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)
As 2006 draws to a close, it is timely to reflect on what has been a wonderful year for the BRIDGE Project and to thank the partner organisations and all of our facilitators and administrative support staff for their hard work and enthusiasm. This year there have been more BRIDGE courses conducted than ever before. Excitingly, BRIDGE has been conducted in several African nations, in Latin America, in the Middle East, in the Pacific, in Afghanistan, in the Caucasus and in Bangladesh. There have been requests for BRIDGE from places as diverse as Bhutan and Armenia.
Under the PNGEC/AEC Twinning Project, a one-week BRIDGE workshop specifically designed for the PNGEC was conducted three times during 2006. At the request of the PNG Electoral Commissioner the workshop was held for newly appointed Returning Officers.
"Elections are the largest and most extensive logistical exercise conducted during peacetime involving almost the entire adult population of a state or nation says Dr Abdalla Hamdok, IDEA Regional Director of Africa and Middle East Programme. Despite the complexity of the task there is no formal university level degree or diploma available for the study of election administration." This is why in 2001 International IDEA, the Australian Electoral Commission and the United Nations developed the BRIDGE training curriculum specifically to meet the needs of election administrators. In fact, BRIDGE is now widely recognized as the most comprehensive training curriculum of its kind in the world.
In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, from 6 to 10 November 2006, International IDEA, the Electoral Assistance Division of the United Nations and the Spanish Ministry of Interior trained election administrators from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay
In Pretoria, South Africa, from 20 November to 1 December 2006, International IDEA and the Electoral Commission of South Africa trained election administrators from Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zanzibar.
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.
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.
One of the recommendations of the 2005 BRIDGE Expert Advisory Group (EAG) meeting in Melbourne was to update BRIDGE to Version 2 by the end of 2006. The BRIDGE Project Office in Melbourne is coordinating this goal. BRIDGE Version 2 is being further internationalised by commissioning expert writers from as many cultural and language backgrounds as possible. We have writers from every continent and region (the Americas, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Australia and New Zealand) – and this group will expand in the second ‘batch’ of writing contracts for the second half of 2006.