Upcoming Events

September 20, 2021

Pakistan, Electoral Systems Workshop, September 2021, IFES

The Election Commission of Pakistan has recently recruited 77 Election Officers in Grade-17. The first-ever Pre-Service Training (PST) is 16 weeks training which is being imparted to said officers in Federal Election Academy, Islamabad w.e.f 5th July 2021 to 29th October 2021. There are three Groups of said Election Officers in this training. This Training is aimed to enhance the professional capabilities of these new appointees by focusing on the development of their interpersonal skills, analytical skills, leadership qualities, and professional knowledge in respect of electoral management. The training is designed to enable the new appointees to create and lead an effective team and to make correct, prompt, and informed decisions during an election event. Election Commission has included three BRIDGE Workshops in aforesaid training which will be held in two weeks. The first of such workshops will be conducted using Electoral Systems […]
August 18, 2009

Special considerations for running a TtF workshop

Implementing a Train the Facilitator (TtF) workshop A TtF is also a more complex implementation task than a standard BRIDGE module. The nature of the workshop is that it is quite intensive in non-facilitation tasks, and needs to be quite narrowly targeted and planned. Thorough planning is crucial for a successful TtF. Special requirements A TtF is much less structured and predictable than a standard BRIDGE module because of the scope that it gives to participants to develop and create their own activities. Because of this, implementation of a TtF needs to take some extra issues into account. Administrative support Administrative support is essential to a TtF. A TtF involves many more ad hoc administrative tasks (such as procurement, printing and photocopying) than a standard BRIDGE module. Facilitators will know from the beginning of a standard module the activities they plan to present, and the resources they will need. In a TtF, as participants are developing and creating activities throughout the two weeks, this is much less predictable and it is essential to have an administrative support person to deal with participants’ requests and the flexibility of the workshop, in addition to usual BRIDGE administrative tasks such as venue management or travel. Venue requirements A TtF requires sufficient space to allow participants to work quietly in partners preparing activities and presentations. Breakout rooms are highly desirable, although a large enough main room can be sufficient. There should be enough tables and chairs for each pair to work separately, without distraction from other pairs. A quiet area to give feedback is also essential. Facilitators will spend the last day of the TtF giving verbal evaluations to the participants on their performance at the TtF, and ideally there should be several private rooms or areas where this can be done. Workshop materials TtF materials differ from standard module materials. In addition to the Facilitators and Participants handbooks, there is also a Participants Workbook, Facilitation Manual and the BRIDGE curriculum. Implementation Manuals should also be provided for participants who are likely to be involved in implementation as well as facilitation. There should be ample generic stationery available to allow participants to be creative, but also to work with the kinds of things that are likely to be available to them – e.g. coloured paper, glue and sticky tape, markers. AV materials It may be useful to ask participants to bring along laptops if they have one, to facilitate their activity development, or to have several PCs available for use. However, computer access is not essential, and it can also be useful for participants to learn how to operate without computer support, as they may be expected to facilitate in areas where this is not available. Access to a photocopier and printer is essential for a TtF as participants will want to copy handouts, and if they have laptop or PC access, to print out materials. As usual, a projector (OHP or data) is also required, along with a screen or bare white wall for projections, and facilitators may choose to use DVDs/videos which may require a television and player. A small stereo for music can also be useful for both activity work and more informal use. Social outing Ideally, a social outing should be arranged for the middle weekend of the two-week TtF. It provides a welcome break to an intense and lengthy workshop, plus the opportunity for participants to socialise. If participants are international or from outside the host city, a cultural outing is […]
August 18, 2009

Running a BRIDGE Workshop

This section looks at what happens during the workshop itself. Facilitators should also refer to the Facilitation Manual for further facilitation-specific information. Methodology Principles Reminder Those facilitating BRIDGE workshops are encouraged to: create a learning environment that is respectful, safe and conducive to open and constructive dialogue keep lecturing to a minimum, instead using participatory methods for learning such as discussion, debates, mock trials, games, role plays and simulations connect people’s lived experience directly to abstract concepts and legal documents provide for an open-minded examination of electoral concerns with opportunities for participants to arrive at positions different to the facilitator’s include an international/global dimension to how elections are practiced, (e.g. how it manifests itself both at home and abroad) affirm the belief that the individual can make a difference and provide examples of individuals who have done so include an action dimension that provides participants with opportunities to act on their beliefs and understanding. These actions should address problems both at home and elsewhere in the world explicitly link every topic or issue to relevant articles of the broader international instruments on elections and democracy, such as UN Conventions or regional declarations be responsive to concerns related to cultural diversity, especially in the design of activities should reflect a variety of perspectives (e.g., race, gender, religion, cultural/national traditions). Preparation days As stated earlier, the workshop should be preceded by several days of preparation by the facilitation team. The opening session No matter how much effort is put into providing participants with material that explains BRIDGE in detail, many will still arrive on the first day knowing little about BRIDGE. There may also be participants who fail to see how BRIDGE is relevant to them. It is therefore vitally important that the opening ceremony of BRIDGE be supported by key figures in the client organisation, and that an overview be given to participants. If the head of the organisation is prepared to give ten minutes of his or her time to say how important he or she thinks the program is, it can really help to build a positive environment from the start. Care should be taken to ensure that the arrangements for opening a BRIDGE workshop have been thoroughly planned. Among other things, it might be necessary to: invite key and/or high profile personnel to attend this session, and ask some of them (especially clients and donors) to make welcoming comments before an appropriate BRIDGE facilitator introduces the workshop invite the media (perhaps through the distribution of a press release) arrange the training room furniture, with appropriate seating for VIPs take photographs provide special refreshments The following items relate to the opening session as outlined in the Facilitators Notes of every module, and highlight some implementation issues for each. Welcome and workshop administration A sample of an introductory speech is given in the Introduction module. To adjust such a speech to local circumstances, the following elements might be included: introductions of visitors and special and important guests explanation of the role of consultants, if they are being used an expression of gratitude to relevant people and donors what BRIDGE stands for the background to BRIDGE the main objectives of the workshop what participants will take away with them the BRIDGE methodology (in particular, adult learning principles, flexibility, interactivity, informality, awareness of diversity and differences in expectations) main characteristics of the workshop Under the last of these points, it may be appropriate to reiterate that BRIDGE provides a forum in which participants can work together through discussion, debate, presentation, role-play and simulation. Providing from the outset a detailed description of what BRIDGE is (and is not) is critical. Once welcoming speeches have been made and the workshop introduced, facilitators should outline some of the practical aspects of the workshop. They might wish to: go through housekeeping matters (for example venue, security issues, car parking, access passes and ID badges) discuss administrative matters (for example participants’ obligations as employees, and remuneration and allowances in relation to workshop attendance) run through the agenda discuss with participants the starting and finishing time of daily sessions recall that the schedule is flexible and, therefore, may be changed according to circumstances mention that participants will be working in teams, pairs and individually, which implies time frames may vary depending on the type of activities conducted Facilitators should take the time to introduce participants to BRIDGE if they are new to it. If possible, provide the BRIDGE brochure or refer participants before the workshop to the BRIDGE website. There is a PN document called ‘BRIDGE Project Information’ in every module which also covers basic information about BRIDGE. The contact list should also be circulated at this point to obtain contact details for all participants. Addressing participant expectations We have discussed module objectives (those that were developed by the curriculum designer) and program objectives (objectives specific to the context and participants of the program being run), based on which the particular workshop being run has been designed. It is important for facilitators to manage any mismatch between participant expectations and the program objectives on day one. One of the standard exercises on the first day of any BRIDGE training, following housekeeping and the official welcome, is an activity called ‘Introduction and Participant Expectations’. Facilitators may discover at this point that, despite having developed the program objectives through discussion with stakeholders, and despite having communicated them in advance, that nonetheless misunderstanding or miscommunication can occur. Re-aligning participant expectations with program objectives (and program design) should be done as early as possible – and a variety of techniques can be used: Open discussion together with the participants at the end of the activity Quick discussion amongst the facilitation team and hosting organisation to assess whether changes to the curriculum are possible at that late hour (such as the addition of a guest speaker, or shift of focus) Individual discussion with those participants directly affected (whose expectations will not realistically be filled) – experience has shown that early recognition of individual concerns can be enough to pre-empt any discontent at a later stage Curriculum framework and context (‘This Module in BRIDGE’) It is important for participants to be able to see the workshop within a wider context. This includes the: Wider BRIDGE program Electoral cycle BRIDGE curriculum framework Ideally organisers should promote the workshop as a component of the broader program, and participants should be aware of that. Placing it within the electoral cycle and the BRIDGE framework will underline this. Guest speakers Throughout the conduct of BRIDGE activities, it is recommended that specialists be invited to address participants on relevant issues. The importance of local experts cannot be over-emphasised, as they serve two important purposes: first, they provide a change from the regular facilitators; and, second, they can provide highly context-specific information. Relying on guest speakers is particularly recommended when facilitators do not have an extensive electoral background. People who have expert knowledge in many areas of electoral administration are likely to be found both within the host country EMB and outside (for example, from academia or donors). To show appreciation to such guests in the most appropriate way, the project manager will need to consider whether their contribution is part of their normal job and whether they have incurred substantial expenses in requesting leave from work or getting to the venue. Photographs A digital camera is extremely useful in a BRIDGE workshop. Photographs of opening ceremonies, closing ceremonies and certificate presentations, group dinners, guest speakers, and groups working together and having fun, serve two important functions: As a visual record of participation that can be given to participants to remind them of the personal outcomes achieved through the workshop – a group photo should appear on the same page as the participants contact list, so that those who do not normally work together can easily network (putting faces to names helps), a central element of the capacity development objective of BRIDGE programs As material for BRIDGE archives – effective documentation (including thorough record keeping) of all workshops will allow the BRIDGE Office to continually improve BRIDGE programs, which is one of the founding partners’ main objectives If a digital camera is not available, standard photos should be taken and forwarded to the BRIDGE Office for scanning. Monitoring during the workshop Monitoring is a vital part of the evaluation process, which is discussed further in 7.1 Evaluating BRIDGE. Monitoring during a workshop should cover (at the minimum) facilitators, venue, materials and teaching aids, and should include elements of group, peer and individual feedback as well as trainer evaluations. Participants should be asked to give an indication of their own experiences of training and learning. Although BRIDGE workshops are appraised by participants on a daily basis, using evaluation sheets (each module contains a generic sheet for use), there are also other methods – referred to in the Facilitators Notes – that facilitators may choose to use to measure the effectiveness of training during the workshops. There are real advantages in continuous monitoring. Daily appraisal – including verbal or icebreaker evaluation either at the start or the end of the day – enables facilitators to modify their workshops and address any issues as they emerge. That way, feedback is unlikely to be missed. Yet, experience shows in some cases that those who are evaluated and supposed to give feedback may get tired of it, which will result in a half-hearted response. As a result, the feedback will not be as accurate as expected. Group evaluation Various forms of verbal group evaluation are suitable for the end of a day or the whole workshop. Their strength is that people are usually more prepared to make extensive comments in a small group discussion, than in writing. Filling out feedback forms has the inherent problem of being completed in isolation from other participants but is anonymous. Hearing others comments can, however, make the less confident members of the group feel more secure about their opinions but it puts all in the position of having to justify their opinions to the rest of the group. Key moment snapshots Evaluation can be done less frequently, especially when the activities do not vary significantly from day to day. People tend to give much more feedback when they see or experience new things. To counteract possible weariness and minimise the risk of losing valuable feedback, it might be advisable to have a set of debriefing sessions among the implementers at fixed intervals or depending on the novelty of the topics or activities covered. Other tasks to be performed in relation with the workshop monitoring are summarised in Table 4 below. Table 4: Monitoring Tasks Who is being monitored? Type of monitoring Product of monitoring Project team/ counterpart training unit The client organisation may assign an “evaluator” to assess the workshop A report from the client organisation Facilitators Facilitators may undertake self appraisal throughout the workshop Feedback may be provided by co-facilitators Feedback may come from participants Combined appraisal methods: evidence of learning may be compared to objectives, for example by examining completed flipcharts, group work outputs, or individual presentations Possible adaptation or adjustment of training Daily debriefing Weekly assessment (if needed) Participants Depending on length of workshop, assign participants as peer evaluators Daily written and/or verbal appraisal can be provided Facilitators should try to ensure that feedback is relevant, and that the feedback process does not become boring, monotonous or repetitive for participants A variety of creative relevant appraisal techniques should be used daily in sessions Written evaluation sheets/forms on materials, logistics, training quality, trainers, contents relevance and application, and areas of improvement Facilitator evaluation Reflection Asking participants a few questions during the workshop can help check what facilitators could be changing. Questions could include: What is one thing I could do differently next time in my role as facilitator? What would you like me to be doing that I am not? What could I have done to make this meeting more productive? What should I be doing to make you (the team) self-sufficient (not need me)? What has to happen for you to rate our meetings a "5?" These could be done at the end of sessions or at the end of the day before the workshop is completed. However there is a danger that participants will not want to offend and will give facilitators a very positive review. Observe participant outputs You can often learn a great deal about your own work by looking at the work the participants do in groups. Although subjective, if you can see that their flipcharts etc are poorly put together, or not complete, or that discussion is off the topic this suggests either 1) the task and or roles were not clear 2) the task is not seen as relevant to needs 3) there is something wrong with the group dynamics – or some combination of these. Keeping notes on whether these occur and what remedial strategies you took is a useful way to add to the training process evaluation. Closing the workshop Like opening ceremonies, closing ceremonies are an important formal activity. To mark the conclusion of a BRIDGE workshop, it might be appropriate to organise a lunch or dinner for the participants and the key personnel involved in the project. It is perhaps even more important to have such people handing out the completion certificate to their ‘employees’ than having them provide welcoming speeches at the start. Local protocol officials should also be consulted on these matters. Refer to the Facilitators Notes for more information on closing activities (including simple things like having participants stand in circle and exchanging positive comments on their respective performance as a form of goodbye; presenting them with mementos (gifts); taking group photos; conducting informal evaluations; and giving speeches). A typical closing ceremony (following a lunch) could proceed as follows. 14:00 Participants assemble in the training room (where furniture has been moved during the lunch break and seats rearranged in theatre-style, with a table for VIPs at front). 14:10 The Master of Ceremonies (facilitator or project manager) introduces a VIP from the client organisation (for example, a Commissioner). 14:15 The Commissioner delivers a concluding speech. 14:20 The Master of Ceremonies invites the Commissioner to hand out certificates as names of participants are called (photos of presentation taken by administrative assistant) – this procedure should be practiced first, so that everyone is standing in the right place to facilitate efficient presentation and photography. If mementos are given, they should be handed out in line after certificates have been distributed. 14:30 Everyone is invited to assemble for a group photo (ensuring that key people are in the photo, not taking them, and using at least two cameras for good measure). 14:40 The project manager concludes with any housekeeping matters (for example inviting people to check whether they have all of their belongings), organises an informal goodbye activity if appropriate, and ensures facilitators say goodbye to all participants (thanking them for their participation) before they leave. Certificates At the end of a workshop, in addition to key tools and resources to take back to their agency and modules containing theory, practice and resources relating to each electoral administration topic, participants receive a certificate of completion or a certificate of attendance. BRIDGE certificates follow a standard format that contains the BRIDGE logo, BRIDGE partners’ logos, dates, venue, and description of the workshop. A generic certificate can be downloaded from the facilitators’ section of the BRIDGE website. It is important that close attention be paid to listing donor and supporting organisations and placing logos in an adequate manner, getting the appropriate person to sign the certificate, and, of course, ensuring that names are correctly spelled and calligraphed, if hand-written rather than printed. The BRIDGE Office should be sent records of who has completed the module (participant list), and whether any facilitators received their full accreditation at this workshop. At this stage, BRIDGE workshops do not accrue credits towards any university course. Generic templates for the BRIDGE certificates (for workshop completion, and both partial and full accreditation) can be obtained from the BRIDGE […]
August 18, 2009

Focus On: The BRIDGE Website

The BRIDGE website has the following functions: To explain BRIDGE to potential clients and interested parties The BRIDGE website explains what BRIDGE is to potential clients through a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) area, a summary of the curriculum, news articles, upcoming events, discussion forum, statistics, reports and an online version of this implementation manual To inform BRIDGE stakeholders about current BRIDGE issues and events The site informs stakeholders about BRIDGE current issues and events through a quarterly newsletter publication. The BRIDGE Facilitator Bulletin is for anyone who is interested in keeping informed about BRIDGE news with a focus on facilitator and implementer issues. This newsletter can be subscribed to through the front of the BRIDGE website. The ‘News’ section of the site informs stakeholders about BRIDGE events. This area is specifically designed so that facilitators or implementers can write articles and reports about a completed workshop and have it posted to a central point where BRIDGE Partners, facilitators, implementers, clients or participants can read about what is happening with BRIDGE. The ‘News’ feature of the site also acts as a repository of information on past workshops and programs. To send reports about a completed BRIDGE workshop, facilitators or implementers can email the article to the BRIDGE Office (projectoffice@bridge-project.org) along with a selection of photos from the workshop. Articles are also welcome in languages other than English. To provide a central point of contact for BRIDGE related queries The website also acts as a central point for individuals to submit BRIDGE related questions. The BRIDGE website has a ‘contact us’ section. Messages posted to this area are sent to all BRIDGE Office staff through the email address – projectoffice@bridge-project.org. The BRIDGE Office will review the emails and either respond directly or forward the email to the relevant Partner organisation. To maintain a database of past and future BRIDGE events The BRIDGE calendar is a record of past and upcoming BRIDGE workshops, meetings and other events. All BRIDGE events must be posted to the BRIDGE calendar using the online notification form to be considered officially BRIDGE. Where Partner approval has not already been sought, the online notification will be considered a request for approval and sent to the BRIDGE Partners. Events will be posted to the BRIDGE calendar following review from the BRIDGE Office and approval from the BRIDGE Partners. To maintain a database of BRIDGE facilitators The BRIDGE website maintains a database of facilitators. BRIDGE facilitators are registered to the website when they successfully complete their TtF. Information is kept on their contact details, BRIDGE experience and accreditation information.Facilitators are able to progressively update their own profile as they accumulate BRIDGE experience. Accreditation is also done through the BRIDGE website through online accreditation forms. Applications to become Workshop Facilitator should be submitted by the facilitator who is doing the accrediting, not the applicant. Applications to become Accrediting or Expert should be submitted by the applicant themselves, identifying a referee. This database is one of the tools that the BRIDGE Office and Partners use when recommending facilitators for planned workshops. Registered users of the BRIDGE website may log in and search the facilitator database themselves. Here they can find facilitators by specific criteria such as their accreditation status and languages spoken. To provide facilitators with access to the curriculum and other resources needed to conduct BRIDGE workshopsThe BRIDGE website hosts the up to date curriculum as well as translated versions for use by facilitators. Only accredited facilitators and the BRIDGE Partners have access to this section of the website. In addition to the curriculum this area has ‘extra resources’ such as brochures, posters, nametags and folder covers and dividers. Facilitators can also access the artwork files should they need to customise these resources. To provide facilitators with evaluation tools for their BRIDGE programs or workshops The BRIDGE website has several forms and tools for both facilitator and participant evaluations. To provide a forum for the BRIDGE community The BRIDGE website hosts a BRIDGE forum to facilitate discussion and communication between all BRIDGE stakeholders. This facility also has the function of informing the BRIDGE Office and Project Partners about potential issues that may need to be addressed at Partner Committee Meetings. The forum is publically viewable, although only registered users can post comments. Website checklist: facilitators and implementers Register as a website user Update your own profile Notify the BRIDGE Office of BRIDGE events and update information if needed Download BRIDGE curriculum, materials as necessary Send an article about each BRIDGE event for publication, including photos Complete any accreditation forms if relevant Complete facilitator evaluation forms giving feedback for the BRIDGE event […]
August 18, 2009

Preparing for a BRIDGE Module Workshop

Although they may involve practical tasks, most of the activities conducted in the initial phase of a project are research-related and, therefore, of an essentially theoretical nature. Their purpose is to define the framework within which training is going to take place. This chapter details the specific measures to be taken to ensure effective implementation of the actual workshops that will make up the bulk of the BRIDGE program. Selecting facilitators The success of BRIDGE depends on the quality of the facilitators who deliver it. The program team should have already identified facilitators who may be available for the workshops, and facilitators should already be involved in the customisation process. More information on the dynamics of a facilitation team can be found in 5. BRIDGE Facilitators, however this section looks at some of the logistical considerations implementers should take into account when preparing for a workshop. Employment conditions BRIDGE is designed to develop capacity in an organisation, and once established, a BRIDGE program should be using local facilitators from within the client organisation, in which case their employment as a facilitator for a workshop will depend on the organisation’s own human resources conditions. However, when bringing in external facilitators, particularly for organisations or countries that are just starting a BRIDGE program, there are other issues to consider. Contracts and agreements Upon recruitment, a facilitator may be asked to sign an agreement or contract. Fees The BRIDGE Office does not prescribe a fee for facilitators – this is a matter of negotiation between the facilitator and the implementing organisation, and will need to consider issues such as experience, skills and regional rates. A convention usually followed for BRIDGE programs is that partially accredited facilitators are not remunerated for their time, until they achieve full accreditation in the field – the work completed is seen as pure professional development. Allowances As stated in the budgeting section, travel and other allowances for facilitators should already be taken into account. Availability Where large projects employ several facilitators, it might also be worth having the program manager check when they are available for training and keep a list of possible dates. It is also wise, when large numbers of facilitators are involved in different workshops, to record the actual number of hours worked. Facilitator preparation and coordination When selecting facilitators to run workshops, it is essential that preparation time is factored in. A facilitator cannot be expected to turn up on the first day of the workshop and start from there – they will need at least several days beforehand to meet with the rest of the team (particularly where they do not know or work with each other) and establish and maintain the team dynamic. Team members will need to: discuss and agree on their respective roles and responsibilities to create a supportive environment agree on the outcomes of the workshop review the relevant workshop content and collate the resources (if this has not already been done) create the final agenda for the workshop (see ‘Finetuning the agenda – a typical training day’ below) Where three or more facilitators are involved, close and effective communication is vital, and it may be appropriate to designate a program manager to coordinate and ensure such communication. As a guide, you will need to calculate the appropriate number of preparation days for any given workshop. As a general guide, facilitators should have as many preparation days as there are days in the workshop. Things to consider when calculating preparation day numbers include: How experienced is the facilitation team in delivering BRIDGE workshops? How experienced is the team in delivering this particular module workshop? How much customisation is required for the workshop? How much of an administrative role will the facilitators have to play? Are briefings required for guest speakers/interpreters? Sufficient preparation time and effective communication within the team are vital to the quality and success of the workshop. Selecting participants At this stage, program managers should already know who the module workshops are targeted to, but there are several things to consider when selecting, nominating, or requesting expressions of interest from participants for specific workshops. A broad range of organisations and individuals can benefit from taking part in BRIDGE. Potential target groups of BRIDGE are: Practising election administrators from developing democracies Electoral administrators in more established democracies who may need professional development or a team building exercise Stakeholders in the electoral process in all contexts, such as contestants, the media, civil society groups, etc. Participant prerequisites and criteria Participants should: ideally have some prior or current experience in the electoral field, or be about to take part in election-related activities be motivated individuals, committed to the democratic process be willing to share information be willing to participate in the evaluation and further design of the program Participant group dynamics While the choice of participants in a BRIDGE module workshop is likely to be made by the client organisation, the following suggestions could be offered to it: Number of participants – The ideal group size would be 15-25 participants. Gender balance – As with choosing facilitators, it is preferable to have a balance of male and female participants in the workshop, bearing in mind the principles outlined in IDEA Gender Equality Policy (See www.idea.int/policies/gender_policy). Hierarchical balance – To ensure maximum benefits for the client organisation, efforts should be made to achieve a balance in participation, with different levels of the hierarchy and areas of work being represented. Geographical balance – There are also advantages in having a balanced mix of international, regional and national participants, which provides them with a broader perspective on issues relating to electoral management. Participant expectations and preparation It is important that all participants, whether they have been selected by advertising for expressions of interest, or designated by their employer, are fully informed about what to expect from the workshops. A briefing (or a very detailed letter) serving that purpose should include: A clear description of what BRIDGE is and is not (and what it can and cannot do) BRIDGE documentation, for example copies of the BRIDGE brochure, and the BRIDGE website address Information about salaries, allowances and other administrative matters It is also important to obtain information about what the individual participants do expect from the workshops. This enables a program and workshops to be fine-tuned to best meet their needs, address any misconceptions early, and also provide a basis for post-workshop evaluation, as responses can be compared before and after training. More about dealing with participant expectations at the workshop itself is covered in the next chapter. Surveying participants The following questions about BRIDGE could be asked of the participants. Have you heard of BRIDGE? Can you describe the main objective of this workshop? What are you hoping to get out of the BRIDGE program? The following questions about their organisation could be asked: Did you participate in an induction program when you first started at your organisation? What types of professional development activities (e.g. training programs) have you participated in whilst working there? What type of professional development activities (e.g. training programs) would benefit you most in your current role? The following questions about the standards and principles underlying good electoral practice could be asked: What are the principles that underlie the best practice of an election? What are the values that underlie the best practice of an organisation like yours? What are the skills needed by an electoral administrator? What are the rules and regulations for running elections in your country? Questions should be tailored to the particulars of the workshop being envisaged. Administration and logistics Administration and logistics play a key role in the success of a program. Without adequate planning, poor logistics and administration can have a negative impact on the program. Administrative support It is recommended that an administrative assistant be employed for the duration of a workshop to record all material developed on the whiteboard, poster paper and overhead projector slides, and then create notes, summaries of activities, and statements of outcomes of workshops. Such notes or summaries could be photocopied and distributed (as well as archived) during the workshop. This frees the facilitators from these matters and allows them to concentrate on the workshop contents. The administrative assistant could also liaise between participants, facilitators and program organisers on any matters relating to the workshop management. Liaison and communication between facilitators, and with participants It is essential that facilitators meet not only before the workshop begins but also regularly while it is being conducted. Ideally, for familiarisation purposes, these meetings should take place at the venue where the workshop is going to be held. At such meetings, facilitators should go through the Facilitators Notes and all associated resources in detail, to check their accuracy. They should also at this time identify, collect and check all the training aids. Facilitators, who are responsible for ensuring that all workshop arrangements are in place, should liaise with the personnel responsible for each of the support structures. Logistical problems (such as transportation and venue appropriateness) can be a major source of dissatisfaction if not dealt with appropriately. Throughout the workshop, it is important that facilitators remain aware of the needs and expectations of participants. Problems should be dealt with promptly, before they become major issues. Finetuning the agenda – a typical training day A typical training day begins at 9.00 am (09:00) and ends at 4.00 pm (16:00) in the afternoon. Sessions are usually divided as follows: Time Description of Session 8.30 am – 9.00 am Registration (refreshments) 9.00 am – 10.30 am Session (early morning) 10.30 am – 11.00 am Break 11.00 am – 12.30 pm Session (late morning) 12.30 pm – 1.30 pm Break (lunch) 1.30 pm – 3.00 pm Session (early afternoon) 3.00 pm – 3.15 pm Break 3.15 pm – 4.00 pm Session (late afternoon) Sessions are usually for one and a half hours’ duration – with longer sessions better scheduled in the morning (when attention spans are greater). Optimal session length will be partly determined by: the complexity of the subject matter to be addressed; the skill levels and prior experience of the participants; and the information retention capacities of the participants. Sessions of longer than 5 or 6 hours in a single day will tax participant and facilitators’ energies and attention spans, and possibly lead to reduced effectiveness. Facilitators also need to consider the needs of participants in terms of ‘time off’ from the standard agenda. For example, prayer times in some cultures require longer breaks. Similarly, in some countries it may prove necessary to provide for longer midday breaks to allow participants living far away from the venue sufficient time to walk home for lunch. Facilitators will need to meet at the end of each day to assess and finetune the agenda. Preparing workshop resources The time necessary for the development and production of resources for workshops is often underestimated. All resources should be prepared according to a schedule, well in advance of the actual training. Facilitators should stay in close contact with the people organising collation and printing, to ensure the quality and accuracy of the resources. Workshop resources Facilitators will usually need to produce two handbooks: The Facilitators Handbook The Participants Handbook BRIDGE handbooks are usually composed of the following elements: Two, three or four-ring insert binders of an appropriate size to hold the workshop documents; The workshop documents themselves, copied and holepunched/drilled for the appropriate binder. BRIDGE documents have been designed as simple black and white MS Word documents for ease of reproduction Document dividers, for ease of reference, to separate distinct documents. For example, the Facilitators Handbook will usually be divided by document type, such as a handout, a facilitator resource, etc. The Participants Handbook may be divided by module section (e.g. Intro.1, Intro.2) or by the documents to be used each day of the workshop (e.g. Day 1, Day 2), or by whatever method the facilitator believes will be most straightforward for the audience. Copyright and acknowledgements Property rights Depending on the extent of the modification from the original materials, the issue of property rights must be taken into account. Where the BRIDGE curriculum is being run as-is, or with minor modification, materials must bear a clear mention of property rights for the BRIDGE partners, including in the target language, in accordance with copyright disclaimer below. Where BRIDGE is being run in combination with other sorts of training (e.g. operational training), or BRIDGE methodology has been used for other purposes, the issue of property rights is less clear since, in some cases, the customised materials could be so specific to the operational needs of the beneficiary that it might become difficult for the BRIDGE partners to claim ownership. In such cases, the BRIDGE Office should be contacted for guidance. Acknowledgements For any kind of customised BRIDGE programs, there must be a clear acknowledgement of the BRIDGE partners. The correct and appropriate use of logos of BRIDGE partners, clients and donors must be ensured. In addition, to inspire a sense of ownership amongst contributors, the inclusion of institutional logos and names of individual contributors often has the benefit of giving more weight and authority to the materials. BRIDGE partners have specific rules surrounding the use of their logos. The correct logos for AEC, BRIDGE, IDEA, IFES, UNEAD and UNDP are available for downloading from the BRIDGE website. Also, donor organisations would have to be consulted regarding the appropriate use of their logos. Care must be taken to ensure that the ‘hierarchy’ of acknowledgements is correct. If donor A were to sponsor the development of a module (or its translation) and Donor B were to fund the presentation of the program in a particular country, credit may be conferred as ‘Program funded by Donor B, based on curriculum development funded by Donor A’. Titles of materials and programs should reflect the reality of the situation. If the material draws largely on BRIDGE, then the latter’s name should be used. If it is extensively adapted to suit local circumstances, then a new name appears appropriate – with due acknowledgement of the original material within the text. Covers should equally reflect the reality of the project, with logos included accordingly. For example, a typical cover could include the following text: ‘A workshop for election administrators in [here insert name of country], based on BRIDGE materials developed by the AEC, IDEA, IFES, UNEAD and UNDP, funded by [here insert name of funding agency], implemented by [here insert name of implementing agency]’. While this may seem cumbersome, the inclusion of adequate recognition is part of credibility building for the program and materials, as well as an important part of building a constituency of support for BRIDGE as a whole. The following copyright and disclaimer notice should appear in all BRIDGE workshop materials, including any amended or customised version: Copyright: 2008 (Version 2 – 2008) Copyright: The BRIDGE partners believe that the open and free exchange of information is critical in promoting democratic elections. However, BRIDGE is a program designed to be conducted by accredited BRIDGE Project facilitators only. For this reason, no BRIDGE Project materials may be used or reproduced in any form or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in the material, or for non – commercial, education purposes. Disclaimer: While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of BRIDGE materials, the project partners assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of information of instructions contained herein. Copyright Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to trace and acknowledge copyright, but in some cases this has not been possible. The BRIDGE partners welcome any information that would redress this situation. BRIDGE contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorised by the copyright owner. The material is being made available for purposes of education and discussion in order to better understand the complex role of electoral administration in today’s world. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in relevant national laws. The material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed an interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this project for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Assembling the workshop handbooks It is important for facilitators to be familiar with the structure of the workshop handbooks, not only for use before and during the workshop itself, but so that they can easily collate a handbook, either as a master copy for printer reference (see the section on ‘Commercial printing’ below), or if the handbooks are being produced in-house. These instructions are designed to explain the process of putting together the Facilitators and Participants Handbooks, and also to prepare other workshop resources. Refer to the Facilitation Manual for a quick reference of terms. Facilitators Handbooks As a facilitator, you should have the Facilitators Handbook for the module(s) you are conducting. This should contain: Facilitators Notes (FN) – the main document the facilitator will be working from Facilitators Resources (FR) – one master copy of each FR the facilitator plans to use Handouts (HO) – one master copy of each handout the facilitator plans to use Slides or overhead transparencies (OHP) – one master copy of each OHP the facilitator plans to use Presentations (PPT) – a master copy reference of each PPT the facilitator plans to use. Either print out all slides, or you can also print summary pages (to do so in PowerPoint, go to File, Print, Print What. Select ‘handouts’ and ‘six slides to a page’). ‘ Facilitators would also have with their folder: Displays such as posters, photos, maps etc. that they would want to display during the workshop Electronic files on CD, DVD, flash drive or hard drives, such as AV material (videos, audio), PowerPoint presentations, flash animations, etc. Additional resources – facilitators should have looked at the ‘additional resources’ provided that are not included in the official curriculum, but which they might find useful for their participants as further reading Participants Handbooks Every participant receives a Participants Handbook, which contains all of the Participants Notes (PN) documents they will refer to during the workshop. Facilitators need to be aware of which activities they plan to run (or are thinking of running, to give them flexibility) to work out which PN documents they will need to include in the Participants Handbook. Facilitators should decide the most appropriate way of ordering and dividing the PN documents in the handbook, for ease of reference for participants as documents do not have page numbers (owing to the fact that any combination of documents may be used in any workshop). It may be a chronological order is the most convenient or a numbered order (and chronological order may not always be the same as numerical order, depending on how the workshop has been customised). If using a chronological order, facilitators should keep in mind that a planned agenda does not always go to plan and activities are often run in an unexpected order. It is critical that documents are collated in an order that will make sense to participants as this will minimise frustration and save time during activities. Additionally, when directing participants to documents, remember to refer not only to the title, but the number of each one, e.g. Intro.1.6 Key Understandings – Introduction Module – PN. Follow the same steps as for the Facilitators Handbook for printing and collation. How to create a master copy of the handbooks Step 1 = The activities you are going to run should have been worked out during the customisation and preparation phases prior to this point. Consult the Facilitators Notes to find out which documents are needed for each activity. Step 2 = If you do not already have copies of the curriculum resources (e.g. from the program team or from the DVD they would have received when they did their TtF), download the relevant documents from the BRIDGE website. Step 3 = Print out all documents relating to the activities you plan to run. BRIDGE documents are designed to be easily printed in black and white, double-sided. Step 4 = Order the documents according to the type of handbook (i.e. by document type for Facilitators Handbooks, and by either numerical or chronological order for Participants Handbooks). Step 5 = Drill or punch holes into the documents to match the type of binder you are using. Step 6 = Create dividers, one for each document type, and organise the collated documents behind the relevant divider. Step 7 = Create and print out covers and spines for the binders (if they are insert binders). Templates for BRIDGE module covers and spines can be found on the BRIDGE website. To be edited they require Adobe InDesign. Step 8 = Assemble the handbooks by putting the collated documents into the binders, and inserting the covers and spines. Even if you are not collating the handbooks yourself, it is important to know how to do it, and often, you will need to collate at least one handbook for the printers or whoever is doing the collating to have a reference copy. How to prepare other workshop resources Handouts: Refer to the Facilitators Notes for the module(s) you are running and make copies of all of the handout (HO) documents that you plan to use during the workshop. Most handouts should be copied so that there is one for each participant, although there are some which might require more copies. For example, the Evaluation Sheet which is distributed at the end of each day will need to be copied to allow each participant one copy for as many days as the workshop runs. Participants will usually want to file these handouts in the Participants Handbooks, so it is useful to hole – punch them in advance, or provide a hole puncher during the workshop. Facilitators Resources: Facilitators Resources come in many forms, but you may have to do one or several of the following, depending on the kind. Refer to the Facilitators Notes for guidance: Make copies of FRs for group work, for example, you might only need to make five copies of a document for an activity using five groups (these are called FR instead of HO to make this distinction) Provide a different working FR document to each group. Cut up cards for ranking or categorising activities, or as nametags in a role play Enlarge FRs which are to be used as signs OHPs OHPs can be used in various ways: As traditional ‘overhead transparencies’ with an overhead projector. In this case, create transparencies of all the OHP documents you plan to use during the workshop. Ensure you copy or print them on a printer or photocopier that is compatible with transparency film. If possible, add colour to the documents for printing. File these in your Facilitators Handbook with the master (paper) copies for easy access, and have some coloured transparency markers for amending. Display the transparencies as PowerPoint (or other display applications) slides using a data projector. If neither an overhead nor a data projector is available, OHPs could be enlarged to poster paper and displayed this way, or you could recreate the OHP material on poster paper or the whiteboard. Participants may request copies of OHPs, particularly if they are substantial. Most of the more complex OHPs are also PNs – check your Facilitators Notes to see if this is the case (these documents are listed in the FNs as ‘OHP and PN’) and direct the participant to their handbook. If the OHP is not already a PN, but you think participants may want a copy, you might like to make copies for each participant anyway. Commercial printing While it is possible for facilitators and implementers to copy and collate the resources for a workshop, it is much easier, if possible, to employ a printer or copy company to do this task. Where feasible, printing should be carried out locally. Once a printer has been selected, the simplest way to commence the job is to create and collate one example of each handbook you want reproduced, for the printer to use as a master copy and reference. When arranging the print run, facilitators should discuss the following elements with the printers when getting quotes to save time and money: Print run size – how many people are coming, how many of each handbook do you need? Collation – who will do this? It is easier to have the printer do this for you Drilling of holes – can the printer do this? Insertion of covers and spines Difference between the Facilitator Handbook and the Participant Handbook Types of binders/folders Paper quality Double-sided printing (BRIDGE documents are designed to be printed double-sided) The program team should also ensure: Submission of price estimates and quotes by bidding suppliers and compliance with established tendering procedures Revision and proofing of material, at least twice, to ascertain text, colouring, and presentation are correct – if possible, planning should provide time for the facilitators to check materials Correct and appropriate use of bridge terminology and numbering of activities Thorough proofreading and editing of translated materials Correct and appropriate use of logos and badging of founding partners, clients and donors Correct and appropriate acknowledgements of founding partners, clients and donors (following established order so as not to offend) Correct application of copyright information Stationery and equipment Each module contains a Facilitators Resource (FR) document that lists possible stationery needs for running the workshop. Stationery and equipment needs will be dictated by the kind of activities chosen, but some commonly used items include a whiteboard or blackboard, poster paper, markers and a projector (data or overhead). Facilitators should also have a contingency plan in case resources they have requested or need are not available, or equipment breaks down. For example, extra poster paper if there is no projector. The credibility of the program is dependent not only upon the successful facilitation of the workshop itself but also on the timely distribution of materials created during the workshop. Workshop venue – the ideal training environment The physical environment in which training is conducted can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the training. A venue for conducting a BRIDGE Project should ideally contain the following: One large room to accommodate up to 30 people Some smaller ‘break-out’ rooms Furniture such as tables and comfortable chairs Kitchen facilities Access to toilets Training equipment (see next section) Optional resources and materials would include: presentation aids such as whiteboards, writing materials, overhead projectors, video recorders and televisions, computers with internet access, sufficient election materials for displaying. Consideration should also be given to the following: Accessibility to transportation Ease of access Sufficient light and ventilation You may also try to minimise any distractions You would need to ensure that as facilitator you can be: seen by everyone and heard by everyone Setting up the room There are many ways you can arrange the furniture and equipment. The following are three possible arrangements for setting up the furniture in a training room. The learning environment must by physically and psychologically comfortable. Catering Appropriate catering and venue choice can ‘make or break’ a training workshop. If participants are to appreciate the training, they must feel that their needs are taken into consideration. Strategically planned breaks can help participants retain concentration, and allow facilitators to rest between sessions. In the planning stage, it is essential to be specific when negotiating the menu, the quality and quantity of tea, coffee and snacks. The caterers must be clearly told exactly what is wanted and at what time the food or refreshments should be served. The designated administrative support person should ensure that agreed menus and times are adhered to. Dietary requirements It is vital to check whether participants have any special dietary requirements before confirming a menu, such as halal, kosher or vegetarian diets, or allergies. If it is not possible to check, an effort should be made to ensure that all likely requirements are covered. Keep in mind cultural requirements as well, such as providing rice-based meals for those who would normally expect to eat rice at every meal. Morning and afternoon tea or coffee Ideally, arrange for tea and coffee to be available at the beginning of the day for participants who arrive early. If possible, tea and coffee should be available throughout the training day for flexibility in the timing of breaks and continued access to refreshment. Water should also be available throughout the day, preferably with bottles or jugs of water on each table. If the caterers are not able to be flexible in their timing, try to ensure that morning and afternoon tea are scheduled a little early (e.g. if the plan is to have morning tea at 10:30, ask for it to be ready at 10:15) rather than late, in case a session finishes early. If morning and afternoon tea, as well as lunch are provided, afternoon tea should be very light as participants have usually eaten enough by this point. Transport and travel Appropriate transport may need to be arranged for facilitators and participants, and anyone else attending the workshop, such as observers or guest speakers. It is important to know who will be paying for any travel, and what reasonable costs should be covered by the funder. It is vital that this is clearly communicated to all attendees and they are clear on what costs are being covered by the organisers, and what are to be covered by themselves or their home organisations. Things to consider include: Travel by air: what class of travel will be provided? Are there scheduling difficulties for participants from remote areas? Who will make the booking? Travel by car: are participants entitled to be reimbursed for their travel expenses if they drive themselves? Are they owed a travel allowance? What checks are there to ensure they are properly licensed and insured? Visas: for international attendees, will they require a visa to enter the host country? Who will pay for the visa fees? Do they need a supporting letter to facilitate the process? Are attendees expected to arrange their own visas? Can you provide relevant entry requirement information or direct them to relevant information? Transfers: How will participants make their way from the airport/train station etc. to the venue/hotel? If the venue and the accommodation are not the same place, how will attendees travel between the two? A welcoming gesture (if it is viable) is for someone from the workshop management to meet and greet participants at the airport and accompany them to the hotel and assist with check in. Weekends: for workshops conducted over more than a week, are participants able to travel home on the weekends? Who pays for this travel and what is reasonably acceptable? Accommodation As with transport, accommodation may also be required for workshop attendees. Ideally, if possible, consider finding a venue where people can stay in the same place the workshop is being held, e.g. a hotel with conference facilities, or a conference venue that is next door or in close proximity to a suitable hotel. It may be possible to obtain a discount for booking a conference/accommodation package. As well as being convenient, having this arrangement saves travel time and costs, and offers the possible added advantage of using guest rooms as ‘break out’ or preparation rooms. Accommodation should also be central and allow attendees to easily access shops, restaurants, etc. As with transport, it is essential to ensure that all attendees are clear on what is being provided and what is at their own expense. For example, the room cost only may be provided, but attendees would be expected to cover any extras, such as meals, telephone calls, minibar. Things to consider with accommodation include: Preferably attached to the training venue (if not, then suitable reliable transport to the venue) Single room accommodation for all participants and facilitators or rooms which allow privacy Bathrooms in each room (with option of bath or shower) Non-smoking rooms (if required) Accommodation must be clean and serviced daily Food and beverages must be varied, healthy and cater for vegetarians and other dietary needs Outdoor areas plus recreational facilities Reasonable access from the nearest airport or town (good roads) Mobile phone/Cell phone reception or access to operational phones in the rooms Televisions or easy access to television Laundry facilities (if required) Email access Access to public transport Secure environment Participant allowances It is essential to decide whether and to what extent any allowance needs to be paid to participants in the workshop. It is always best to base daily subsistence allowances (DSA) or per diem rates on the standards applied within the participants’ organisation. Often governments have official rates that can be checked and used as a benchmark. While it is important to recognise that participants who are away from home incur costs, it is not sustainable to pay extravagant per diem rates. The distribution of per diem is best handled by the administrative assistant and not by the facilitators. Hiring interpreters Working in an international environment, or bringing in external facilitators, may require the use of interpreters. Professional interpreters would be the preferred option, and they should be well-briefed on the general topics of the workshop, terminology and unfamiliar concepts, the expected audience, and also on the program objectives, so they have a good understanding of the workshop they are working in. Interpretation skills When professional interpreters – the preferred option – are not available, the person asked to replace them should have the following qualities (which also of course apply for professional interpreters as well): knowledge of the general subject or topics that are to be interpreted command of an extensive vocabulary in both languages ability to express thoughts clearly and concisely in both languages general erudition and intimate familiarity with both cultures excellent note-taking technique for consecutive interpretation Interpreters as part of the customisation and facilitation team Ideally the Interpreter should be a part of the customisation and facilitation team as early as possible. This will allow them to make valuable contributions in the structure and content of the workshop and gain greater knowledge about the subject matter and methodology of the BRIDGE […]


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