If the following answers to the below list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ does not provide you with the information you seek, please contact us via the website.
Q: What is BRIDGE?
BRIDGE is a modular professional development program with a particular focus on elections. It is the most comprehensive curriculum and workshop package for elections in the world and is designed to be used as a tool for capacity development.
Q: Who is BRIDGE for?
A BRIDGE workshop is interactive and dynamic. The BRIDGE methodology encourages participation and recognises that participants have valuable knowledge and experience to share. The role of the BRIDGE facilitator is not to stand up the front and do all the talking, but rather to draw out the variety of knowledge in the room and to facilitate the sharing of ideas and ways of thinking differently. BRIDGE activities may involve brainstorming, role playing, debating, physical activity, quiet contemplation, problem-solving, storytelling or many other elements. A BRIDGE workshop is also designed to be inclusive, supportive and friendly.
Q: Is BRIDGE a formal qualification?
If you attend a BRIDGE module workshop you will receive a certificate of participation, but BRIDGE is not a formal qualification. However, it is meant as professional development that will assist you in your electoral work.
Q: What are the rules of BRIDGE?
BRIDGE is a partnership. This partnership gives strength to BRIDGE, but at the same time it brings with it some obligations for the implementers of BRIDGE. The rules and guidelines of BRIDGE are designed to ensure its integrity as well as continuing to maintain the synergy between the BRIDGE partners and other BRIDGE implementers. All BRIDGE activities must be approved by the BRIDGE Partners. Approval is obtained through the BRIDGE Office. Therefore BRIDGE implementers must advise the BRIDGE Office as soon as they can legitimately do so, of forthcoming BRIDGE activities. BRIDGE workshops must be conducted by accredited facilitators. The BRIDGE facilitation process has been designed to ensure that facilitators have an adequate understanding of the BRIDGE content and methodologies. This is to ensure quality of outcomes and consistency of approach in the delivery of BRIDGE training. BRIDGE must acknowledge the BRIDGE Partners. Part of the strength and credibility of BRIDGE comes from the Partnership, therefore it is important to give due recognition. Copyright of the BRIDGE materials must be respected. In this context, it must be emphasised that the translation of materials does not change the underlying intellectual property. Any translations of BRIDGE materials must be approved by the BRIDGE Office. Approval is obtained through the BRIDGE Office. Therefore BRIDGE translators must advise the BRIDGE Office before commencing translation work. BRIDGE facilitators and implementers must provide additional activities and resources, translations, evaluations and program reports to the BRIDGE website, via the BRIDGE Office. This ensures that lessons are learnt, and that the curriculum is improved on an ongoing basis. Please note that workshops, programs and translations which are funded or implemented by a BRIDGE Partner or EMB will be automatically approved. Implementers and translators from the BRIDGE Partners or EMBs must still inform the BRIDGE Office, but approval will be assumed in these cases. Facilitators who do not abide by the BRIDGE rules will be warned, and if they continue to transgress, will have their accreditation status as BRIDGE facilitators removed, which includes their access to the BRIDGE curriculum
Q: How do I arrange for BRIDGE to be run in my country or organisation?
Once a need for BRIDGE has been identified by an electoral management body, a donor organisation or more than one organisation in partnership with others, contact the BRIDGE Office for relevant information, support and details. To run a full BRIDGE program, the most effective sequence to follow may be: Needs assessment and scoping mission – What is needed? Is BRIDGE able to best meet those needs? How can BRIDGE best be used to meet identified objectives? Showcase – familiarise key stakeholders in a country or organisation with the methodology of BRIDGE Conduct at least one workshop – preferably the ‘Introduction to Election Administration’ module Train the Facilitator (if required) – build capacity by training local staff to deliver BRIDGE, and take ownership of BRIDGE in your country or organisation Module Workshops – conduct a series of customised BRIDGE workshops appropriate for your context and objectives, in a forward-thinking, considered program. Also refer to the Implementation Manual on the BRIDGE website for detailed information on the development and implementation of a BRIDGE program.
Q: Can BRIDGE be used as operational training?
BRIDGE is not in itself operational training, although the methodology can be applied to operational training, or standard BRIDGE workshops combined with operational training. One of the key points of BRIDGE is that the concepts and ideas discussed by participants should be directly relevant to the operational activities they do for their organisation. There are many aspects of BRIDGE which also speak to operational tools such as planning documents or sustainability plans.
Q: What are the costs of running a BRIDGE workshop?
The costs of running a BRIDGE workshop will vary depending on context and location. There is no fee to use the BRIDGE curriculum, but it must be delivered by accredited BRIDGE facilitators, and further expenses will relate to the running of the workshop itself. Possible expenses include: Facilitator fees (including time for customisation and preparation) Facilitator travel (including transport fares, per diem, accommodation, incidentals) Participant costs (including travel, salary) Venue hire (including equipment hire, catering) Resources and materials (including printing and copying, stationery) Sample budgets and costs can be found in the Implementation section (password access only) on the website.
Q: I am an individual interested in attending a BRIDGE workshop. How can I arrange this?
BRIDGE is designed to be part of a wider capacity building effort in a given country or region – it is not generally run as an open workshop that anyone can apply for. However, having a varied and international participant pool can add benefit to a BRIDGE module – for this reason, many organisations and countries running BRIDGE are happy to include external participants. To see if there are any BRIDGE workshops being run that might be appropriate for you, check the BRIDGE website calendar. Calendar listings should provide details of the implementing organisation, should you wish to contact them to see if they have any spaces available for external participants. You may need to fund your own travel and expenses to attend the workshop.
Q: Can I take a BRIDGE workshop online?
No. BRIDGE is not suitable or available as an online course. The BRIDGE methodology is activity based and highly interactive, and not suitable for online use.
Q: Do I have to pay to attend a workshop?
To date, no BRIDGE participant has been asked to pay tuition fees for attending a BRIDGE workshop. However, funding for facilitators, materials, venue and travel is usually met by the host organisation, a donor or more than one organisation in partnership. The Partners do not currently support the idea of fee-paying BRIDGE and the convention remains that BRIDGE will not be offered on a fee-paying basis.
Q: What is the difference between a BRIDGE module workshop and a Train the Facilitator (TtF) workshop?
BRIDGE modules are the core of the BRIDGE curriculum. The aim of the modules is professional development in 24 curriculum areas. It is suitable for all stakeholders in the electoral process, from electoral administrators to political contestants, members of the media, academics and others. The TtF is designed specifically to train BRIDGE facilitators. It does not provide electoral training and information. Nominees for a TtF should have a training background, and be prepared to be involved in a broader BRIDGE program which will deliver the BRIDGE modules.
Q: What are the criteria for becoming a BRIDGE facilitator?
Candidates for TtFs are usually required to have the following attributes: A background in training Experience in electoral administration Strategic availability – if you are employed by an agency, will they release you to facilitate? Familiarity with BRIDGE (i.e. have attended a BRIDGE workshop already)
Q: Does the BRIDGE Office keep a register of people interested in becoming a facilitator? Can I send my CV in to be kept on record?
No, the BRIDGE Office does not keep a register of people interested in becoming a facilitator and does not keep CVs of interested parties. People interested in becoming facilitators should contact the organisers of broader BRIDGE programs and TtF workshops directly. Please see the FAQ about how to become a BRIDGE facilitator for more information.
Q: What is the recommended salary of a BRIDGE facilitator?
The BRIDGE office does not intervene in the setting or negotiation of consultancy fees. This is a matter which can only be determined between the facilitator concerned and the employing agency.
Q: Can I see the BRIDGE curriculum and have access to the workshop materials?
Access to the BRIDGE curriculum and workshop materials is usually restricted to accredited BRIDGE facilitators and the BRIDGE partners. However, if you would like to see a sample of the curriculum and you are not a facilitator or BRIDGE partner, please contact the BRIDGE Office explaining why you would like access.
Q: Are there translations of BRIDGE available?
There have already been a number of BRIDGE materials and resources translated and others are in the process of being translated. To view the breakdown of the resources that have been translated, refer to the statistics section of the website. Translations are available to facilitators and BRIDGE partners in the curriculum section of the website.
Q: Who has contributed to BRIDGE?
Please see the Acknowledgements page on the BRIDGE website.
Q: How often is the curriculum updated?
The BRIDGE curriculum files are updated when resources permit. The BRIDGE Office aims to continuously improve the BRIDGE materials. Changes are based on facilitator feedback, so facilitators are encouraged to contact the BRIDGE Office if they have amendments, corrections, additions or other improvements for the curriculum. Occasionally a focused update is conducted where a curriculum expert is contracted to review or update a specific module.
Q: Other questions
If you have any other questions that aren’t answered in the above list you can contact the BRIDGE office directly using the ‘contact us’ section of the website.