator with extensive knowledge of BRIDGE. Having an experienced facilitator on the team – preferably one who is likely to be working on the program – is very strongly recommended because this will help to anticipate any problems (logistical, technical, or financial) that might be encountered during implementation. It also helps the facilitator build a relationship with the main stakeholders.
A scoping mission typically consists of two components, documentary research section and interview-based engagements. Documentary research is done ahead of a visit to the initiating institution or country, covering/comprising:
Research can be done by reviewing existing literature (observation reports, media reports, and EMB reports), meeting and speaking with individuals, and using tools such as the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network, IFES and Inter-Parliamentary Union websites.
A summary background analysis and briefing package for new team members are typical outputs of the research process.
Apart from the client organisation, the mission members should meet with other stakeholders, including: donors; political parties; parliamentarians; relevant department heads; civil society groups; observer groups. Focus groups are a complementary for generating information useful for the assessment.
The members of a scoping mission when speaking to client organisations and other interlocutors should, as a minimum, cover the following topics.
|Refer to: 8.4 Annex 4: Potential Cost Items of a BRIDGE Program for a list of costs to consider|
In the latter case, adequate lead times need to be built into the planning of the program, as customising of materials to a particular country or region is a very worthwhile but also potentially time-consuming process.
The following specific questions could be asked of the client organisation:
When setting up a mission to visit a foreign country, a number of cultural and administrative protocols and other pre-departure matters (such as visas, cultural briefings, and interpreters) need to be taken into consideration.
Typically, a mission will be conducted in response to a request by an interested organisation and will follow the initial analysis phase. A mutually convenient time will need to be agreed upon between the mission members and the interested organisation. Meetings should be pre-arranged in order to ensure best use of time during the scoping mission and to avoid operation events (such as voter registration periods or Elections) or cultural events and public holidays (e.g. Ramadan)
For an on-site needs assessment mission to be thorough and meaningful, at least one trip should be arranged, for a minimum of one working week. The agenda for such a one-week mission could be as follows:
It is only through these types of face-to-face meetings that clear, informed recommendations can be made as to what sort of BRIDGE program (if any) will be of most use to the client organisation.