Implementation

August 18, 2009

Annex 1: BRIDGE Training Components

Module Workshops BRIDGE is the most comprehensive professional development curriculum available in election administration. It improves the skills, knowledge, and confidence both of election professionals and of key stakeholders in the electoral process such as members of the media, political parties, and electoral observers.The 23 modules can be conducted/modified in several ways: running modules as they are customising modules, e.g. shorter versions, mixing modules, plus new tailored modules using BRIDGE methodology· mixing BRIDGE methodology with operational training and/or other courses Using BRIDGE for a specific purpose outside professional development training (e.g. as a conference tool) Length of workshops: There are 23 modules on all aspects of election administration, grouped thematically: Electoral Architecture Working with Electoral Stakeholders Electoral Operations Each module varies in duration from one day to one week (average being three days). The modules contain in-built flexibility – providing a menu of topics and activities to be tailored to suit the audience and time available.Intended audience: A broad range of electoral administrators at the middle to senior levels of management can benefit from taking part in BRIDGE. The primary target groups of the workshop are:· practising election administrators from developing democracies· electoral administrators in more established democracies who may need a refresher or a team building exercise in this areaPre-requisites for attendance: Ideally participants should have some prior or current experience in the electoral field, or be about to take part in election-related activities if they are electoral stakeholders. Remember that the intention of the workshop is to enhance professional skills, rather than create those skills. Participants will get most benefit from the workshop when they are: motivated individuals, committed to the democratic process; willing to share information, and to assist in the setting up of national training programs; and are willing to participate in the evaluation and further design of the program. Implementation Workshop The purpose of this 3-day workshop is to provide guidance to individuals and organisations responsible for designing and setting up training programs that use material taken from the BRIDGE curriculum. It aims to familiarise participants with what BRIDGE is (its scope and flexibility), and how to best implement it.Length of workshop: This is designed as a three-day program, but could also be conducted in two days, or four days, depending on the audience.Intended audience: Participants should ideally be people who will be the implementers of BRIDGE programs – those who will be administrating and managing the programs and workshops.Pre-requisites for attendance: It is strongly recommended that as a prerequisite participants have participated in the BRIDGE Introduction module. If they have not, it is highly recommended that the one-day showcase be included as the first day of this Implementation Workshop Train the Facilitator This 10-day intensive program, which is integral to the BRIDGE program, uses a ‘train the trainer’ model and aims at accrediting a core group of local trainers as BRIDGE facilitators, for in-country workshops. It aims to give practical skills and knowledge about BRIDGE module workshops to potential facilitators of BRIDGE workshops. National TtF workshops are conducted in the country where a sizeable BRIDGE program is planned (where a corps of facilitators would need to be employed). International TtF workshops are conducted on at least an annual basis, in different regions of the world where there is interest in BRIDGE or programs are underway.Length of workshop: This is a 10-day workshop (spread over two weeks). Intended audience: The TtF workshop targets experienced trainers, preferably with a background in curriculum development. In addition to meeting these criteria, facilitators will ideally have a solid grounding in the methodologies and approaches of BRIDGE and capacity development.For International TtFs, facilitators should be selected who have demonstrated an ability to work in a cross-cultural environment.Pre-requisites for attendance: As the TtF workshop targets experienced trainers, preferably with a background in curriculum development – it is highly desirable that participants are qualified and experienced adult trainers. It is also an advantage to have worked in election administration.In addition to this, facilitators will ideally have a solid grounding in the methodologies and approaches of BRIDGE and capacity development – i.e. they should have already been a participant in a BRIDGE module […]
August 18, 2009

Annex 9: Key Documents for Translation

Annex 9: Key Documents for Translation Whether translating BRIDGE before customisation and design, or translating an already customised program, it is essential to translate some documents first to assist those in the customisation and design team if they are not fluent in English or whatever language their source BRIDGE documents are in. The principle is to translate general guidelines, outlines and summaries first – this not only allows the customisation and design team to have these reference documents available from the beginning of the process, but also serves as an introduction to BRIDGE to those translating. Key documents to translate at the beginning of a program BRIDGE brochure – The most recent version of this is available on the BRIDGE website. It is useful for introducing key stakeholders and decision-makers to BRIDGE. Module summaries – These are provided in 8.3 Annex 3: BRIDGE Modules at a Glance . They are brief summaries of each module, based on the module objectives of each. This document assists the program design team to identify which modules will be most useful for meeting their program objectives. Implementation Manual – This manual is an essential document for the program team. Optional documents Complete KU LO AC Document – This is available on the website and lists every Key Understanding, Learning Outcome and Assessment Criteria for every module. It is a lengthy document and of limited use early in the program (when stakeholders will not be familiar with the terminology and methodology) but it can be useful in later stages of program customisation and design, and can also be an impressive visual aid to demonstrate to stakeholders the depth of the curriculum. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) – These are available on the website and give more detailed information than the brochure. It might be useful to translate an appropriate selection of these for more detailed queries about BRIDGE. Key documents for the customisation process Facilitators Notes – the Facilitators Notes (FN) for the modules that have been selected for the program should be the first documents translated. From here the customisation team can work out which activities will best meet their objectives, and which associated resources they will need for those activities. If the whole module is being translated, it will help the customisation team prioritise which documents should be translated first. Activity resources – In general the customisation team should be able to get a good idea of their program from the FN, but they may need certain activity resources translated early Key documents for workshops After customisation and the confirmation of an agenda for a workshop, select all items required – FRs, HOs, OHPs, PDFs and PPTs. These documents should then be translated and reviewed before printing to makeup the base Facilitators Folder Similarly, after customisation and the confirmation of an agenda for a workshop, select all items required – PNs and any facilitator documents it has been decided would be helpful to participants. These documents should then be translated and reviewed before printing to makeup the base Participants […]
August 18, 2009

Annex 8: Criteria for Progression – Facilitator Categories

Annex 8: Criteria for Progression – Facilitator Categories Category Criteria for progression Semi-accredited To successfully complete the prerequisites to be considered a Semi-accredited Facilitator: Has attended a BRIDGE module workshop as a participant Has attended all 10 days of the BRIDGE Train the Facilitator (TtF) workshop Has been assessed as satisfactory by the lead facilitator of the TtF against all TtF Learning Outcomes. Reference documents: TtF.3.2 Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria – PN TtF.7.5 Assessment Criteria Pro Forma – FR TtF.10.4 Individual Recommendations – FR Workshop To complete accreditation to become a Workshop Facilitator: A minimum of 30 hours of supervised customisation, preparation and facilitation of BRIDGE module workshops in the field. Facilitation of only modules (and not TtFs or Implementation Workshops) to enable the facilitator to gain experience and confidence in using and modifying the BRIDGE curriculum documents, and to become conversant with the content of BRIDGE modules. Again be assessed as satisfactory by the supervising Accrediting or Expert Facilitator against all TtF Learning Outcomes. Reference documents: TtF.3.2 Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria – PN TtF.7.5 Assessment Criteria Pro Forma – FR TtF.10.4 Individual Recommendations – FR Accrediting To become an Accrediting Facilitator: A minimum of 150 hours of customisation, preparation and facilitation of BRIDGE workshops in the field, a minimum of 75% of which are module workshops (and not TtFs or Implementation Workshops) to enable the facilitator to gain experience and confidence in using and modifying the BRIDGE curriculum documents, and to become conversant with the content of BRIDGE modules Lead facilitation in at least one module workshop Provide BRIDGE Office with reports on BRIDGE activities undertaken Support and mentor facilitators with less experience Expert To become an Expert Facilitator: A minimum of 300 hours of customisation, preparation and facilitation of BRIDGE activities in the field, including at least one TtF. At least 50% should be facilitating modules (and not TtFs or Implementation Workshops) Work with an Expert Facilitator on at least one BRIDGE scoping or needs assessment […]
August 18, 2009

Annex 7: Summary of Facilitator Categories

Annex 7: Summary of Facilitator Categories Semi-accredited Facilitator Workshop Facilitator Accrediting Facilitator Expert Facilitator Accreditation Semi-accredited Accredited Accredited Accredited Who accredits? An Accrediting or Expert Facilitator An Accrediting or Expert Facilitator An Accrediting or Expert Facilitator An Expert Facilitator How many hours should be facilitated to reach this level? N/a A minimum of 30 hours supervised, module workshops only A minimum of 150 hours, at least 75% of which are module workshops A minimum of 300 hours, at least 50% of which are module workshops Can this category facilitate a module? Yes, supervised by an accredited facilitator. If unsupervised, the workshop cannot be called BRIDGE. Yes (less experienced facilitators should be mentored) Yes Yes Can this category customise a module? Yes, supervised Yes (less experienced facilitators should be mentored) Yes Yes Can this level facilitate a Train the Facilitator? No Yes, but not as lead facilitator Yes Yes Can this category facilitate an Implementation Workshop? No Yes, but not as lead facilitator Yes Yes Can this category conduct a needs assessment or scoping mission? No No Yes, but not as head of mission Yes Can this category assess someone as having successfully completed a TtF? No No Yes Yes Can this category accredit someone as a Workshop Facilitator? No No Yes Yes Can this category accredit someone as an Accrediting Facilitator No No Yes Yes Can this category accredit someone as an Expert Facilitator No No No Yes * Semi-accredited Facilitators who completed their TtF more than three years prior will be made Semi-accredited – […]
August 18, 2009

Annex 6: Post-workshop Evaluation Sheets

Annex 6: Post-workshop Evaluation Sheets Post-Workshop Evaluation Sheet for EMB’s (to be sent to EMB training contact officer approximately 6-8 weeks after the workshop) Your feedback will help the BRIDGE partners improve the BRIDGE workshop. Qualitative questions: What knowledge did the participants learn? What skills did the participants develop? What attitudes did the participants form? OR Can you state whether there was a measurable change in behaviour and attitudes (eg willingness to try to apply new knowledge and/or skills in the workplace) of the participants who attended the workshop? What were the participants’ reactions to the workshop? What were the facilitators’ reactions to the workshop? Quantitative questions: Prior to Training How many people expressed an interest in the workshop? How many people actually signed up to the workshop? After the training How many people attended the workshop? What was the degree of participant satisfaction? How many people have expressed an interest in the workshop as a result of referrals by the first workshop attendees? Would you recommend this workshop to others? Why? Did the workshop meet your expectations? Post-Workshop Evaluation Sheet for Participants (to be sent to participants approximately 6-8 weeks after attending the workshop) Your feedback will help the BRIDGE partners improve the BRIDGE workshop. Qualitative questions: In your view, what were the 3 most important weaknesses of the workshop? In your view, what were the 3 most important strengths of the workshop? What are the principles that underline the best practice of an election? What are the values that underline the best practice of an EMB? What skills does an electoral administrator need? What are the rules and regulations for running elections in your country? What type of training courses would benefit you most in your current role in the EMB? How have you applied your learnings/understandings/skills from the BRIDGE program into your work? Can you describe the main objective of this workshop? Quantitative questions: Did the workshop meet your expectations? What did you get out of the BRIDGE program Would you recommend this workshop to others? Why? Are you applying new knowledge and skills to your work as a result of attending the workshop? What difficulties have you experienced in trying to apply new knowledge and skills in your workplace? Have you networked with any of the participants from the BRIDGE workshop that you attended? […]
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

Annex 5: BRIDGE Evaluation Cycle

Annex 5: BRIDGE Evaluation Cycle Phase 1: Before the Workshop – Assessment Trying to ascertain: Will the selected BRIDGE format (type of BRIDGE program/workshop) and delivery (methodology) result in the stated Learning Outcomes (and stated skills and knowledge needed by the client)? Do the teaching methods conform to the preferences and learning styles of the participants? What are the expectations of the participants? The client? Tools to help: Pre-workshop assessment sheet for participants Pre-workshop assessment sheet for the client/EMB Summary report of pre-workshop assessment (completed by workshop organisers) Participant profile (completed by participants) Scoping reports, training needs assessment reports Logical framework Phase 2: During the Workshop – Monitoring Trying to ascertain: Effectiveness/appropriateness of facilitators (flexible? willing and able to adapt?) Effectiveness/appropriateness of venue and facilities e.g. equipment Effectiveness/appropriateness of teaching materials (aids, workshop materials, etc) Tools to help: Facilitator meetings/daily briefings and de-briefings, peer and self appraisal (and subsequent Facilitator’ Reports/Recommendations) Evaluation Sheets (completed daily by participants) Informal evaluation and feedback methods (during activities, at the completion of activities, and at the completion of the day) Logical framework Phase 3: After the Workshop – Evaluation Trying to ascertain: Client satisfaction with workshop (met expectations/objectives) Participant satisfaction with workshop (met expectations/objectives) Facilitator/Workshop organiser satisfaction with workshop (met expectations/objectives) Recommendations for improving the workshop (from clients, participants and facilitators and organisers) Tools to help: Post-workshop evaluation sheet for participants Post-workshop evaluation sheet for the client/EMB Post-workshop evaluation report, completed by facilitators/workshop organisers, which includes information provided in the collated evaluation sheets from during the workshop and post-workshop. Logical framework […]
August 18, 2009

Annex 4: Potential Cost Items of a BRIDGE Program

Annex 4: Potential Cost Items of a BRIDGE Program Below is a list of possible costs to consider when planning a BRIDGE program. Not all costs will be relevant, depending on the context of the program, and there may also be other items not listed here that will need to be considered. This list is not definitive or exhaustive, and is meant as a guide only. Needs assessment costs BRIDGE expert costs (items may include fees; travel and accommodation; etc.) Communications costs (items may include telephone calls; email/internet setup; postage and freight costs; video-conferencing; etc.) Venue hire and catering (items may include meeting rooms; video-conferencing; refreshments; projectors and screens; internet access fees; etc.) Research costs (items may include: client data collection; country briefings; etc.) Interpretation costs (items may include: interpreter fees; interpreter briefings; etc.) Planning and overall program development team costs Program development team costs (items may include: salaries; benefits; expenses; etc.) Office accommodation costs (items may include: office rental; running costs such as water and electricity; security costs; furniture; cleaning costs; etc.) Office expenses (items may include: stationery; office equipment; computers and printers; photocopiers and faxes; etc.) Communications costs (items may include telephone calls; email/internet setup; postage and freight costs; video-conferencing etc.) Research costs (items may include: pre-workshop assessment surveys; gathering of local data for use in program; etc.) BRIDGE expert costs (items may include fees; travel and accommodation; etc.) Customisation costs Customisation team costs (items may include fees; travel and accommodation; etc.) Communications costs (items may include telephone calls; email/internet setup; postage and freight costs; video-conferencing; etc.) Venue hire and catering (items may include: meeting rooms; video-conferencing; refreshments; projectors and screens; internet access fees; etc.) Research costs (items may include: gathering of local data for use in program; analysis of pre-workshop assessments; stakeholder liaison costs; etc.) Translation costs (items may include: translator fees; document preparation; document transportation; proofreading costs; backup in case of poor quality translation; etc.) Artwork and printing (items may include: designer fees; document preparation; document transportation; proofreading costs; printer fees; etc.) Workshop costs BRIDGE facilitator costs – a fully accredited lead facilitator plus supporting accredited facilitators (items may include: fees for both preparation and delivery time; travel and accommodation; etc.) Administrative and program management support costs (items may include salaries; expenses; travel and accommodation; short-term administrative help; overtime; etc.) Interpretation costs (items may include: interpreter fees; interpreter briefings; etc.) Invited expert expenses (items may include: expert fees; briefings; travel and accommodation; thank you gifts; etc.) Participant costs (items may include: travel and accommodation; application processing; etc.) Venue hire and catering (items may include: workshop rooms; break-out rooms; video-conferencing; refreshments and meals; projectors and screens; television and DVD; computer/laptop; etc.) Workshop materials costs (items may include: notepads; poster paper; markers and pens; tape; string; freight and transport; etc.) BRIDGE materials (items may include: Facilitator and Participant Handbooks; photocopying and printing; collation; certificates and nametags; freight and transport; etc.) Communications costs (items may include: telephone calls; email/internet setup; postage and freight costs; video-conferencing; etc.) Official hospitality costs (items may include: official dinner; ‘welcome’ event such as cocktails, meet and greet; gifts; etc.) Information and promotional costs (items may include: BRIDGE posters; workshop banners; BRIDGE brochures; stakeholder brochures; freight and transport; etc.) Evaluation and reporting costs Program development team costs (items may include: salaries; benefits; expenses; etc.) Evaluation consultancy costs (items may include fees; travel and accommodation; etc.) Communications costs (items may include: telephone calls; email/internet setup; postage and freight costs; video-conferencing; etc.) Research costs (items may include: analysis of evaluation data such as pre-workshop assessments and monitoring data; follow-up research such as surveys and interviews; stakeholder liaison costs; etc.) Reporting costs (items may include: document preparation; document transportation; document publication; etc.) Costs to consider relating to travel (at various stages) Transport costs (items may include: flights; train or coach tickets; car hire; petrol costs; driver costs; transfers between airports/stations to accommodation; taxi costs; etc.) Accommodation costs (items may include: room hire; breakfast costs; cancellation costs; etc.) Medical costs (items may include: immunisations for travellers; emergency medical costs; first aid kit; etc.) Per diem costs (items may include: incidental per diem; meal costs; etc.) Other travel costs (items may include: visa processing fees; transit visas; passport fees; departure and other travel taxes; etc.) […]
August 18, 2009

Annex 2: Version 1 Curriculum Framework

Annex 2: Version 1 Curriculum Framework Module 1: An Introduction to Electoral Administration Module 6: Contestants Module 2: Electoral Systems Module 7: Preparation for the Electoral Event Module 3: Public Outreach Module 8: Polling and Counting Module 4: Boundary Delimitation Module 9: Electoral Observers Module 5: Voter Registration Module 10: Strategies for […]
August 18, 2009

Maintaining and Sustaining BRIDGE Programs

One of the key messages of this manual is to consider, plan and implement BRIDGE programs in a sustainable, meaningful manner. This section will summarise and reiterate the key points that relate to sustainable BRIDGE programming, and will look at the post-election period of the electoral cycle as a particularly important part of the electoral cycle from a sustainability point of view. For BRIDGE partners or implementing organisations, a process rather than event (workshop/election) driven approach assumes continuing dialogue with the client even as a program comes to a close, for example by working through recommendations of a BRIDGE program evaluation report. Program planners need to ask whether future interventions are desirable, given the priority which BRIDGE places on empowering clients to internalise BRIDGE as a sustainable professional development tool. Instead of further interventions, routine follow up visits could be considered as part of an overall networking approach. These assumptions could be spelled out in maintenance and sustainability plans, for incorporation into the client organisation’s professional development and planning cycle. When it comes to designing BRIDGE programs post-election environment, experience has shown that immediately after an electoral event there is the likelihood of the withdrawal of both attention and funding whether by government or donor funds. This is often coupled with staff reduction and the loss of internal and external expertise. This post-election period can be seen as a moment of opportunity to implement a capacity development or sustainability plan however, allowing for a focus on planning and working with core or permanent staff in a way that the operational imperatives of the pre-election period does not permit . A post-election evaluation process can be used as an opportunity to bring together stakeholders and repair differences by looking forward and seeking to improve the electoral process. BRIDGE can be an ideal vehicle for designing workshops to serve both these purposes. In maintaining and sustaining BRIDGE programs, continuity of staff is desirable and yet the ability of the client organisation to attract and retain capable facilitators may be out of the control of program planners. Nevertheless, the key personnel, even if not permanent, which could drive, own, implement and administer any future program should be identified and included in any maintenance and planning process. The departure of one key BRIDGE-trained person in an organisation may, after all, be the link that breaks the chain of sustainability. Continuing and increasing the number of networks and partners after a program is complete is a core component of any sustainability plan. Organisations could look to other organisations – national and international – to continue the identified work. The following table is a summary of the points made in the manual related to good practice in implementing sustainable, high quality and relevant BRIDGE programs : Stages Measures enhancing sustainability Before program Participatory needs assessment reviewing in details existing capacities (three layers: individual, organisational, systemic) Showcase BRIDGE Encourage dialogue inside beneficiary institution on professional development and relevance of BRIDGE Official demand for BRIDGE comes from beneficiary Include beneficiary in needs assessment or scoping mission team Identify most relevant unit inside institution to become anchor of BRIDGE program and involve it in all aspects of scoping mission and program definition. In most cases, this would be an existing training unit Design with beneficiary a flexible and customised program with realistic program objectives that answer priority needs. If beneficiary has strategic plan, ensure that BRIDGE program contributes to its achievement Allocate sufficient time to program – think long-term Develop monitoring and evaluation indicators and methods for the program as a whole and agreed upon the choice of each workshop with beneficiary Secure long-term financial resources, including from beneficiary institution, to support sustainability plan Tailor planned number of facilitators (TtF) to objectives defined Establish Steering Committee to supervise implementation and measure impact Project implementation team includes training unit Capacity-based selection of potential local facilitators. Must include personnel from training unit (if it exists) Use existing training resources in BRIDGE workshop resources (customisation process). During program Coordinate closely with senior management, relevant technical units and other providers of capacity development (e.g. BRIDGE partners) – if applicable – to apply outcomes of workshop activities to on-going and planned change processes Negotiate criteria for selection of participants (target group, level, gender, diversity, capacity) and strive to participate in selection process Ensure visibility of workshops and their outcomes inside institution with wider stakeholder community Involve training unit in a meaningful fashion in each step of preparing, delivering and evaluating workshops Accredit local pool of facilitators (according to needs identified to serve long-term strategy) Choose workshop activities that allow participants to apply skills and knowledge for addressing concrete institutional needs Analyse workshop (schedule, activities, trainers, resources) and results of participants evaluations with training unit after each workshop Involve training unit in writing workshop report Assist training unit in presenting workshop results to Steering Committee Jointly monitor (BRIDGE partner + training unit + relevant technical unit) workshop impact After program Support beneficiary institution to plan for continued implementation of professional development program, including financial needs. This could involve advising institution about reforming training unit into a full-blown capacity development unit Support fund-raising from national budget and donors for continued implementation of professional development program Advise human resources unit to incorporate professional development as part of induction and incentive strategy Support training unit in compiling, finalising and archiving training resources based on lessons learnt during program Final ‘lessons learnt’ workshop with institution and joint drafting of final report Present final report to Steering Committee with recommendations for sustainability Disseminate final report with recommendations to wider electoral stakeholder community Periodically evaluate the program impact on institution according to pre-agreed schedule and indicators (see evaluation plan). In particular, wherever workshops triggered change processes inside institution, document and evaluate the outcomes of these Coordinate with providers of long-term technical assistance to support implementation of change processes and policy development identified during program Help secure support to networks of electoral stakeholders that might have appeared during […]
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

Transition: Reporting, Documenting and Updating BRIDGE

BRIDGE can be particularly useful and successful as a capacity development tool because it aims to systematically transfer ownership and responsibility for the conduct of BRIDGE to the client organisation or country. Ideally this occurs throughout the first two or three years of the rollout of BRIDGE. The aim is to have the client organisation or the country develop and implement a professional or community development strategy which is taken up and institutionalised. Commitment from senior managers and a pool of accredited facilitators will be necessary so that control of BRIDGE is transferred from international donors or funders. Transition marks the completion of a program to the satisfaction of the client. On this occasion, program records and documentation are completed and relevant sections delivered to the client. A transfer document is drafted. The purpose of the transfer procedure is to ensure the following: contractual conditions have been satisfied delivered outputs conform with specifications the program is integrated into the ongoing business legal and psychological ownership is transferred all accounts are paid Transition also marks the point at which the program team’s responsibility for development ends and the end user is fully capable of taking on whatever the project produced. Purely at a practical level, this requires certain adjustments by both parties. However, there is also an important psychological element in transition that program managers ignore at their peril. Capacity building and the transition process for handing over responsibilities to counterparts should begin at the start of the intervention. In transferring responsibility for a program, program managers should prepare a transition strategy, which includes sustainability strategies, and should also include close consultation with the clients. The transition comprises three main elements the: documentation process closing of programs and workshops – through some sort of celebration sustainability planning process (dealt with in Part 10) Documentation All projects generate many documents. Provided the project’s logical framework has been followed, the preparation, dissemination and filing of all documents should be a straightforward process. Archiving of BRIDGE documentation is a responsibility of the BRIDGE Office. It is the responsibility of the implementing organisation to get all the correct documents to BRIDGE Office securely and within reasonable time frames. All relevant documentation should be emailed (or sent) to the BRIDGE Office. Progress or summary reports should also be supplied to provide material for inclusion into the quarterly BRIDGE newsletters. Program reports To ensure that BRIDGE partners are informed of BRIDGE events the office requires a descriptive article about the workshop or event. In addition to this article please send the following files, reports or documents: Scoping or needs assessment report Workshop report including Names of facilitation team Implementing organisation details Donor details Participant profile Workshop content Lessons learned Workshop agenda Participant list Group photo and other workshop photos Participant evaluation report Facilitator evaluation report Any feedback on the module/s run (suggested improvements, criticisms, compliments) Lead facilitator report Media coverage All of the above reports will be archived in the BRIDGE Office as a repository of information on past BRIDGE events. TtF Reports Lead facilitators usually bear the responsibility of writing and sending the TtF report to the implementing organisation and the BRIDGE office. The information in these reports may vary from organisation to organisation, but in general there are common features that should be included in every TtF report. In general, a TtF Report could include: scope of work short overview of the TtF selection of materials material’s production facilitation team participants and quality of participation venue evaluation summary by participants recommendations by facilitators (for future TtFs, for TtF Facilitators Notes) media coverage general observations and conclusions Also, a TtF report for the BRIDGE website could include: a short summary of the TtF context in terms of the broader BRIDGE program summary of facilitators and participants (where they come from) a group photo a short summary of evaluations BRIDGE Office role The BRIDGE Office will publish all news articles written for the website with the related photos of the event. The remaining reports or documents will be archived in the BRIDGE Office. One of the challenges of creating such a comprehensive curriculum on electoral administration is keeping it up to date and relevant. For this reason, the curriculum has been designed to be an active document that can be updated as new information becomes available, and is open to improvements and innovations from those who facilitate and participate in BRIDGE workshops. The curriculum is updated annually. In between updates the BRIDGE Office collects feedback, suggestions and new material from facilitators and other stakeholders which can be incorporated at each update. Facilitators who are registered on the website will be notified of updates by email. Updating BRIDGE Content Reporting and documentation is also important to BRIDGE because it is through feedback from facilitators and implementers in the field that the BRIDGE Office is able to improve and update the BRIDGE curriculum. The BRIDGE Office actively seeks feedback and suggestions from facilitators who have used the curriculum, in order to improve the content and make it easier to use. Facilitators and other stakeholders using the curriculum are encouraged to give feedback in various ways: Where they have created a new activity, submitting it for inclusion in the curriculum Where they have had problems running an activity, whether due to clarity, complexity or other reasons, letting the BRIDGE Office know, and providing any amendments or suggestions on improving the activity for easier use Giving general feedback on how they found the different activities or modules Giving general suggestions for improvements Identifying potential resources for use or reference in the curriculum Identifying any outdated content or documents that should be updated or removed Identifying any numbering or typographical errors The most up-to-date version of the curriculum is the one that is available on the website. With each update, only a fraction of the total documents will be changed, so a system has been put in place to keep track of updates and make it easy to understand for facilitators and implementers. More information can be found on the update section of the BRIDGE website. For facilitators and implementers working from a previous download, a hard copy or a DVD copy, this update section should be a first place to look for assistance on working out what has changed since the version they hold, and whether or not they need to substitute any of the updated documents. Translators will also want to work from the most up-to-date version of the curriculum and should also refer to the website. Version 2 introduced many new modules to the curriculum, expanding in response to demand. However, the BRIDGE partners are open to the inclusion of additional modules outside of the 23 Version 2 modules, should there be a demonstrated need. Ideas, suggestions and content can be sent to the BRIDGE Office to be kept on file for possible new modules to be introduced in the […]
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

Evaluating BRIDGE

Although evaluation happens at the end of an event or program, it should have already been considered from the very first stages of planning. 2.5 Planning for Evaluation gives an introduction to evaluation and outlines the steps taken in planning for evaluation at the beginning of a program. A good evaluation process is built on strong foundations set at the beginning. Refer to: 8.6 Annex 6: Post-workshop Evaluation Sheets for questions to both client organisation and participants after BRIDGE workshops and 8.5 Annex 5: BRIDGE Evaluation Cycle for a summary of the main elements of evaluation, and things to consider when designing an evaluation process for BRIDGE. Evaluation by the client organisation This would normally be achieved by collating the workshop evaluation sheets (daily, landmark, or end of workshop or program) and creating a written report which summarises the strengths and weaknesses of the program, and makes recommendations based on these findings. The report would normally be prepared by the program organisers. End-of-workshop evaluation sheets, in which participants rate facilitators and contents, give an indication of how participants felt at the end of the workshop. But participants cannot, at the end of a workshop, tell the full story of whether they have benefited from the training, because they have not had time yet to put into practice what they have learned. It is therefore useful also to distribute evaluation sheets several weeks later and ask participants how they are using in their work environment the skills and information they gained from the workshop; how easy or difficult it is for them to apply new knowledge and skills; and what would make the program more effective. One should remember that the reason for training is not to improve how participants perform in the training room, but how they perform outside it. Care should be taken when designing surveys: both open and closed questions should be asked. Open-ended questions are questions where there is not one definite answer. These can be useful, but the drawback is that they can sometimes be hard to interpret. Closed questions have a restricted set of answers from which the respondent chooses (one choice may be ‘other’). It is easy to gather data from these types of questions. A report of these collated sheets would need to be prepared by the program organisers. Evaluation reports should not be so lengthy that decision-makers don’t bother to read them. To make an impact, and increase the likelihood that decision-makers read reports, evaluation reports should be broken up into easy-to-consume ‘chunks’ of information, for example ‘Issues’, ‘Evidence’ and ‘Recommendations’. If client organisations wish to evaluate the participants of a BRIDGE workshop (separate from the workshop organisers), using tests, they may do so. Formal tests of participant learning could be used some time after the workshop has been completed, ensuring that Learning Outcomes are matched with the test content. Clients may also wish to assess the level of program stakeholder satisfaction (e.g. donors, sponsors) after a program. Evaluation by and of the facilitators (and the program team) If a client wishes to evaluate the facilitators of a BRIDGE workshop, they may do so. The BRIDGE partners have a process of ‘quality control’ of all accredited facilitators, which can draw on information from workshop evaluation reports. Facilitators themselves are encouraged to engage in self-appraisal and peer appraisal during the in-workshop monitoring (a self-evaluation form is included as a Facilitators Resource in every module). They are also encouraged to conduct post-workshop facilitator evaluations as part of their end of workshop debrief. They may also be responsible for preparing post-workshop evaluations on behalf of the program organisers or partner organisations. Results of these meetings could also be included in the final reports of the program. In order for evaluations to reflect BRIDGE’s capacity development philosophy and values, beneficiaries should not simply provide input or render opinions about activities or interventions; they should be participants who are involved in the evaluation process right from the start. The BRIDGE partners recommend that an ’empowerment’ or ‘participatory’ evaluation approach be adopted where possible. In this approach, which is fundamentally democratic, the entire group – not just an evaluator – is responsible for conducting the evaluation (of a program) and assessing their own achievements. Evaluators are co-equal – with the client, beneficiaries or stakeholders – so that the whole process is a shared and collaborative one. This derives from the partners’ acknowledgement and respect for people’s capacity to create knowledge about, and solutions to, their own experiences. Post-program evaluation tasks Post-program evaluations can usefully be spread over three stages, the first of which seeks to assess the immediate impacts, the second of which focuses on mid-term organisational impacts and the third which looks at longer-term organisational impacts. Tasks to be performed at each stage are summarised in the tables below. Table 5: Short-term evaluation Who is being evaluated? Immediate post-workshop evaluation (to be conducted as soon as possible after the end of the program) Product of evaluation BRIDGE partners and country client Project history and outcomes can be collated Donor reports Other reports (including archived information) Project team and counterpart training unit Debriefing of facilitator Post-program assessment Constructive forward planning Standard evaluation process Standard report format Briefing of country client Collated project information/history Recommendations on future BRIDGE opportunities (standard format) Facilitators Workshop evaluation End of training evaluation Participants Application of learning (if operational-related) Improved work plans Expanded view of job Personal enrichment (measurement) Table 6: Medium-term evaluation Who is being evaluated? Organisational impact (to be assessed on the occasion of the next electoral event or before the end of a six-month period, whichever occurs first) Product of evaluation BRIDGE partners and country client Stakeholder surveys Collation of information Report to donors Report to country client Proposal for future work/continuity Agreement on further country client strategy Strategy for future training/capacity development Project team and counterpart training unit Input into impact assessment Report to BRIDGE partners on process Facilitators Input into impact assessment Increased skill levels Bigger pool of experience Participants Interviews Improved work plans Changed operations More positive work environment Table 7: Long-term Evaluation Who is being evaluated? Organisational impact (to be assessed after at least a year) Product of evaluation BRIDGE partners and country client Stakeholder surveys Collation of information Report to donors Report to country client Proposal for future work/continuity Agreement on further country client strategy Strategy for future training/capacity development Project team and counterpart training unit Input into impact assessment Report to BRIDGE partners on process Facilitators Input into impact assessment Increased skill levels Bigger pool of experience Participants Interviews Improved work plans Changed operations More positive work environment Evaluation reports The program organisers would be responsible for preparing the reports associated with workshops and the program. These reports may be tailored according to the audience, which may include a client such as an EMB, donors, or other stakeholders. The program report should: Be clearly dated Include the clearly stated purpose of the report Specify the training events being evaluated and the time period during which they took place Include an appropriate amount of detail for the needs of the intended audience Include information that is presented in an interesting and understandable way, with graphics that help to make the findings clear Not contain unnecessary information Also, it should be clear who the audience for the report is, and the evaluators should have clear expectations for how it will be used by that audience. An evaluation report should include the following components: Executive Summary Details of the training event(s) being evaluated time span number of times conducted number of participants number and names of facilitators (and accreditation status) purpose and objectives of the training event(s) key content areas Methodology composition of evaluation team objectives of evaluation selection of sample (size, characteristics) number and location of sites visited Analysis of findings Interpretation Recommendations (for changes in or maintenance of training, organisational systems and procedures, and environmental factors) Annexes/Appendices that could include data […]
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 […]
August 18, 2009

Focus On: Translation

In many cases, the customisation process not only involves adapting the original materials to the program’s objectives but also translating them into a local language. In doing so, a crucial decision must be taken as to whether the materials are translated before or after customisation. Customisation first OR translation first: Each approach has advantages and disadvantages. In many cases, the decision will derive from the constraints of a particular context. In turn the decision for one or the other of these approaches will have implications for a number of key elements. It may also be important to differentiate between large linguistic groups that cover different countries and could be integrated through a regional approach and smaller linguistic groups/ languages that are limited to one country (or even a regional language within a country). Key elements to consider: Limited project vs. long term program – time and cost constraints/implications: Whether the translation is envisaged within a limited project or workshop or within a long term program will have a major impact on the decision to be made. Translating the whole of BRIDGE is a lengthy and costly endeavour. Obviously, it would not make sense to undertake such a huge task or even integrally translate a whole module for a ‘stand alone’ workshop. However, in the perspective of long term program targeting various audiences who share a same language, it can be more efficient and, in the long run, less expensive to translate the main resources of BRIDGE prior to doing the customisation. As much time and funds as it takes at the start, would be saved at the following stages of the program. Then this would most likely require an integrated effort from different partners who share common long term objectives. For a smaller project with limited time and budget customisation should definitely occur before translation. Material consistency, quality and relevance: A crucial issue with translation is ensuring consistency, quality and relevance of the material. Critical decisions often have to be taken to accurately translate a number of technical terms in a meaningful and relevant way for the intended audience. These can include ‘inventing’ or ‘creating’ a terminology in languages in which certain concepts are unknown (cf. Tetum/Arabic). In other contexts, there is a need to choose the relevant equivalent terms that most often cannot be done through literal translation. Translated material should always be thoroughly reviewed by the facilitation team. Material availability: one of the obstacles to the use of BRIDGE in some non-English speaking countries is linked to the fact that the material is not available in the local language, it limits the access and understanding of local stakeholders and decision-makers to what BRIDGE is and how it can meet their needs. In addition, clients may be reluctant to proceed with BRIDGE if they are required to take the burden of the translation prior to any implementation. Having a minimum of resources readily available in the local language can help remove this obstacle. This minimum can build up through ensuring collection, archiving and access to all translated resources. Ownership and sustainability: having available material already translated in a qualitative way, allows concentration on the customisation process with the direct and full participation of the local partners. It is more inclusive for non-English speakers and helps them gaining ownership of the program and ensures greater sustainability through it. If local partners have bi-lingual skills they should be involved in both the customisation and the translation processes. Whatever approach is chosen, it is crucial to build on any translation effort and avoid duplication through keeping track of the existing/on-going translation efforts (know what is available, ensure access to them); make room for improvement through feedback and update. It is also important to keep in mind the need of customising the translation i.e. adapt the level of language and the terminology to the specific audience (cater for the diversity within a same linguistic group). Tools Coordination Team Depending on the size of the materials to be translated and the number of people – translators, editors, proof readers, and designers – involved in the process, a coordination team led by a coordinator might be crucial to insure the translation process is on track. The role of the coordination team ranges from providing guidelines for the translation process, supervising translation and providing prompt answers to emerging requests during the process. The coordination team should also make sure that translators, editors, proof readers and designers are delivering copy according to an agreed time line. Preferably, an experienced BRIDGE facilitator should be part of the coordination team. This will help give better links with the overall BRIDGE program, as well as provide an insight to issues related to the nature of BRIDGE materials and methodology. Glossary Glossaries are key tools for translation. In addition to providing terminology, they help explain technical terms, making it easier to find equivalent in the target language. Early in the process, implementers should plan for the production of a glossary before any translation takes place. The rationale behind this can be explained by the fact that a good glossary helps achieve the following: Translation consistency: especially if translation involves more than one translator geographically spread over different dialectical areas Better understanding of technical terms in the original language which means better understanding of the subject materials In countries with new or little election practice, glossaries could help promote technical election knowledge as well as experience sharing Equally important is the process adopted to produce the glossary. In order to guarantee a certain level of accuracy, as well as achieving a broad acceptance among various stakeholders, a broad spectrum of people/expertise should be involved in producing the glossary. This should include BRIDGE facilitators, translators, linguists, election and legal experts. This combination of expertise is crucial to build support among different stakeholders who will be part of the BRIDGE program. Finding an equal term for many BRIDGE and electoral terms in some other languages might not be an easy job. Local culture and experience may have a major impact on how terms are translated. The translation should take diversity into account by reflecting the existing local election terminology as used in constitutional and legal texts. Where terms are completely new and not used in the target language, translators should focus on the meaning rather than the literal translation. In addition to a glossary of electoral terms, a BRIDGE terms glossary might be required. The translation of such a glossary should benefit local training glossaries and training manuals. Other key documents 8.9 Annex 9: Key Documents for Translation outlines a recommended translation order for BRIDGE documents, beginning with useful reference documents (outlines, summaries. guidelines) before translation of the curriculum itself. Translation guidelines Check if a previous translation exists! Seek permission for the intended translation. ê See Error! Reference source not found. ??? Use glossaries if existing (develop one if there is none; feeding back different linguistic/ terminology usage into existing glossaries). Use relevant/meaningful terminology (beware of literal translations; absolutely avoid any automated translation!): this requires thorough review by the facilitation team as a minimum; ideally the translation should involve local specialists in the relevant topics covered. As much as possible select translators with appropriate background and experience: these may sometimes be difficult to find, it is important to consider strategies to ensure their availability and to invest in building up their capacities (amongst other things by providing exposure to BRIDGE). At a minimum, the translator(s) should receive a proper briefing on the specificities of their task and what is expected from them as well as some guidance or tools (when available) to help them carry it out. They have to be given appropriate time to carry out their task. Their work should always be reviewed by the facilitation team. If the necessary language skills are not available within the facilitation team per se, it is important to ensure that a quality review takes place by specialists. It is also important that feedback be sought during the workshop from the participants and/or the EMB to adjust and improve the translation along the way. Give feedback on translation issues so consistency and quality can improve; feedback any translated material (possibly with comments) to the BRIDGE Office or coordination team. Budget It is important to achieve a good return for your budget. The translation of material whilst vitally important will increase your overall costs. There are a number of budget items you may need to take into account: translation of documents and resources possible coordination fees formatting and layout editing and proof reading There are a number of ways to calculate payment for translation. These can include: a straight word count, payment per word page count, usually 250 words per page package price, an agreed payment for complete translation job daily rate Keep in mind local rates and international rates may change your costs markedly. Other considerations Always check to make sure that a translated document is not already held by the BRIDGE Office or perhaps locally by a partner organisation or is publicly available elsewhere. Be aware that a number of documents may already be translated and therefore will not have to be translated again. When translations have been completed, please forward a copy to the BRIDGE Office. All translations should include the date they were translated and used. Before translating any documents permission must be sought from the owner(s) and authors of the […]
August 18, 2009

Focus On: Progression in Facilitator Accreditation and Categories

In the early stages of BRIDGE, and leading up to the launch of Version 2 and the new Implementation Manual, the facilitator accreditation and progression process was necessarily flexible to build up facilitator numbers and consolidate the program. However, BRIDGE is now well-established. Facilitators and potential facilitators need clear guidelines to operate within.  Facilitator categories Facilitator categories have been designed to clarify what each facilitator can do, and has experience in doing in the various stages of a BRIDGE program. Each category of accredited facilitator reflects a key skill set, each of which plays a valuable role in any BRIDGE program. Workshop Facilitators focus on the main element of a BRIDGE program – the module workshops. They possess (or are in the process of developing) strong customisation and facilitation skills. Accrediting Facilitators are experienced in workshop facilitation, but also have an understanding of how to accredit and mentor less experienced facilitators.  They are essential to capacity development in a BRIDGE program. Expert Facilitators focus on not only facilitation of the different components of a BRIDGE program, but they are also involved in broader aspects of BRIDGE implementation. There is a fourth category to cover potential, unaccredited facilitators: Semi-accredited Facilitators have the basic skills and knowledge to facilitate BRIDGE as learned in the TtF workshop, but do not yet have the experience in the field. Refer to: 8.7 Annex 7: Summary of Facilitator Categories for a breakdown of each category and their responsibilities and 8.8 Annex 8: Criteria for Progression – Facilitator Categories for the criteria required to be considered in each category.   Facilitator progression While there is a progression from one category to another, this progression is not necessarily guaranteed, nor needed. Indeed, some facilitators will find their own skills and experience lend themselves to one category more than another. Those with strong customisation and facilitation skills who want to focus on workshop facilitation are best suited to the Workshop Facilitator category. Those with strengths in mentoring and education will be excellent Accreditation Facilitators. Those who wish to become more broadly involved in BRIDGE implementation and have the skills and experience to successfully do this are sought as Expert Facilitators. All BRIDGE facilitators begin in the Semi-accredited Facilitator category, which is achieved by successfully completing a TtF workshop and attending a BRIDGE module workshop as a participant. Semi-accredited facilitators are not accredited as BRIDGE facilitators, but will have gained from the TtF workshop the basic skills and knowledge to deliver the BRIDGE curriculum using the BRIDGE methodology. What they will lack is BRIDGE experience, and they can gain this by becoming involved in customising, preparing and facilitating BRIDGE module workshops in the field under the supervision of more experienced facilitators. This step is vital to giving potential facilitators a solid foundation in facilitating BRIDGE, and the support they need. Once a Semi-accredited Facilitator has gained sufficient experience and has achieved the TtF Learning Outcomes to a satisfactory level in the field, they progress to the Workshop Facilitation category, and should they choose to take on other BRIDGE responsibilities, and have the skills to do so, they may want to consider progressing to either Accrediting or Expert Facilitator categories. Process for accreditation and progression Refer to: 8.8 Annex 8: Criteria for Progression – Facilitator Categories to see the criteria mentioned for each category   Becoming a Semi-accredited Facilitator There are two steps to becoming a Semi-accredited Facilitator – attend a BRIDGE module workshop as a participant to experience the BRIDGE methodology and content, and if then interested in becoming a BRIDGE facilitator, attend a TtF workshop. Participants must attend the entire TtF workshop and participate fully in all activities, including the delivery of two BRIDGE activities themselves, and the customisation/writing of one activity. At the end of the workshop, the TtF facilitators will assess whether each participant has fulfilled the criteria to be considered Semi-accredited Facilitators, and will offer each participant verbal feedback. A TtF workshop is always run by a lead Accrediting or Expert Facilitator who is responsible for deciding whether or not each participant qualifies as a Semi-accredited Facilitator, with support from their co-facilitators who may be other Accrediting or Expert Facilitators, or very experienced Workshop Facilitators. The lead facilitator is also responsible for informing the BRIDGE Office who has become a Semi-accredited Facilitator, including an assessment of how ready each participant is to be accredited as a Workshop Facilitator once they have had the opportunity to gain field experience. The BRIDGE Office then updates its databases to reflect the new Semi-accredited Facilitators. New Semi-accredited Facilitators will receive a certificate at the TtF and should register to the BRIDGE website where they will be given facilitator access to the BRIDGE curriculum, newsletters and discussion forums. Becoming a Workshop Facilitator Semi-accredited Facilitators are ready to plan and facilitate modules under the supervision of accredited facilitators. Some facilitators will be advanced enough to be accredited at their first workshop, but others will require several workshops to complete their accreditation. It is possible for Semi-accredited Facilitators to work with Workshop Facilitators to gain supported experience, but they will need to work with an Accrediting or Expert Facilitator to be formally accredited. Semi-accredited Facilitators are also able to use the BRIDGE curriculum unsupervised, in which case their workshops would not be BRIDGE, however this is not recommended as the support and mentoring that comes from working with a supervising facilitator are important to successful development of facilitation skills and capacity development. A Semi-accredited Facilitator must be involved in not only the preparation and delivery of a workshop module, but also the customisation process, in order for the accrediting facilitator to be able to assess them against the criteria for accreditation. The minimum number of hours of planning and facilitation to be completed for assessment is 30 hours, which may be achieved in one workshop or over several. A Semi-accredited Facilitator may also feel they need more than 30 hours. The 30 hour minimum must be of engaged planning and facilitation – for example, if somebody else is running an activity, and a facilitator is sitting in the back of the room and not paying attention, but doing non-relevant work or resting, this would not count as engaged facilitation. However, if they were listening, supporting the person running the activity, helping participants when required etc., then although they themselves are not running the activity, they are still actively facilitating. If the Semi-accredited Facilitator fulfils the criteria, the Accrediting or Expert Facilitator is responsible for informing the BRIDGE Office that they have progressed to become a Workshop Facilitator. New Workshop Facilitators are ready to lead BRIDGE module workshops themselves, but it is always recommended that less experienced facilitators work with more experienced facilitators who can mentor and support them. A newly accredited facilitator should get as much experience facilitating module workshops as possible, and should not facilitate other kinds of BRIDGE workshops until their facilitation skills are well established. A Workshop Facilitator may choose to focus on workshop facilitation only and the most experienced Workshop Facilitators are extremely valuable to any BRIDGE program. Alternatively, a Workshop Facilitator may want to take on broader BRIDGE responsibilities once they have gained sufficient experience in the customisation and facilitation phases, and in this case should consider becoming an Accrediting Facilitator. Becoming an Accrediting Facilitator Workshop Facilitators who have made the decision to become Accrediting Facilitators should begin by taking responsibility for mentoring facilitators with less experience, and being mentored themselves in the accreditation process by Accrediting or Expert Facilitators. They should already be doing tasks such as liaising with the BRIDGE Office and submitting reports and data relating to the workshops they facilitate. In addition to this, they must be experienced, with a minimum of 150 hours engaged customisation, preparation and facilitation of BRIDGE workshops, at least 75% of which are module workshops, required for progression from Workshop Facilitator. However, some facilitators may want to increase their experience as a Workshop Facilitator before they feel ready to progress. If a facilitator feels they qualify to become an Accrediting Facilitator, they need to submit an application to the BRIDGE Office using the relevant application form, outlining their experience and workshops facilitated. They also require a reference from an Accrediting or Expert Facilitator they have worked with who is able to assess whether or not the facilitator meets the criteria to progress. The BRIDGE Office will verify the information provided and submit the facilitator’s name to the BRIDGE partners for approval, and if successful, they will be updated on the BRIDGE database as Accrediting Facilitators. An Accrediting Facilitator then focuses on more of a mentoring and accrediting role as well as customisation and facilitation. This category of facilitator is crucial to capacity development within a BRIDGE program. However, if an Accrediting Facilitator wishes to be involved in broader program responsibilities, such as needs assessment and evaluation tasks; they should consider progression to Expert Facilitator. Becoming an Expert Facilitator As before, not all facilitators will want to become Expert Facilitators or will have the skills to do so. However, there are some facilitators who build up vast experience in BRIDGE facilitation and become involved in implementing BRIDGE at a much deeper level. Their role is critical to BRIDGE as a whole as well as to individual programs. To become an Expert Facilitator, an Accrediting Facilitator must be mentored in other implementation tasks such as needs assessments and scoping missions, and looking at a BRIDGE program more holistically than just the workshop components. In addition to this, they must be experienced, with a minimum of 300 hours engaged customisation, preparation and facilitation of BRIDGE workshops, at least 50% of which are module workshops, required for progression from Workshop Facilitator.  Again, some facilitators may want to increase their experience as an Accrediting Facilitator before they feel ready to progress. Once they feel they have fulfilled the criteria and are confident that they could operate as an Expert Facilitator, they must submit the relevant application form to the BRIDGE Office, including a full outline of their BRIDGE experience, how they meet each criteria, and provide a reference and recommendation for advancement from an Expert Facilitator. The BRIDGE Office in turn will verify their application and submit their name to the BRIDGE partners for approval to progress. On approval, their records are updated and their name included in the Expert Facilitator pool.  Expert Facilitators are often called on by new BRIDGE programs to accredit and […]
August 18, 2009

BRIDGE curriculum and module structure

To some extent, there is consistency between all of the modules. Each was built on a common structure, including: Facilitators Notes – the step by step guide to running a module Module Objectives – ‘this module was designed to achieve what purpose?’ Key Understandings (KU) – topic specific statements that reflect the most important things that you want your participants to know before they finish the module Learning Outcomes (LO) – Generic statements of the actions and behaviour participants will demonstrate once the workshop is complete which will often indicate that the Key Understandings are understood Sections – the basic building blocks of the module reflecting the natural classification of the topic, plus introductory and conclusion sections Sub-sections – the sub-topics to be covered in more detail Activities – the specific and step by step instructions for facilitators and participants (role plays, individual work, group work) suggested to achieve particular Learning Outcomes Resources – either external (handbooks, websites, articles, case studies on the subject developed outside the context of BRIDGE) or internal (presentations, handouts, overheads developed by the BRIDGE curriculum designers). While there is commonality, each module is also quite distinctive, depending on the topic at hand, and the thematic group to which it belongs. Each of the modules has been developed by a unique team of curriculum designers (writers/editors), reflecting the expertise, available resources, and current thinking connected with that particular subject. Program and workshop developers will discover that each module has its own style, reflected in the preference for types of activities, emphasis, and tone. There is also a difference in the relative sizes of the modules – ranging from three day to multi-week. Refer to: 8.3 Annex 3: BRIDGE Modules at a Glance The BRIDGE website (www.bridge-project.org) is the principle dissemination tool for the Version 2 curriculum. Details of new modules or materials released after the publication of this manual can be found on the BRIDGE website. Agenda building The shape of the workshop will depend on several factors – the objective(s), the time that can be spared, geographical location of participants, and the budget. You may need to do some hard thinking before finalising the agenda. There are more activities and materials in every module than can be covered in a short workshop. As a facilitator, you should select which modules and activities you will include in your agenda based on the objectives you have defined for the training. The activities are designed to give you as wide a choice as possible. Use those that best meet the needs of your participants, alter them as your participant’s level of interest and experience suggests, and leave the rest. Often you find that there are too many objectives – so you must either design a longer workshop, if that is possible, or cut back on your objectives. For reasons of cost or demands on the time of participants, a workshop may have to be shortened. Many prefer a workshop at the end of the week even if it runs partly into a weekend. A two-day workshop can be spread over three days with many advantages: The first morning is spent in travel Starting with lunch allows for renewal or formation of relationships Latecomers miss lunch but not the workshop! The first post-lunch malaise is dissipated by the excitement of a new situation Two overnight periods become available for homework/preparation The workshop finishes at midday on the third day, and those who must leave early miss dinner and not the final and important workshop session! To aid the customisation team, a set of sample agendas (half day workshop, 1-day workshop, 2-day workshop, etc.), reflecting the deeper understanding that the curriculum designers have of their particular modules. However, these agendas are only meant to be a guide. They will themselves have to be customised Ideally, there is continuity between the program development phase and the facilitation phase – so that the facilitation team is comfortable with the material and activities chosen, as well as the reasoning behind. Development of other resources The types of materials (other than the BRIDGE curriculum resources for the workshops) that might need to be developed, adapted and translated for a BRIDGE program could include the following: Module summaries and Facilitators Notes for all relevant modules This Implementation Manual BRIDGE information and promotional materials, such as brochures, videos Graphical material, such as binder covers, spines, dividers Letterhead and other office administration supplies Letters to client organisations, donors, facilitators and participants Directional signs Promotional banners Name tags Some material that should be sought in advance from the client organisation includes: Legal documents – for example, electoral laws and procedures Electoral planners and information (such as election calendars, and policies) Current and past electoral material (e.g. manuals, information brochures and booklets) Public outreach and promotional materials (e.g. posters, audio-visuals and stickers) Relevant training materials It is important to provide feedback to the BRIDGE Office on any […]
August 18, 2009

Train the Facilitator (TtF) workshop

This workshop, which is integral to BRIDGE, uses a ‘train the trainer’ model. The 10-day workshop is designed to give potential BRIDGE facilitators practical skills and knowledge about BRIDGE modules and workshops. The aims and objectives of the TtF workshop are: Aim: To provide experience of BRIDGE materials and methodology to potential BRIDGE facilitators. Objectives: To train selected trainees in existing content and content development and methodology of BRIDGE To provide the trainees with supported experience in conducting BRIDGE facilitation To provide trainees with the opportunity to modify existing and develop new BRIDGE materials To provide a mechanism for assessing the trainees’ capacity to facilitate BRIDGE module workshops and activities to the required standard National TtF workshops are conducted in the country where a sizeable BRIDGE program is planned (where a corps of facilitators would need to be employed). International TtF workshops are conducted on at least an annual basis, in different regions of the world where there is BRIDGE interest or programs underway. The TtF workshop targets experienced trainers, preferably with a background in curriculum development and elections. Trainees should have been a participant in a BRIDGE module workshop before the TtF workshop. In addition to meeting these criteria, trainees will ideally have a solid grounding in the methodologies and approaches of BRIDGE and capacity development. For International TtFs, facilitators should be selected who have demonstrated an ability to work in a cross-cultural environment. A TtF should always be considered as part of a wider BRIDGE plan, and not an ends in itself. Within a TtF workshop the emphasis put on facilitation aspects or electoral aspects will vary with the groups being targeted. For example, if dealing with a group of trainees already used to participative training techniques but new to the field of election management, facilitators will need to focus on the content of the workshop materials. If working with a group of experienced electoral managers who are unfamiliar with BRIDGE – type training methodology, priority will have to be given to explaining and demonstrating BRIDGE training tools. Participants Participant selection is of utmost importance in a TtF, both for the success of the workshop and the sustainability of the wider project. Participants who have the right skills and interests will not only enrich the TtF itself, but of course produce a higher quality result in the overall BRIDGE plan as modules will be facilitated well, received better, and therefore have greater effect. It is important to make clear what a TtF is – a common misconception is that a TtF is like a normal BRIDGE module and will provide the participant with electoral knowledge. The point should be made that a TtF is essentially a Train the Trainer workshop with the aim of teaching facilitation skills, not electoral knowledge. There is an inherent risk in a TtF for it to be seen as a ‘better’ or ‘more important’ workshop than the standard BRIDGE modules, and therefore for people to want to complete it for the wrong reasons. This is not the case, as a TtF is not a higher level workshop than the standard modules, but rather a workshop with a very different objective. Ideal participants for a TtF are rarely those in senior positions, but rather those with a training role in their organisation who are likely to be released when necessary. Selection criteria for TtF participation include: Training background (essential). Does this person have the base skills to become a facilitator? It is also highly desirable that at least some of the person’s training experience include the use of interactive methodology. Strategic availability (essential). Once trained, will this person be available to conduct training, e.g. if they are employed by an electoral or other body, will there be opportunities for their release to facilitate? Is their employer supportive of their role as a BRIDGE facilitator? Understanding of BRIDGE (essential). Has this person been exposed to BRIDGE by attending a BRIDGE module workshop as a participant? Have they had the opportunity to see the BRIDGE methodology first hand and make an informed decision about whether they want to become a BRIDGE facilitator? Elections experience (desirable). While it is often helpful for facilitators to have electoral knowledge and experience, their skills in training and facilitation are more important. Cross-cultural skills (desirable). Particularly important for international TtFs where facilitators are likely to be working outside their region. Ideally the TtF implementer should request applications for attendance in a TtF, asking participants to address the selection criteria above. However, implementers should also be open to nominations and recommendations of participants who may not otherwise have knowledge or interest in participating, but has the right skills, recognised by a third […]
August 18, 2009

Facilitator categories

The facilitator category structure has been developed to provide a supportive framework in which facilitators can practise, improve and broaden their BRIDGE skills. The categories also aim to ensure the quality and consistency of the BRIDGE product, and also to assist those implementing BRIDGE to select facilitators with the right skill sets. All categories of facilitators are important to BRIDGE. In order to move from one facilitator category to another, certain criteria need to be met by the facilitator and this needs to be formally acknowledged by a partner organisation. There is no expectation that a facilitator has to progress from one category to another. This will be based on the personal choice of individual facilitators and their ability to meet the criteria for progression. Some things to keep in mind regarding facilitator categories: Does the facilitator have the right skill set to run this workshop? Should I have a more experienced facilitator to support any less experienced facilitators? Is there an opportunity for mentoring of less experienced facilitators by more experienced facilitators? Is this an opportunity to accredit any facilitators in the organisation or region? Should there be an accrediting or expert facilitator to complete this accreditation? A quick summary of facilitator categories is in Table 3 below. Table 3: Facilitator Categories Semi-accredited facilitator Workshop facilitator Accrediting facilitator Expert facilitator Key focus Commitment to capacity development in elections Facilitation of BRIDGE module workshops An accrediting and educative role A broad leadership role in the development of BRIDGE policy, facilitators and materials Experience Module workshop participant Successful completion of TtF A minimum of 30 hours of supervised module workshop facilitation Supervised preparation and customisation A minimum of 150 hours of module workshop facilitation Assessed by an accrediting or expert facilitator as possessing the following skills: Mentoring Leadership Organisational skills Advocacy A minimum of 300 hours of module workshop facilitation Electoral experience Assessed by an expert facilitator as possessing the following skills: Mentoring Leadership Organisational skills Advocacy Scoping Responsibilities Supervised module workshop facilitation Customise, translate, prepare and facilitate module workshops Customise, translate, prepare and facilitate module workshops Mentor other facilitators Accredit workshop and accrediting facilitators Prepare and facilitate TtF and Implementation Workshops Customise, translate, prepare and facilitate module workshops Mentor other facilitators Accredit all categories or facilitators Prepare and facilitate TtF and Implementation workshops Needs assessments and scoping missions Contributing to BRIDGE policy and curriculum There is also an additional category of Semi-accredited – Inactive facilitators. This is to recognise that in the decade BRIDGE has been around, there are many facilitators who have completed their TtF but are unlikely to complete their accreditation and who may no longer be involved in BRIDGE. Semi-accredited – Inactive facilitators are those who completed their TtF more than three years prior, but who have not gained their full accreditation. This will make it easier for the BRIDGE Office and BRIDGE implementers to identify active facilitators and also recognise that it may be difficult for people who completed their TtF more than three years ago to recall their facilitator training. Semi-accredited – Inactive facilitators who become involved in BRIDGE after being made inactive can contact the BRIDGE Office to be made active. For more information on progression in facilitator categories, see 5.4 Focus On: Progression in Facilitator Accreditation and Categories. […]
August 18, 2009

Facilitators in BRIDGE

Facilitators are key players in BRIDGE – the success of BRIDGE relies on the quality of its facilitators, and the use of the right facilitation teams. Facilitators should be involved at all steps of the BRIDGE program – from providing advice at the beginning, to the customisation process, to running the workshops themselves and contributing to the evaluation process, and ideally, continuing to be involved in a sustainable program. For this reason, it is important that a client organisation has access to a pool of potential facilitators (including regional/international) to contribute to various stages of a BRIDGE program, allowing for availability, diversity and different skills and strengths. For sustainability reasons, a strong pool of local facilitators is essential for any extensive BRIDGE program. It is up to the program team to evaluate how many local facilitators need to be trained, and whether there is potential for this to be done within the client organisation, or whether the program team needs to look more broadly at partnering with regional or international organisations to train facilitators. Facilitators should refer to 6.3 Running a BRIDGE Workshop and the Facilitation Manual for further information on facilitating a workshop. Choosing and employing facilitators and facilitation teams The importance of the BRIDGE facilitator to a BRIDGE program means that attention must be paid to getting the appropriate facilitators for the program as they will be involved in high-level decisions on workshop customisation, selecting the right mix of materials and understanding the profile of participants. In addition to being qualified professionals, facilitators must also be good team players. An informal mechanism operates for selecting accredited facilitators from the regularly updated database of fully and partially accredited facilitators. The responsible BRIDGE partner can decide or advise on the choice of international facilitators. Intuitive judgments need to be made about the right mix of facilitators for any given workshop, and for this reason program teams are advised to contact the BRIDGE Office for advice on this matter. A facilitation team should be a minimum of two facilitators, and several things should be considered when putting the team together. A team approach to facilitation is best, and a workshop should not be run if an appropriate team is not available. The process of selecting a facilitation team should consider the following: Priority should be given to using local facilitators in the context of building capacity and contextualising the program. A facilitation team should have a gender balance, with at least one male and one female on any facilitation team, to model gender awareness and provide balance. Particularly where participants may be of diverse language groups, or perhaps speak a dialect, it is useful to consider using facilitators who can communicate in the languages of the participants, if that is not the primary language being used in the workshop itself. Different facilitators will have different strengths, and different modules will also require different sorts of facilitators. A facilitation team should consist of facilitators who complement each other and who can each contribute a different quality to the facilitation. It is good practice to select facilitators with relevant expertise in the module to be delivered, particularly with the more technical modules such as Electoral Systems and Boundary Delimitation. While a good facilitator will be able to deliver any of the BRIDGE content, having experience in the area of the module provides credibility and clarity. A combination of expertise can also benefit a facilitation team. While local facilitators should be prioritised, it can also be beneficial to include non-local facilitators, or facilitators from different backgrounds, who can bring an alternative perspective to the facilitation team. If possible, issues of conflicting or complementary personalities should be taken into account, as the way a facilitation team works together is of vital importance to the success of the workshop. There are some forms of BRIDGE that can only be run by certain categories of facilitator, such as the TtF or Implementation Workshop. Determining facilitator numbers Different programs will have different facilitator requirements, and program organisers will need to decide early on how many local facilitators they will need to train to support a sustainable program. Questions the program team should ask are: How big is the program? How many staff are to be trained? What length of training would be ideal or preferred? What length of training is proposed (and funded)? Is there a dedicated training department? Other things to consider include: Availability – how much time will potential local facilitators be able to commit to the program? An organisation which could dedicate a few training staff would need fewer than an organisation which trained operational staff as facilitators who would not be able to be released as often to conduct program activities. Stability – are the people being considered as facilitators likely to stay with the organisation, or is there a culture of turnover? In a very stable organisation which can identify key permanent staff who will be committed to a long-term project, there may not be a need for as many facilitators to be trained. Diversity – can people from different parts of the organisation, different backgrounds, different levels be trained as facilitators? Because the make-up of a facilitation team is so vital, having a diverse group of facilitators to select from helps in creating a workshop that will fit varying objectives. Support – are there enough facilitators, so that the responsibility does not fall on just the same people all the time? Facilitation work should be shared and rotated, to allow all facilitators to be involved and to develop their skills, and to also allow them to take a break or have a backup. A larger pool of facilitators is better than relying on a core group who end up taking all the […]
August 18, 2009

Post-needs assessment activities

Assessment report At the completion of a needs assessment mission, an assessment report should be written, on the basis of which a recommendation on whether or not to go ahead with a BRIDGE program would be made. It might also be necessary to develop concept papers, proposals or strategies to spell out the objectives of a program as it is evolving. Developing appropriate broad objectives Once a client organisation has identified its needs, broad objectives to address these needs must also be identified. These broad objectives will usually be at a conceptual level and may or may not require BRIDGE programs in order to be achieved. Some of these broad objectives may include: A more transparent electoral process A more professional and efficient electoral management body Credible elections Improved relationships between stakeholders BRIDGE should be considered as one of many potential tools to address existing needs and achieve broad objectives. In most cases BRIDGE will be very useful in achieving these objectives, but there may also be occasions when BRIDGE is not appropriate. Because there may be a discrepancy between the needs as expressed by the client organisation and those identified as a result of the assessment conducted from a BRIDGE perspective, some adjustments and compromises may have to be made. Informing BRIDGE partners and the BRIDGE Office If the needs assessment or the scoping report has recommended that a BRIDGE program is appropriate, and the decision has been made to proceed, all BRIDGE partners should be informed through the BRIDGE Office. The BRIDGE Office and the BRIDGE partners should already have been consulted and informed during the initial planning stages. Throughout the program, all relevant documentation should also be filed appropriately and sent on a regular and agreed basis to the BRIDGE […]
August 18, 2009

Planning for Evaluation

  Assessment – process of estimating the value/quality of something before or during a process/event Evaluation – the process of measuring the amount of something during and/or after a process/event Monitoring – the maintenance of regular surveillance of a process/event Effective evaluation depends on knowing what you are aiming for, what and why you want to evaluate, and what your time and cost restraints are.  There are different kinds of evaluation for different purposes. Evaluation should assist in learning what works well and thereby assist building the capacity and capability of what is being assessed. It should be a process of collecting information to assess the value of any activity and the quality of the program. There are a number of stakeholders who will be expecting feedback on the program – for different reasons, at different times and in different formats: The conduct of a needs assessment will result in certain expected outcomes. Ultimately, once a BRIDGE activity has been designed and implemented, one would return to the needs assessment to measure the success or limited achievement. Funders/donors of the program (and of BRIDGE as a whole) will want to know if the aims and objectives listed in the project proposal underlying their funding have been met (and proof thereof). Funders of the program and project managers will expect financial accounting. The program developers will want feedback on the choices made in compiling the agenda and program curriculum – did it work as envisioned? Participants will want to be reminded of the program objectives and their own expectations on the final workshop day in order to feel satisfaction with the investment of time and energy that they have made. Facilitators will want feedback on their performance. The curriculum designers of the V2 modules will want feedback on the activities, Key Understandings and resources used in order to improve the modules. The BRIDGE Office and BRIDGE partners will want both concrete facts and documentation about the program for statistical and archival purposes, as well as feedback on the success and difficulties of the program in order to improve the BRIDGE Package of services and tools. In the role as program developer or facilitator, meeting these assessments, evaluation and reporting needs will be something to take into consideration in the planning stages. A number of tools are available to help: Needs assessment report and recommendations that will inform the design and implementation phase Program Objectives, as developed in consultation with program stakeholders Key Understandings, Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria specified in the modules that you have chosen, which you will have adapted to your specific program Participant expectations, as described on the first day Games and techniques for evaluation and assessment included in this manual, and in the TtF workshop A workshop administration role assigned either to one of the facilitators or an external person is an invaluable asset, so that the reporting obligations are not forgotten. In addition to the formal and informal assessment and evaluation requirements – there are some guiding questions that should inform all of the decisions made, both during program development and facilitation of the workshop. Are we improving electoral processes? Are we strengthening the confidence and competence of key stakeholders? It is possible that you may not be able to measure these more fundamental questions in numbers or forms – but you will most probably have anecdotal evidence which can also serve a valuable purpose as a way to explain why BRIDGE programs are effective. The most important concept to understand with evaluation and assessment with BRIDGE is that we are assessing the success or otherwise of the program, rather than the success of any individual participants to learn or understand. The assessment tools used in BRIDGE are not designed to pass or fail participants. Planning for evaluation Any BRIDGE program will cost money, and implementers will therefore inevitably have to account to those who are funding them for the way in which the money has been spent, and the benefits which flow from the expenditure. Processes for measuring the impact of a BRIDGE program will therefore invariably need to be developed. This issue can be approached at a number of different levels. An assessment may be: Made on the validity of the needs assessment Made of the short-term or slightly longer-term impact which a program has had on individual participants. This may be based on the participants self-assessments, and/or on the judgement of the facilitators, and/or on the judgements made by their colleagues of the apparent impact which the program has had. Made of the overall success of a program – this can be done by examining evaluations prepared during and immediately after the workshops by participants, the facilitators, and where relevant the recipient organisation. Made of the impact which the use of BRIDGE has had on the way in which the beneficiary organisation does its work. Such an assessment may be done internally by the organisation, but may also take into account judgements made by stakeholders, such as donors, who work with the organisation. Attempted of the impact BRIDGE has had on the state of democratic development in a country. This will normally be exceptionally difficult to judge, since overall democratic development is influenced by myriad factors, of which interventions in the area of electoral capacity-building are only one. The BRIDGE founding partners are clearly committed to the process of continuously improving the product, and feedback from evaluations is a critical resource for them in achieving this objective. However, because the time of the client is precious, the extent and degree of evaluation need to be agreed at the planning stage. The evaluation process involves comparing performance against expectations, and therefore needs to be structured taking agreed outputs or outcomes into account. A clear focus on defining expectations when planning evaluations also helps to ensure that expectations are realistic, and shared by all involved.  This is discussed further in the Facilitators Notes. Evaluation needs to match program objectives (see section 3.1 Setting Program Objectives, below) Evaluation stages Evaluation of a BRIDGE program should take place: at the beginning of the program during and at the end of the workshops. This can include spot checks, informal chats with individuals; observation; feedback or evaluation sheets (open-ended) at the end of the program (after the workshops) a suitable time after the program to assess long term impact The first two stages of the evaluation process have already been covered in previous chapters – pre-program assessment (which determines what the evaluation is measuring against) and monitoring during the workshop (which contributes to the evaluation process). Assuming pre-program assessment and workshop monitoring have been conducted adequately, post-program evaluation should be more of a compilation exercise intended to give an overall view of the implementation of the project and measure its achievements. The impact of the project can be assessed by measuring the competence and skills both of the national authorities and individual participants in dealing with matters covered during the program. Evaluations, if done effectively, comprise several levels and strategies – each targeting different stakeholders with different approaches. Before turning to specific examples of evaluation strategies and questions, we need to clarify exactly what we mean by evaluation. Refer to: 8.5 Annex 5: BRIDGE Evaluation Cycle for a summary of the main elements of evaluation, and things to consider when designing an evaluation process for BRIDGE. […]
August 18, 2009

Building partnerships for delivery

The involvement of the client or implementing organisation as an integral partner to the needs assessment (and subsequent program design) is an important investment in the building of capacity and ownership of the program. Experience has shown that BRIDGE programs are most effective when they are carefully tailored to the needs of participants; and this can be effectively achieved by developing and delivering them in partnership with local bodies that can contribute to and/or drive the customisation process.  Potential partners include the following types of bodies: The country’s EMB, which may wish to nominate staff to take part in the program, but which may also be involved in defining the objectives and tailoring the delivery of the program, as well as in supplying facilitators or translators, providing venues, assisting with the translation and production of materials, and, generally, providing logistical support. In more established democracies, some EMBs may choose to use BRIDGE as part of their staff professional development program – Australia, for instance, has conducted BRIDGE modules in almost all of its States and Territories – or in the context of an electoral reform program. Local bodies separate from the EMB, but involved as stakeholders in democracy development or electoral reform. They may be prepared to sponsor programs and/or provide the sort of support EMBs can also provide. International organisations, regional organisations of EMBs, or governments/bodies involved in the provision of assistance relating to elections or democratic development. Such organisations may again be able to sponsor programs or contribute participants or facilitators, or both. Where an organisation of this type has been given responsibility for coordinating international electoral assistance in a country, entering into an effective partnership or cooperative arrangement with it will be particularly important. Donor organisations that may be prepared to provide funding or support in kind (for example, use of premises). Partnerships may be developed in various ways. In the first instance, EMBs in emerging democracies that are liaising with donors and receiving funds for electoral assistance may be introduced to the notion of using BRIDGE when discussing the type of assistance they require. As arrangements become more defined, a number of different bodies may form a consortium to deliver the program, with different partners making different contributions. Under such a model, it is important that respective responsibilities and spheres of action be clearly defined and understood. Alternatively, a single local agency may be developed as a partner in the delivery of a program. Again, it is important that responsibilities be clearly understood. Choice of partners will depend on what potential partner organisations have to offer, as well as on the context in which the program is to be delivered. If, for example, the latter is to be but one element of a larger capacity building project being managed by a particular assistance provider, it would normally be essential to determine precise objectives in the light of broader capacity-building aims, and to involve that assistance provider in the planning of the program from the outset. Choice of implementation approaches will depend on a number of factors. Potential partners, in considering when and how much they want to commit to any BRIDGE project, might benefit from a gradualist approach to implementation. In certain circumstances it may be better to take small incremental steps, rather than committing large funds to a large project. Program organisers may prefer to proceed in a non-prescriptive and indeed non-threatening manner – minimising losses (of face and money) – should an ambitious project not eventuate or proceed. If an organisation shows initial interest, but is not in a position to commit to a large project, it could be encouraged to send some key personnel to attend a BRIDGE workshop out-of-country before embarking on its own in-country showcase and/or a Train the Facilitator program, and certainly before developing and/or translating materials. Familiarisation and expectation management BRIDGE content and, in particular, BRIDGE methodology are still relatively new to many in the elections community. Methods for advocating and explaining BRIDGE to decision-makers include the following: pointing to the BRIDGE website providing explanatory leaflets or notes, preferably in the local language providing relevant samples of materials from the Facilitators Notes and Participants Notes; showing videos and/or photos of the conduct of BRIDGE in other countries – testimonials are powerful tools to build an intuitive understanding of how capacity development works in practice setting up meetings with counterparts in other countries or organisations who have had experience with BRIDGE conducting BRIDGE activities at regional meetings or conferences, or using activity-based methodology for the conduct of conferences or workshops in order to promote the methods that characterise BRIDGE inviting officials from an interested country or organisation to witness or participate in the implementation of BRIDGE elsewhere conducting specially customised demonstrations specifically targeting the country or organisation in question The use of short BRIDGE programs that exemplify BRIDGE content, materials and methodology – ‘showcasing’ – exposes decision-makers to relevant aspects of the project and can be a useful tool for giving them a better and more informed understanding of the benefits they can derive from BRIDGE. If the client audience has a clear understanding of what BRIDGE is it will make the job of the implementer a great deal easier. Refer to 3.4 Focus On: Showcasing BRIDGE for more information. Negotiating with clients During and after scoping, discussions will need to take place between the BRIDGE representatives and the clients, implementing organisations, and any donors. These should always reinforce and clarify the elements of the project in order to manage the expectations of both the latter. When negotiating with clients, the following approaches have shown themselves to be useful. Consulting extensively with the EMB and, in some cases, political parties – in order to create the political will for BRIDGE to be implemented. This may involve creating a ‘buzz’ by exchanging views with other senior or strategic staff, in particular on the benefits they will derive from BRIDGE. Conducting a needs analysis – establishing a checklist of what is needed and for whom, determining the time frame (short-term versus long-term), and the focus of the program (operational training versus professional development). Managing expectations – double-checking what can be offered in the available time frame and whether that is consistent with what the clients believe they are going to get. Setting realistic targets collaboratively – It usually pays to be modest rather than over-ambitious. An appreciation of the extent of local capacity to support reform is also essential. If capacity is low, rapid reform will not be sustainable. Ascertaining critical elements for all parties – key factors on which to focus are the timetable, money, and personnel. Negotiating with donors When negotiating with donors, concentration on the following points is likely to be necessary. Co-ordination of administrative and financial responsibilities, where more than one donor organisation is involved. Adequate badging and recognition – including ensuring visibility of donors’ logos. An emphasis on BRIDGE’s capacity-development focus – this dovetails with donors preference for projects that are low risk, low cost and high profile. Providing donors with a copy of the products associated with the workshops, such as participant handbooks. Inviting them to the opening and closing of the workshop. Supplying donors with regular updates on developments (successes, evaluations and feedback) and on any changes to the project. Showing both flexibility and […]
August 18, 2009

Focus on: Training Units

The most sustainable way to use BRIDGE is to incorporate (and adapt) the resources, trained facilitators, and methodology into the training unit of a client organisation. Such a unit may have to be created, or may benefit from being strengthened or restructured. Working with an existing training unit A Training Plan is vital. If such a plan already exists, it may be possible to tie BRIDGE into the existing plan. It may also be necessary to conduct a Training Needs Assessment. If this was already performed prior to the BRIDGE training, it may need to be reviewed, in the light of the training. It may also be necessary to assist in the identification, development or strengthening of a training culture. Identifying a training ‘champion’ – who should be fostered and encouraged – could assist if there is a relatively weak training culture within the client organisation. Transforming an agency with deeply ingrained beliefs, values and behaviour is a daunting proposition. Whatever the training culture, close collaboration with the key personnel responsible for training should occur at this stage. Collaborative relationships with host country agencies, and other stakeholders, are a critical link to the success of training efforts. Where a training unit exists, a program of development or strengthening must be planned in conjunction with the relevant staff. It needs to be acknowledged that training, like many forms of education, can have intangible results (such as psychological, social and spiritual dimensions and effects). This fact needs to be kept in mind when building arguments for the strengthening or reforming of training units. Decision-makers often rely on tangible, easy-to-measure indicators – and base budgets on this sort of data. Training advocates need to be convincing in their arguments of the benefits and importance of training. Creation of a training unit A training department’s establishment from scratch will mean working with an organisational champion in senior management and authority, and liaising with the human resources department regarding the organisational structure. The creation and continued relevance or maintenance of a training unit may be dependent on organisational priorities, stability and change, change in leadership, and larger transformation issues at governmental, political and regional levels. These things may well be out of the control of program planners and reformers. As well, all the above considerations relating to working with existing training units would apply. Continued work with a training unit is a natural part of a sustainability process or plan following a BRIDGE projects, enabling the program organisers to work with the client in working through the recommendations of the evaluation report, further create rapport, trust and the continuance of good […]
August 18, 2009

Communication Planning

Considering effective communication with all stakeholders is absolutely fundamental to a project’s success, the development of a communication plan is often among the first tasks to be dealt with. A BRIDGE program management plan would always include such a plan – which documents all aspects of communicating with stakeholders during the life of the program. Keeping in contact with relevant organisations, both formally and informally, is necessary for any BRIDGE program. The reporting requirements will often be spelt out in a written agreement. Informal exchanges of views are also important to maintain goodwill between organisations. Stakeholders need to be ‘kept in the picture’; they need a copy of the product and should be invited to the opening and closing of the workshop. They should be sent newsletters or progress reports including regular updates on developments, successes, evaluations, feedback, recommendations, and changes to the program. While they may not always require formal written reports, they will still need to be kept informed on a regular basis. Formal meetings are one important aspect of communication and can, if not correctly managed, result in a waste of time, money and energy. Certain meetings play a structural or process role in projects, for example, the inaugural meeting that is required at project launch. Other meetings include design reviews and periodic progress reviews. The project manager should know what meetings are required, when they are required and how they should be conducted. Ultimately, the client organisation, donors and implementers need a record of the process, spelling out outcomes and achievements. They should, therefore, be provided with written reports on an agreed regular basis (weekly, monthly or at particular milestones). Such reports should always be honest and accurate, covering both positive achievements and developments, and any significant challenges. There may be sponsors who are not directly involved in the conduct of the workshops, but who need to be kept informed and given progress reports. This would probably happen automatically, but should be the regular initiative of the organisers of the program or the program manager. Similarly, clients need to be regularly kept abreast of developments, with written reports and updates. Information management and documentation Because programs generate and absorb significant quantities of information, it is important that an effective information management system be in place. The purpose of such a system is to manage the means that allow information to be effectively acquired, stored, processed, accessed, communicated, and archived. There should be a valid audit trail of this communication process. Generally, computer-based technology can significantly impact the effective management of information. Ensuring that a comprehensive, valuable information systems plan is available for the program as a whole should be an important responsibility of the program manager. Information distribution involves making needed information available to program stakeholders in a timely manner. It includes implementing communication management plans as well as responding to unexpected requests for information. BRIDGE Office Apart from formal written progress reports, information management of a general nature is a core role for the organisers of a BRIDGE program. As emphasised throughout this manual, it is strongly recommended that all documentation be forwarded to the BRIDGE Office. It is also recommended that all electronic data relating to the BRIDGE program be periodically backed-up and files emailed (or sent) to the BRIDGE Office. Also refer to 7.2 Transition: Reporting, Documenting and Updating BRIDGE for guidelines as to what documents should be sent. Media liaison Where a media campaign is launched to publicise a specific BRIDGE program, all stakeholders should be consulted to ensure coordination of efforts, which, in turn, would translate into consistency of messages. Any media interviews should preferably be undertaken by local facilitators or participants. Journalists in most countries are trained to write stories in an ‘inverted pyramid’ style, starting with a lead paragraph that conveys the essence and essential facts of the story, which is then developed in detail in subsequent paragraphs. Aside from making it clear to the reader from the outset what the story is about, this also allows the item to be cut from the bottom upwards, without losing its essence. Such a technique should, as a whole, also be used when drafting press […]
August 17, 2009

Project Management Structure and Plan

The conduct of a BRIDGE project will typically require a significant investment of time, money and human resources from a range of stakeholders, including participants, EMBs, facilitators, implementing agencies, as well as donors in some cases. The success of the program will depend on the stakeholders sharing a common understanding of, and commitment to, its scope and nature. Formation of a Steering Committee and Program Team A steering committee or advisory group, consisting of representatives of stakeholders (including, of course, the client organisation), facilitators and the program team, should be set up. Depending on the size of the program, such representatives should reflect the different levels of implementation (regional, national, local). The role of a steering committee is to: Review and endorse project plans Monitor the different phases of the project Take re-directive actions Build consensus when needed Carry out final evaluations Establish an exit strategy that takes into account: delays and rescheduling amendment of plans and formal agreements cancellation of project It would be the responsibility of both the steering committee and the program team to collaborate with one another. The program team are the people developing and implementing the BRIDGE program. This team will already be beginning to take shape once the program is initiated. At this point, an experienced BRIDGE facilitator (or someone very conversant in BRIDGE) should already be involved, preferably as part of the program development team. At this point also, the administrative support to the program team and facilitators needs to be considered. If possible, administrative support staff should be part of the program team from its inception. It is also useful to start identifying facilitators who are appropriate and available for the proposed program. It will also help to decide whether or not a program should involve developing local facilitators. Because BRIDGE is an activity-based curriculum, its successful implementation is highly dependent on the quality and experience of the facilitators who conduct it. More information on consideration of facilitators can be found in 5. BRIDGE Facilitators, and 6.1 Preparing for a BRIDGE Module Workshop. Project Management Plan Once an agreement has been signed and the type of BRIDGE program has been chosen, it is time to develop a detailed project management plan, which will be the main tool for allocating resources, assigning activities, monitoring developments and evaluating achievements. A detailed project management plan should include the following: Project summary, including contextual issues Background Scope, goal, objectives, outputs, and key capacity development performance indicators Project stakeholders: client, donors and implementation agency hierarchy, links and reporting lines steering committee Agreement summary and contractual responsibilities Budget Log frame Work schedules and phases, time frame, activities and tasks Appraisal, monitoring and evaluation strategies Reporting requirements, communication and information management plan for: project stakeholders project partners communication with BRIDGE partners and BRIDGE Office Risk management plan Logistics and procurement plan Security plan (for staff and assets) Public relations (media, fund-raising, and networking) Final evaluation Sustainability & Maintenance plan Sustainability Plan A sustainability plan should: be built into any BRIDGE program from the beginning detail all relevant measures, actions and standards that need to apply at various stages of the implementation process to serve the purpose of sustainability of the BRIDGE impact in the long run be based on past experience, evaluation reports, contextual analysis and projected future development/events articulate a clear vision based on organisational priorities include both long-term and short-term strategies, with the longer term ones based on a 3 to 5 year plan, from one election to the next, using the election calendar as the milestone ‘cycle’ be budgeted in broad terms to secure funds ahead of time have no more than 5 key focus areas for the next period/cycle ensure that skills development is tied to job descriptions (if formalised), though at the same time it must be recognised that business needs most likely override individual […]
August 17, 2009

Financial Planning & Formal Agreements

The completion of any project within its budget is a central objective of project management. Budgeting is the process of estimating as accurately as possible, against a clear baseline, the costs that one may reasonably expect to incur, understanding how and why they do actually occur, and ensuring whatever prompt response is required to keep them within the agreed budget. In order to be successful, cost management needs to be forward-looking. A BRIDGE program, which includes a management component and a series of workshops, will have to be broken down into its constituent elements. Refer to: 8.4 Annex 4: Potential Cost Items of a BRIDGE Program for a comprehensive list Typical budgetary management includes establishing estimates and forecasts; obtaining and recording commitments or accruals; measuring work accomplished and value earned, including treatment of changes (change control) and claims; and checking cash flow. Should there be funding problems, cuts may have to be considered and credits reallocated or alternative financing sought, with the agreement of the donor(s). The issue of payments to facilitators (and participants) can be quite a complex one. It is therefore essential that the terms and conditions of any financial support be clearly defined from the outset. Because payments may often be made in different ways, with rates varying between people, explaining their delivery models and rationale is necessary. The following specific issues would require consideration: appropriate salary scale for facilitators (including a decision on payment at international salary or local salary levels) payment of any allowances on top of salary terms and modalities of payment (currency; method – cash, electronically, other; frequency) body or officials responsible for payments Agreements There should be some form of written agreement, for example, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Record of Understanding (RoU) or exchange of letters, to finalise the details agreed upon between the main stakeholders – typically, donors, project team and clients. All stakeholders should be involved in its development. Such an agreement should specify clear outcomes and deliverables, and determine the responsibilities of the implementing agency, the donors, any consultants, and the client organisation. The following elements could be included: personnel definitions duration responsibilities scope of services preamble (introduction) suspension or termination fees, payment audit and financial records taxes, duties and charges intellectual property relationship with foreign government delivery models anti-corruption agreement to adhere to BRIDGE rules and policies reporting requirements budget variation/revision log frame confidentiality and public comment provisions for amendments and extensions outcomes […]
August 17, 2009

Focus on: Scoping Missions

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: constitution, electoral law and other relevant legislation previous election results, observer and media reports on electoral issues and disputes previous training activities – reports and plans the organisation’s relationship with its stakeholders (for example political parties and the media, previous international interlocutors) organisational culture. 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. The nature of BRIDGE: What it is and what it is not.  Discussion should draw on the issues covered in the first section 1. About BRIDGE.  In particular, a distinction should be drawn between BRIDGE as part of a larger electoral assistance project, and as a stand-alone project. Types of BRIDGE: How BRIDGE can be run. Sequencing: The recommended sequence of BRIDGE events in a program should be discussed, always keeping in mind the context in which the program is to be delivered. (See also:  2.3 Focus On – Sequencing)  However, the following guiding principles are suggested: Initial preference be given to conducting a showcase and module workshops to demonstrate BRIDGE Participants of a TtF (Train the Facilitator Workshop) should have participated in at least one BRIDGE module workshop A TtF should only be scheduled if there is a detailed plan to roll out module workshops An Implementation Workshop would only be conducted if a sizeable BRIDGE program is expected Customisation: Refer to 4.  Designing and Customising BRIDGE Workshops Budget: How much is required? How much is available? Where is the money coming from? Who will manage the budget? The potential costs of running a BRIDGE program should be made clear, whether it is donor or client funds that are likely to be the main resource for the program.  The scoping mission should clearly outline the costs of various options for delivery and ensure that client organisations and donors do not have unrealistic expectations of what can be done with limited funding. Refer to: 8.4 Annex 4: Potential Cost Items of a BRIDGE Program for a list of costs to consider   Timing: It would be ideal to conduct BRIDGE in a post-election environment – when the program can be combined with lessons learnt from past elections. Although a pre-election period is not an ideal time to proceed, BRIDGE could be conducted if it were to support other training activities focussing on operations. There is much opportunity for subsequent misunderstanding if the likely influence of operational priorities is not taken adequately into account.  Counterparts may, in good faith, believe that they will be able to balance on the one hand the conduct of BRIDGE programs aimed at long-term capacity-building and, on the other hand, short-term operational needs; but experience in many countries tends to suggest that such balancing is almost impossible, and the operational needs will ultimately take priority. This means that either: BRIDGE programs need to be timed so as not to impinge on operational priorities; or programs need to be customised so that they will clearly contribute to meeting operational needs 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. Minimum conditions: Rules, policies and procedures have been established for conducting BRIDGE.   Refer to 1.3 Focus On: Rules of BRIDGE earlier in the manual for more information. Clear statement of purpose (clear objectives and outcomes): What will the success indicators be and how will the project be evaluated? The outcomes should be clearly spelt out, including a realistic assessment of which of the stated or desired outcomes can be accomplished through training; which outcomes cannot be accomplished through training; which outcomes are not realistic in light of the implementing organisation’s institutional skills and resources. This would clarify right from the start the expectations of the outcomes of any program. Facilitators: The presence of appropriately skilled facilitators is so fundamental to the success of BRIDGE that the scoping process needs to include a quite detailed assessment of whether they are likely to be available.  A range of issues arise in relation to their choice and deployment. These include such things as: Availability: This includes time for preparation as well as the dates of the workshops. If the right facilitators are not available, it is probably best to postpone until they are. The makeup of the team: Is there gender balance? Do they have the right sorts of technical expertise? Do they have the required language skills? Is there a suitably qualified facilitator available to coordinate and accredit any facilitators who are to be accredited? Participants: Who will they be?  It should be kept in mind that the intention of the program is to enhance professional skills, rather than create those skills.  For participants to get the most benefit from the program they should: be motivated individuals, committed to the democratic process; be willing to share information, and to assist in the setting up of national training programs; and be willing to participate in the evaluation and further design of the program. It is here too, that it should be made clear that for BRIDGE to be most useful, numbers of participants should be kept to 25 or below. The following specific questions could be asked of the client organisation: What plan does the organisation have for providing training and/or professional development opportunities? What past training needs analysis or training courses have been done? How many people does this involve? What proportion are women? What are the resources (e.g. facilities) available to support the training program throughout the country? Are the rules and regulations for conducting an election in the country ready and available? How adequate are the knowledge and skills in the country to allow the running of an election that meets basic standards, such as transparency, reliability or cost effectiveness? How satisfied are the stakeholders for each of the electoral stages conducted in the country? Training needs analysis: If the client organisation has not completed a training needs analysis, the project team may have to conduct one as part of their scoping mission, so as to determine to what extent BRIDGE is adequate for covering such needs.  This may also require an auditing of the educational policies (staff development practices) of the organisation.  A comprehensive training needs analysis may need to be undertaken before or in conjunction with a BRIDGE program (if this is the imperative of the country). Recognition and acknowledgement: Due recognition is vitally important for building support for and ownership of BRIDGE. It should be borne in mind from the outset that a successful BRIDGE program is likely to be the work of many hands. Materials developed locally should clearly acknowledge, both on the cover and within, the BRIDGE Partner Organisations, the sources of the materials, the funding agency or agencies, the implementing agency or agencies, and other contributions (including of individuals) to the materials and to the project itself. Details of how this can best be done are set out in the ‘Copyright and acknowlgements’ section of 6.1 Preparing for a BRIDGE Module Workshop. The trip   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: Day 1 – Meet with the client organisation’s top officials (allow several hours for initial meeting and follow-up meetings, if necessary). Days 2 to 5 – Meet with local NGOs, other stakeholders, and electoral assistance or aid agencies  (for example IDEA, IFES, NDI, or UNDP), 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. […]
August 17, 2009

Focus On: Showcasing BRIDGE

What is a BRIDGE showcase? BRIDGE uses the word ‘showcase’ to refer to the use of a specially customised BRIDGE workshop to demonstrate the BRIDGE methodology to potential clients or stakeholders. That stakeholders understand BRIDGE is vital to the success of any BRIDGE program, as is assists with expectation management, appropriate objective setting and appropriate program design. One of the potential obstacles in establishing a BRIDGE program is misconceptions as to what BRIDGE is and what it can do. Having people actually participate in a BRIDGE workshop is the best way to deal with these misconceptions. Showcase workshops will usually be run at the beginning of a program, to allow for familiarisation and buy-in. There may be reasons to run showcases at later stages in the program as well (such as new stakeholders becoming involved, or new staff) but the showcase is essentially to demonstrate BRIDGE to those who are unfamiliar with it. It is not usually run with the intention of contributing to the objectives of a BRIDGE program (e.g. to provide training in certain areas of the electoral process), but rather to consolidate understanding and support for the program as a whole. Once a program is established, this should be less of an issue. It is important to involve experienced BRIDGE facilitators in the showcase workshop as they will be able to answer questions that might arise, and will also ensure that a quality workshop is delivered. Experienced facilitators will also have the knowledge to choose the right mix of materials and to understand how to deal with the cultural make-up of the participants. It might also be beneficial to involve any less experienced local facilitators, if they exist, to both provide a local perspective in the facilitation team, and also give them experience in their own context (as it is likely that they will be involved in the rollout of any program). Using BRIDGE modules in the showcase A showcase is usually based around the Introduction to Electoral Administration module, which is designed to be a good, broad summary of electoral principles and key areas. It gives a taste of each of the different thematic groups, has a good range of approaches within the BRIDGE methodology, and establishes the appropriate pedagogical and ethical framework for the rest of the program. However, depending on the audience, it is possible that another module is more appropriate, or a mixture of activities from different modules. For example, if a potential client organisation was considering running a program based on a more specialised area, such as boundary delimitation, and the stakeholder audience is experienced in boundary issues, it might be more worthwhile to demonstrate the rigour of the content and run a showcase based on the Boundary Delimitation module. Showcasing for decision makers Those people making the decision as to whether or not to use BRIDGE, or the direction of a BRIDGE program, should be familiar and comfortable with what BRIDGE is. A showcase is the best way to quickly familiarise decision makers, and encourage their buy-in. Showcasing for potential facilitators and implementers Another reason for running a showcase is to familiarise those who will be involved in the delivery of any BRIDGE program – the facilitators and implementers. It is particularly important for both of these groups to have a good understanding of BRIDGE before they either begin training as a facilitator (at a BRIDGE TtF) or organising programs. Key points to consider for showcasing However, some critical points need to be borne in mind. These include: A key consideration in showcasing is to ensure that the strengths of BRIDGE are highlighted, while handling (explicitly or implicitly) the concerns regarding its use that may be in the minds of the audience. Such concerns may be that BRIDGE: threatens hierarchy cuts across operational priorities does not tackle real operational needs relies on a non-traditional, activity-based teaching methodology On the other hand, BRIDGE’s strengths lie in the fact that it is: based on a state-of-the art methodology that is likely to become standard practice an instrument for professional development contributing to the motivation of staff regularly updated by experts modular and adaptable to the audiences a shell, a tool, or a framework to be owned by the implementing and client agencies built upon the principles of modern management – learning, changing, liberating opinions, empowering individuals, respecting diversity (gender, age), and acknowledging merit Those responsible for planning such showcasing, particularly where activities are to be demonstrated, should constantly keep in mind the following requirements to: think carefully about the target audience (taking account of levels of seniority, and perspectives) and tailor arguments to be as effective as possible, bearing in mind that the less they know the audience, the more cautious they should be choose the language accordingly establish credibility, notably by stressing the serious and substantial nature of BRIDGE pick a local circumstance and select a related activity that demonstrates relevance focus on the key essentials, choosing the most complex subject (for example boundary delimitation) and the least dynamic methodology – things that are too generic or simple should not be showcased refrain from starting with an ‘ice-breaker’ activity stress that the point of motivated self-learning is to reach the learning outcome through personal discovery – BRIDGE activities are designed to be memorable and […]
August 17, 2009

Developing a program framework

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: 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 […]
August 17, 2009

BRIDGE in Electoral Assistance and Capacity Building Programs

(see also 1.3 BRIDGE as a Professional Development Tool) As a component of electoral assistance programming, BRIDGE should not be seen as a ‘sand-alone’ feature but as a cross cutting capacity development tool with the ability to value-add in each assistance area. BRIDGE workshops integrate well with technical assistance programs in the earlier design and consultation phases of an electoral assistance program, and then periodically as a tool for reflection and analysis. BRIDGE workshops can serve as an effective launch activity for corresponding thematic sub-components of a broader technical assistance program. For instance, a voter registration technical assistance phase could be initiated by a customised implementation of the Voter Registration module with a registration specialist serving as an expert for the training alongside BRIDGE facilitators. As participants, the EMB staff and relevant stakeholders build confidence and knowledge about the upcoming voter registration process, the specialist gains an understanding of the local situation, and the relationships fostered between both parties could help to ensure that the success of subsequent technical assistance. Much as it does with other stakeholders, the BRIDGE workshop can be used as a dialogue tool to build mutual understanding and trust between the technical assistance program and client. Broad substantive relationships between the staff of both institutions, and deeper understanding of the real problems faced by both institutions, can lead to greater trust between the technical assistance program and the EMB, more effective program design, and eventually more successful implementation. The periodic implementation of BRIDGE modules throughout a technical assistance program can provide unique avenues for reflection and assessment away from the normal relationships and operational priorities. This integrated, consultative, reflective approach is in line with the recommendations on electoral assistance outlined by the European Commission and UNDP.2 Specific examples of electoral assistance and capacity development programs in which BRIDGE can be used an integrated or complementary tool are: technical, operational and management training programs public administration assistance institutional exchanges where members and staff visit other institutions international cooperation between EMBs and stakeholders from different countries international election observation by EMB staff and electoral stakeholders election practitioners networks whether global or regional degree programs in fields related to public administration and electoral processes mentoring programs whether within EMB staff or where international experts mentor national staff as part of technical assistance programs BRIDGE programs are ideally developed following the 10 principles established by UNDP Policy Group on Capacity Development: UNDP’s 10 Default Principles for Capacity Development Don’t rush.  Capacity development is a long-term process.  It eludes delivery pressures, quick fixes and the search for short-term results. Respect the value systems and foster self-esteem.  The imposition of alien values can undermine confidence. Capacity development builds upon respect and self-esteem. Scan locally and globally; reinvent locally. There are no blueprints. Capacity development draws upon voluntary learning, with genuine commitment and interest.  Knowledge cannot be transferred; it needs to be acquired. Challenge mindsets and power differentials. Capacity development is not power neutral, and challenging mindsets and vested interests is difficult. Frank dialogue and a collective culture of transparency are essential steps. Think and act in terms of sustainable capacity outcomes. Capacity is at the core of development; any course of action needs to promote this end. Responsible leaders will inspire their institutions and societies to work accordingly. Establish positive incentives. Motives and incentives need to be aligned with the objective of capacity development, including through governance systems that respect fundamental rights.  Public sector employment is one particular area where distortions throw up major obstacles. Integrate external inputs into national priorities, processes and systems. External inputs need to correspond to real demand and be flexible enough to respond to national needs and agendas. Where national systems are not strong enough, they should be reformed and strengthened, not bypassed. Build on existing capacities rather than creating new ones. This implies the use of national expertise, resuscitation and strengthening of national institutions, as well as protection of social and cultural capital. Stay engaged under difficult circumstances. The weaker the capacity the greater the need. Low capacities are not an argument for withdrawal or for driving external agendas. People should not be held hostage to irresponsible governance. Remain accountable to ultimate beneficiaries. Any responsible government is answerable to its people, and should foster transparency as the foremost instrument of public accountability.  Where governance is unsatisfactory it is even more important to anchor development firmly in stakeholder participation and to maintain pressure points for an inclusive accountability system. Source: UNDP, Ownership, Leadership and Transformation, NY (2003), p. 13. Sustainability & Capacity Development The BRIDGE activity-based methodology uses an approach that maximizes retention of knowledge and skills learned in the workshop. On the individual level, the impact of a BRIDGE program lasts well beyond the program in terms of confidence, sense of professional identity, skills and knowledge directly applicable to work, ethics, and access to networks. The BRIDGE philosophy is that through professional development, individual participants are in turn empowered to affect organizational and systemic reform. Evidence of success of a BRIDGE program in terms of sustainability, that is, if one was to visit an institution where a comprehensive BRIDGE program had been run 5 or 10 years earlier could be: Professional development is a higher corporate priority inside the institution reflected in human resource practices. A BRIDGE-like active learning approach is incorporated into a training regime making use of fully customized resources informed by the original BRIDGE materials. The morale of staff, institutional pride, and commitment to the values of democratic electoral processes is thriving. The performance of the institution in delivering certain elections-related functions that were the focus of the BRIDGE workshops has improved because of increased skills and processes inspired and informed by the BRIDGE experience and resources. There is increased understanding of broader issues of sustainability within the institution, for example as regards the introduction of IT solutions, procurement decisions etc. The improved state of relations between stakeholders brought together in BRIDGE workshops serves as an enabling factor for credible electoral processes. An improved policy framework is in place in specific areas corresponding to the focus of the BRIDGE program. Obviously, the level of expectation would have to be commensurate with the scale and quality of the original intervention. Factors that will affect the impact of a BRIDGE program are the extent of national ownership; the responsiveness and relevance of the programs; and the appropriate fit with a wider electoral assistance […]
August 17, 2009

Focus on: the Electoral Cycle

Understanding the election cycle and the operational capability of an EMB is critical to creating a strong program. In giving consideration to timing, the program organiser could look at using BRIDGE as a pre-election planning tool, or using post-election evaluation as part of the planning component. Program developers should identify the most appropriate time to conduct module workshops that align with organisational priorities (and that don’t interfere with operational imperatives). Some modules would be most appropriately scheduled just prior to the relevant election cycle event (e.g. the Voter Registration module some time prior to the voter registration phase), others would be appropriate at all or any stages of the process. Immediately after an electoral event there is the likelihood of the withdrawal of donor funds and international technical assistance and attention from some countries. This is often coupled with staff reduction and the loss of expertise. However, this allows for a focus on planning and working with core or permanent staff. In roughly chronological order, this table provides guidelines on recommended minimum timeframe for running different BRIDGE modules. For example, Legal Framework should be run a minimum of 3-6 months before legislative reform, if not earlier. Module Timing Access to Electoral Processes At all stages of the process Gender and Elections At all stages of the process Civic Education At all stages of the process Electoral Assistance 2-3 years before E-Day Legal Framework 3-6 months before legislative reform Electoral Systems 3-6 months before ES reform Boundary Delimitation 3-6 months before BD process Electoral Management Design 3-6 months before EMB reform Electoral Dispute Resolution 1 month before party registration Electoral Technology 1 month before needs assessment or launching a tender Voter Registration 6-12 months before registration Pre-election Activities 12 months before E-day Electoral Security 6-12 months before E-Day Polling, Counting and Results 6 months before E-Day Electoral Training 6 months before E-Day Media and Elections 1 month before registration or at least 3 months before E-Day Electoral Contestants 12-24 months before an E-Day External Voting 12 months before E-Day Electoral Dispute Resolution 1 month before party registration Electoral Observation 1 month before registration This electoral cycle approach is a theoretical model to support planning and encourage long term thinking rather than any kind of reflection of reality. In the ‘real world’ where BRIDGE programs are being implemented, changes to the existing political culture, power structures or legal framework will likely be the rule rather than the exception. For example, new appointments to the EMB can have an impact on relationships with government and stakeholders and on the culture of transparency and on their professional needs. The reduction of institutional memory of electoral processes may affect the speed of implementation of the electoral calendar. Legislative amendments can have a huge impact on the timeline and rules of the game. New census data and new boundary delimitation can create tensions between parties, and a push to register previously unregistered voters may tilt delicate power […]
August 17, 2009

Setting BRIDGE program objectives

The first task of a program implementing team is to determine the overall program aims and objectives, by asking ‘what are you hoping to achieve with this program? Sample BRIDGE program objectives: Increasing organisation staff knowledge on boundary delimitation Increasing gender awareness of an organisation Improving the ability of the organisation to plan strategically Building an electoral culture within an organisation Building of teams within an organisation To give insights into the principles, skills and challenges in the conduct of properly run elections While BRIDGE will have been identified at this point as appropriate, it is important that objectives are identified independently of the BRIDGE curriculum. Types of Objectives Below is a quick summary of the implementation process, focusing on the objectives that should run through the BRIDGE program: Indicators BRIDGE program objectives, should be checked against appropriate indicators to measure capacity development3. Within a given context, the particulars of capacity development should be broken down into a number of performance indicators covering certain core functions appropriate to the program. Examples might include: awareness and knowledge institutional coordination and cooperation between stakeholders information management mobilisation of electoral principles in decision-making technology skill transfer negotiation and leadership skills institutional management and performance (Based on ‘Good Governance – Guiding Principles for Implementation’, issued by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) in […]
August 17, 2009

Implementing BRIDGE Programs – A Quick Look

A BRIDGE program should always be seen as a long-term capacity development effort, not a short-term quick-fix.  It should involve: identification of needs and broad objectives and careful consideration of whether BRIDGE is an appropriate tool for addressing these formulating and adopting a grass-roots strategy and plan for training, in consultation with the key stakeholders ensuring that the plan is driven by a local agenda, with stakeholders defining their own needs identification of program objectives through consultation and contextualisation thoughtful and appropriate program design consideration of an evaluation framework comprehensive logistic planning well-organised execution of the program well-planned and useful evaluation clear reporting and documentation strategies for sustaining the program and its impacts, such as the creation of an internalised professional development strategy so local trainers can sustain BRIDGE and passing ownership to the client organisation at the completion of the program. This manual explains each of these steps in detail. Sample timeline A timeline of events in the implementation process might look like this: Year 1 January – Needs assessment done by client organisation, broad needs identified relating to better electoral administration.  Broad objectives to address these needs identified.  Evaluation framework structured to measure the impact of the objectives. March – BRIDGE identified as possible tool in wider program to address client organisation needs. April – Scoping mission conducted by BRIDGE expert to evaluate appropriateness of BRIDGE. Showcase conducted. BRIDGE is deemed appropriate. June – Introduction to Electoral Administration module workshop run for key stakeholders and decision-makers in client organisation to familiarise them with BRIDGE. August – Program team in place and beginning to design program, identify objectives and audiences.  Customisation process begins. October – Introduction to Electoral Administration and Strategic and Financial Planning module workshops (or other relevant to program objectives) run for a wider audience within the client organisation, including potential local facilitators. December – Potential local facilitators identified and partially accredited at a Train the Facilitator workshop. Implementation Workshop held. Year 2 January – March – First set of customised module workshops addressing program objectives rolled out to client organisation staff and selected external stakeholders, facilitated by an Accrediting Facilitator and local facilitators who have just completed the TtF. April – May – Evaluation and reporting of module workshops just completed.  Adjustments made to program design if necessary. June-August – Second set of customised module workshops rolled out with as much or as little support from external, more experienced BRIDGE facilitators as needed.  Local facilitators may feel ready to run these modules independently by this stage, or may ask for minimal assistance from an external, more experienced BRIDGE facilitator. September – Further evaluation and reporting, including another stage of evaluation of the first set of workshops. October onwards – Local facilitators and program team develop their professional development plan. Example of East Timor In East Timor a year-long electoral capacity building program was developed in collaboration with the EMB, other key actors in the broader electoral field including UNDP; the Australian donor organisation – AusAID – and the delivery organisation – the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). The program was devised to take into account the electoral cycle; the needs of the staff of the East Timorese EMB; the timing and effect of other electoral programs; the availability of staff; and the legislative and political climate in a post-conflict country. Several BRIDGE workshops were delivered to the same group of staff – a mixture of operational and head office staff – over the course of a year. A work placement program had also been planned for two members of the East Timor EMB staff to visit the Northern Territory in Australia on three occasions over a period of several months to shadow preparations and delivery of a local government election. Dates, legislative change, availability of staff, etc in both countries and an offer of shared funding from UNDP led to a reworking of the program over the period of a couple of weeks to take up the obvious benefits to all being offered by the previously unforseen opportunity. East Timor was planning municipal elections for the first time and the Northern Territory was about to hold municipal and shire elections, also for the first time. The obvious parallels of experience highlighted multiple opportunities too good to miss. Funds previously identified for a further BRIDGE workshop and the work placement program previously described, were joined with travel funding provided by UNDP. The subsequent hastily reworked program resulted in sixteen East Timorese EMB staff visiting Darwin for a couple of weeks. Two EMB representatives were also able to accompany an AEC mobile polling team to remote communities and islands to conduct early voting. Many similar challenges were being faced by the two EMBs. The program incorporated a week of election operational training and observation followed by a four day Voter Information BRIDGE workshop. The flexibility on all parts and commitment to meet changing needs rather than continue with an existing program, resulted in an extremely valuable experience and development opportunity for a much larger group of East Timorese EMB staff and a further relationship building opportunity, with implications for further opportunities in the future, with an EMB in another country facing some of the same […]
August 17, 2009

BRIDGE as a Professional Development Tool

An election is the largest and most complex logistical operation that a country ever undertakes in peacetime. This is often not well understood, and indeed, the better an election is run, the simpler it looks. Committed, ethical, professional and confident people are the key to increasing the prospects of running a good election, in both emerging and more established democracies. Electoral assistance providers recognise that the building of a strong and stable electoral culture in-country is more important than providing ad hoc electoral assistance from outside. Two of the largest, UNDP and European Commission, have specifically recommended incorporating an electoral cycle approach and focussing on capacity development in their electoral assistance programming (see Electoral Assistance Manuals from the respective organisations). UNDP defines capacity development as the process through which individuals, organisations and societies obtain, strengthen and maintain the capabilities to set and achieve their own development objectives over time. Ideally, BRIDGE should be one component of an integrated package of broader electoral assistance or of a wider and longer-term capacity development strategy that incorporates other interventions such as technical assistance, operational training, and mentoring. BRIDGE is not a ‘fix-all’, a ‘stop gap’, and a ‘stand-alone’ product that can meet all needs. BRIDGE can neither deliver a total electoral assistance package nor take complete responsibility for capacity development. Designing and implementing BRIDGE programs as multi-partner initiatives goes a long way to maximising BRIDGE’s institutional development potential. BRIDGE partner organisations are well placed for such cooperation. BRIDGE as a professional development tool primarily affects participants at the individual level. The BRIDGE activity based workshops use an activity based approach that maximises retention of knowledge and skills learned in a workshop. In addition, the workshops are designed to promote or reinforce professional confidence, ethics, understanding of principles of best electoral practice, and access to networks of peers. BRIDGE has the potential to trigger change on the organisational level: broader understanding of the organisation, morale, and cohesion within the organisation. Workshops encourage participants to reflect on their organisation, providing comparative examples and alternative approaches, generating blueprints or support for organisational reform. BRIDGE has the potential to impact change also on the environmental level. As a dialogue tool, the content, methodology, and non-threatening environment can contribute to a shared understanding of the challenges ahead and improved relationships between disparate stakeholders. By practicing skills such as analysis of alternative approaches, advocacy, and legislation drafting participants are well placed to affect change on a broader level. BRIDGE programs have resulted in networks of professionals within institutions, regionally and internationally that have provided peer support and served as triggers for reform long after the end of the formal […]
August 17, 2009

The BRIDGE Partnership and Structure

The BRIDGE partners are all committed to the following values: The spirit of collaboration and cooperation, and establishing a true partnership. Regular and honest communication between all Partners, and between the BRIDGE Office and all Partners. Maintaining a strong relationship between Partners, including teamwork and collaborative communication in the field. A commitment to supporting BRIDGE in a way that is most appropriate to each Partner, which may include staff time, financial resources or providing expertise. Sharing of resources, expertise, staff, information. Modelling of good BRIDGE implementation practices where Partners are implementing BRIDGE themselves Mainstreaming of BRIDGE workshops and methodology within Partner organisations Governance of BRIDGE As outlined in the previous section, BRIDGE is administered from the BRIDGE Office, which is based in AEC National Office, Australia and funded and hosted by the AEC. BRIDGE Communication and Decision Making The BRIDGE Office is the designated hub for information from Partners, and undertakes to keep Partners fully informed of BRIDGE activities at all levels. Communication takes the form of regular Partner newsletters, the BRIDGE website and regular email correspondence between the BRIDGE Office and the designated focal points at each Partner organisation. A Partner Committee Meeting, which brings together the BRIDGE Office and the focal points of each Partner organisation, takes place annually. This meeting provides an opportunity for Partners to discuss the challenges, directions and strategies of BRIDGE. It is also used as a forum to make high-level decisions that cannot be made at the BRIDGE Office level alone. Where possible, the Partner Committee Meeting also invites key BRIDGE practitioners to attend, and can be used as an opportunity for practitioners to network and provide feedback to the […]
August 17, 2009

Explaining BRIDGE

1.1 Explaining BRIDGE BRIDGE stands for Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections, a modular professional development program with a particular focus on electoral processes. BRIDGE represents a unique initiative where five leading organisations in the democracy and governance field have jointly committed to developing, implementing and maintaining the most comprehensive curriculum and workshop package available, designed to be used as a tool within a broader, capacity development framework. The BRIDGE partners are: Australian Electoral Commission – founding and hosting partner International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) &- founding partner United Nations Election Assistance Division (UNEAD) – founding partner International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) The BRIDGE Partner commitment reflects a wider common purpose, namely to enhance the sustainability and credibility of electoral processes through the encouragement of capable and professional democracy practitioners. Inherent in this are a set of key underpinning values. The BRIDGE partners value and seek to model the following: local ownership and empowerment sustainability cooperation participation inclusiveness transparency commitment to ethical behaviour flexibility non-prescriptive approaches rigorous and comprehensive content commitment to democracy The objectives of BRIDGE as it is currently structured are: to enhance the skills and confidence of stakeholders in the electoral process to increase the awareness of tools and resources available/necessary to build and maintain a sustainable electoral culture to develop a support network for stakeholders in electoral processes and encourage a culture of sharing information and experiences to promote internationally accepted principles of democracy and good electoral practice. The BRIDGE Curriculum The BRIDGE curriculum is comprehensive, representing the most ambitious attempt to cover the spectrum of electoral processes and their effective administration ever undertaken. Written by a large international team of experienced democracy professionals associated with the partner organisations, the BRIDGE curriculum includes major sections on stakeholders in the electoral process, coverage of cross cutting issues (such as gender, integrity and access), and in-depth exploration of complex issues relating to institutional culture, credibility and ethics. The BRIDGE curriculum concentrates on the principles underlying all properly run elections, while drawing examples of different practical approaches from many different countries.  It does not seek to prescribe any one model for implementing those principles, but rather encourages participants to learn from the diverse examples presented. In some of the modules the aim is to develop skills in areas that are important in an electoral administrator’s day-to-day work, with an emphasis on understanding the relationships between tasks in order to meet tight deadlines effectively. In other modules exploring structural, ethical or social issues is the main focus. Each module includes examples of activities, literature, case studies, election materials, websites, and audio-visual aids as workshop resources. It provides access to and draws from resources such as the IDEA handbooks, EC/UNDP manuals and the ACE Website. It also offers access to networks including regional and global electoral networks and the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network. The current version of BRIDGE is Version 2, launched in March 2008, consists of the following modules: The BRIDGE curriculum’s 24 modules (Political Financing was added in 2009) include two foundation modules. These are Introduction to Electoral Administration and Strategic and Financial Planning, which respectively emphasise the ethical and planning dimensions that underpin a professional approach to electoral administration. The other 21 modules are divided into three thematic groups. Electoral Architecture contains the modules that provide the structure on which any electoral process rests, such as Electoral Systems, Electoral Management Design, and Legal Framework. These modules have a strong academic underpinning, and are best run with ‘experts’ in the respective subjects as part of a facilitation team. They are appropriate in particular to designers and policy makers in an electoral reform or institutional planning phase. However, they also offer an excellent opportunity for the professional development of electoral administrators and other stakeholders in the process. Electoral Stakeholders focuses on groups such as political parties, observer groups, advocacy groups, the media, voters and the international community and the important role each plays in a robust and credible electoral environment. Modules such as Access to Electoral Processes, Electoral Contestants or Civic Education are designed to serve a dual function; both empowering key stakeholders to understand, engage in and improve electoral processes, and promoting understanding among EMBs of stakeholder needs. They also aim to provide the tools and skills to meet those needs. In addition, a workshop with a mixed stakeholder/electoral administrator composition of participants can be designed to serve as a forum for constructive dialogue between the different groups. Unique networking opportunities are also created when stakeholders from different regions are invited to a workshop (for example, women’s advocacy groups from different countries attending a Gender and Elections workshop). The Electoral Operations thematic group illustrates a cyclical, rather than ‘event driven’, approach to the running of elections, reflected in modules ranging from Voter Registration and Pre-Election Activities, through Electoral Security, Polling, Counting and Results, to Post-Election Activities. These modules are particularly effective as professional development tools for mid-management electoral administrators at the national and sub-national levels. However, they may also be conducted for other stakeholder groups to foster a better understanding of electoral operations. Refer to: 8.2 Annex 2: Version 1 Curriculum Framework to see the framework for Version 1 of BRIDGE. Refer to: Annex 3: BRIDGE Modules at a Glance for more detailed summaries of the 24 modules. BRIDGE Methodology The BRIDGE methodology combines participatory adult education techniques with a distinctive values based approach. Rather than relying heavily on traditional lecturing, BRIDGE is focused on practical issues and is activity-based, with each module offering a range of activities designed to convey clearly identified Key Understandings, and to achieve specified Learning Outcomes. It reflects the insight that people learn best when they take responsibility for their own learning, and are faced with material that is relevant to them and presented in a memorable and innovative way. The BRIDGE methodology is based on the following principles. BRIDGE: acknowledges the importance of building local electoral administrative capacity in participant countries acknowledges and values diversity of experiences and operational environments encourages dialogue, sharing of knowledge and participation to identify excellence in electoral administration is supportive, rather than prescriptive, in building individual participants’ skills and expertise encourages participants to be responsible for their own learning encourages local ownership of the curriculum so that client groups eventually gain the ability to conduct BRIDGE for themselves The BRIDGE package is flexible and adaptable. Currently, BRIDGE programs are developed to match specific needs and requests internal or external to the partner organisations. This means that BRIDGE programs when run are extremely diverse, depending on the client, circumstances, timing in the electoral cycle, funding, participant needs, as well as regional and cultural contexts (see examples at www.bridge-project.org). BRIDGE workshops are run at the national level, for participants from across a region, or for international participants. Workshops using BRIDGE curriculum materials have been conducted materials have been conducted in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, East Timor, Egypt, Fiji, Ghana, Guam, Indonesia, Jordan, Liberia, Mozambique, Nepal, the Palestine Territories, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sweden, USA, Vanuatu, And Yemen (for a comprehensive list see the BRIDGE website). In addition to the BRIDGE Partner organisations, implementing partners have include the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa, the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa, the University of South Pacific, as well as the electoral authorities in a wide range of countries. Nationals of over 60 countries have taken part in BRIDGE workshops. A classic BRIDGE workshop is based on one or more of the BRIDGE modules: often shortening or extending modules, combining various modules or including new materials and activities using BRIDGE methodology. Another model is to run BRIDGE in combination with operational or other sorts of training, by mixing BRIDGE methodology and modules, operational training and/or elements of other workshops or programs in a way that matches the operational imperative of the client organisation. Conferences where there are representatives from a number of different EMBs (or organisations involved in elections) are excellent places where BRIDGE methodology can be showcased. The more lecture and presentation oriented methods can be combined with activity based sessions to share large amounts of information in a participative manner. BRIDGE can be used as a problem-solving mechanism or dialogue tool to bring disparate parts of an organisation, staff from different organisations, or different stakeholders together so they better understand their roles in the election process. The key is to create an atmosphere of trust and openness. BRIDGE can be conducted by a BRIDGE partner organisation or other organisations or even individuals as long as they comply with the rules of BRIDGE (see 1.3 Focus On: Rules of BRIDGE). For best impact, BRIDGE should be systematically conducted in conjunction with any existing electoral assistance or professional development programs as part of an integrated package. A carefully constructed customisation process is the key to a successful program. The first and most important requirement is a committed and competent team of BRIDGE facilitators, equipped with the time, resources, and appropriate information about the participants’ needs and expectations. BRIDGE Program & Components A BRIDGE program is a customised series of workshops that help to achieve a specific set of program objectives. There are three main types of workshops included in most extensive BRIDGE programs: MODULE WORKSHOPS Description: customised workshop based on one or more of the 23 modules which cover all aspects of the electoral process, tailored to the needs of the participants. Duration: 1-5 days Number of participants: 20-25 people Typical participants: Dependent on module, but EMB staff of all levels, other electoral stakeholders (such as contestants, media, donors). Training  Components IMPLEMENTATION WORKSHOP Description: Workshop designed for implementers of BRIDGE modules and TtF workshops. Duration: 2 – 3 days Number of participants: 20 people Typical participants: Project managers, administrative support to the training unit of an EMB, Donor Agencies and Implementing Partners. TRAIN THE FACILITATOR WORKSHOP Description: Workshop to train facilitators in BRIDGE methodology, facilitation techniques, and customisation.  Duration: 10 days Number of participants: maximum 20 Typical participants: Training unit of an EMB, key EMB staff with training skills, provincial EMB staff with training skills, teacher trainers, civil service, international and national electoral assistance providers, electoral training consultants, personnel from the BRIDGE partner organisations.   Refer to: 8.1 Annex 1: BRIDGE Training Components for more detailed descriptions. Further information can also be found in 5. BRIDGE Facilitators and 6.1 Preparing for a BRIDGE Module Workshop […]
November 4, 2008

The 8th BRIDGE Project Partner Committee Meeting

The 8th BRIDGE Project Partner committee meeting is being held on Friday 14th November 2008 in Sydney, Australia, to coincide with the third Implementation Manual […]
November 4, 2008

Implementation Manual Meeting # 3

The final Bridge (V2) Implementation Manual Meeting (# 3) is being held in Sydney Australia from 10-13 November 2008 at the Australian Electoral Commission State Office.
December 29, 2006

Together we Sail the Ocean Towards the Land of Justice

We the small brother island countries continuously treasure the virtues in you. You do not only provide written recourses, financial support but visited or invited us to attend round table trainings and discussions (Workshops)
December 19, 2006
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Implementation Workshop: A Reflection

The 3-day Bridge Implementation Workshop in Melbourne provided the opportunity for PIANZEA election administrators to meet and share recent experiences in their respective jurisdictions. At the end of the workshop, everyone agreed that the Implementation Workshop had succeeded in providing guidance for designing and setting up Bridge training courses. It also familiarized everyone with the scope and flexibility of Bridge training material, and how to best implement it.
December 18, 2006
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The First BRIDGE Implementation Workshop

AusAID through their Pacific Governance Support Project funded a recent BRIDGE Implementation Module Workshop in Melbourne, Australia on 11 – 13 December inclusive. The purpose of the workshop was to provide guidance to individuals and organisations responsible for designing and setting up training courses that use material taken from the BRIDGE Project curriculum.

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