The Communication and Information Strategy Branch of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) recently held the first two-day BRIDGE workshop for its national office staff. The fact that many of its staff have not been through a full election cycle provided a strong motivation for putting aside the daily tasks to stand back and consider the bigger election picture.
The Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) in pursuit of good electoral administration has always given high priority for capacity development of the election officials. Beside on the job training, the officers were sent to learn from the already established Electoral management Bodies around the globe to gain knowledge and expertise. For this reason, the ECB was interested to learn more about BRIDGE.
The BRIDGE office has been compiling a list of all programs and workshops that have been conducted since it commenced. This information will be added to an online list event list that can be easily searched. Information of the progress of the development of the website will be advised in future newsletters.
The BRIDGE Methodology as it was presented by Ms. Rose Mutayiza, Mr. John Kamea and Mr. Romitesh Kant on Friday 25th July 2008 at the Fiji National Initiative on Civic Education Project site at 2/2 Clerk Street, Suva, will, in my view, greatly assist the NICE Project to achieve the objectives of its core business faster, more efficiently, more professionally, within the project time frame, within the allocated budget and up to the kind of standard that will inevitably leave a lifelong sense of commitment to democracy and the democratic process in the facilitators and participants for the following reasons:
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.
"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.