As part of its ongoing BRIDGE programme in Africa and funded through a grant from the Australian Government through AusAID International IDEA has developed a first draft of a French BRIDGE translation Glossary. A meeting of French-speaking BRIDGE facilitators took place on 16 and 17 April at IDEA Accra office. A follow-up session took place between two of the facilitators on 25 April (after the 5-day French professional Development BRIDGE workshop organised by IDEA on the 20-24 April in Accra). The objective of the meeting was to develop a unified French Translation glossary for BRIDGE and electoral terms that will be used for all future French translation exercises of BRIDGE resources. The glossary team used existing IDEA, BRIDGE & ACE resources to build the glossary, and consulted as well databases from specialized French and Canadian linguistic institutions. All in all, a total of 130 BRIDGE terms and 350 electoral terms have been included in the Glossary. This is fairly exhaustive and will certainly greatly help future translation efforts. In several cases, more than one translation in French was presented as translations often vary with the context and also the geographical region (even between Francophone African countries, different terms are often used for the same activity / concept). The purpose of the glossary is to become a resource to be used by translators to provide guidance in language use and to ensure a consistency of terminology in future translations. A similar glossary in Arabic has already been produced in 2008. The Glossary will soon be available on the BRIDGE Website.  Alexandra Hovelacque, Dieudonné Tshiyoyo, Nicolas Garrigue and Ibrahima […]
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and the African Union, with funding from AusAid, conducted a BRIDGE Professional Enhancement Workshop for 18 participants from 10 Francophone African countries in Accra from 20 to 24 April 2009. Participants were from Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Comores, DR Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo.
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and the African Union, with funding from AusAid, conducted a BRIDGE Professional Enhancement Workshop for 23 participants from 10 African countries in Accra from 9 to 13th March 2009. Participants attending came from Liberia, The Gambia,Sierra Leone, Zanzibar, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Bénin, and Senegal. The facilitation team was composed of Theophilus Dowetin, Head of IDEA Accra Office, Nicolas Garrigue Consultant and Philomena Edusei, Deputy District Director for the Elections Commission of Ghana.
In Pretoria, South Africa, from 2 - 6 February 2009, 22 senior election administrators from 9 Election Management Bodies in East and Southern Africa; Botswana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe are taking part in a 5-day BRIDGE professional development training workshop covering technical issues of election administration such as strategic planning, leadership, stakeholder relations, electoral dispute resolution and the electoral cycle. The technical training workshop is designed to enhance skills and knowledge in these areas and is intended as professional development training for participating election administrators.
Introduction and Background The last fifteen years witnessed an increase number of election all over the world. Many electoral assistance providers, therefore, have gradually begun to recognise that building in-country electoral capacity is much more important than providing ad hoc electoral assistance from outside. The aim of electoral assistance should, therefore, be to achieve sustainable electoral development by helping emerging democracy building local capacity and share comparative experience in the field of election management.
Number one! We humans love to be first to do things. Bhutan is a unique country, which already has achieved its fair share of 'firsts', especially when it comes to its recent transition to become a Democratic Constitutional Monarchy.
Introduction and Background In July 2007, Gorée Institute became the ACE project's Regional Electoral Resource Centre for West Africa. Its main duty was to promote the ACE Knowledge Network within the region and seek for opportunities to build the capacities of election's stakeholders. As the ACE project was being implemented in the region and the collaboration between International IDEA and Gorée Institute was strengthened, the necessity to link up BRIDGE and ACE appeared to be paramount.
Jakarta in Indonesia was the location for a recently held BRIDGE course on Electoral Dispute Resolution. Upcoming elections in Indonesia, scheduled for 9 April, meant that election fever across the country was heating up during the course preparations. Amidst daily newspaper headlines on the elections and campaign posters starting to decorate the capital, course preparations was in full swing by the time we arrived on the ground.
From March 11 to 21, 2009 a BRIDGE workshop was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. This 10-day training targeted the political parties of Burkina Faso in addition to EMBs from Guinea-Bissau and Benin. The CENI (Independent National Electoral Commission) of Burkina Faso organized this BRIDGE with the support of UNDP. Mr. Moussa Michel Tapsoba, the President of the CENI headed both the opening and closing sessions of the workshop.
During the weekend of 14-15 February 2009, seventeen members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) participated in a BRIDGE Project showcase event organized by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). The event was organized to introduce the BRIDGE Project to senior decision makers and management of the ECP and aimed at equipping participants with enough background to make an informed decision about whether this curriculum would be an appropriate professional development tool to be used by the ECP.
My fellow participant Coralie-Ann Bishoff Towgood and I from the Cook Islands attended BRIDGE “Train the Facilitator” (TTF) workshop which was co-sponsored by UNIFEM’s “Gender Equality to Political Governance in the Pacific: Stronger Women Citizens and Leaders” project. .
A Media and Elections Module - BRIDGE regional workshop was identified by the USP Democracy and Electoral Studies Project to enhance capacity toward Working with Electoral Stakeholders. This regional workshop was attended by 22 participants from Kiribati, Vanuatu,Solomon Islands, Fiji and UNDP. Majority of the participants were from Vanuatu. The workshop proper was held from Monday to Friday (midday), with a cultural tour conducted on Wednesday whereby participants had to identify cross cutting themes and report back the next day.
Final Report on the BRIDGE Training Workshop (28 February - 4 March 2009), Cairo, Egypt Introduction and Background The last fifteen years witnessed an increase number of elections all over the world. Many electoral assistance providers, therefore, have gradually begun to recognise that building in-country electoral capacity is much more important than providing ad hoc electoral assistance from outside. As a result, the aim of electoral assistance should be to achieve sustainable electoral development by helping emerging democracy building local capacity and sharing comparative experience in the field of election management.
From 25 January to 5 February 2009 in Amman, Jordan, IFES conducted a BRIDGE Train the Facilitator (TtF) workshop for 21 participants, of which 12 were from the Jordanian Ministry of Interior (MoI), 3 from the Civil Status and Passports Department (CSPD), 1 from the Jordanian Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MoMA), 2 from the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Palestine, and 3 from IFES staff.
In 2005, a group of donors formed a basket fund project with the objective of supporting a free, open and accountable political system of governance and the consolidation of democracy in Ethiopia through the organization of the national and local elections, in accordance with The Constitution. The project assisted the Government and the NEBE with the conduct and overall management of the electoral process in 2005 and 2008 in cooperation with a wide range of national stakeholders including CSOs, political parties and media.
For the first time in Egypt, BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections) Train the Facilitator's Workshop was held in Ain Sokhna, from November 23 - December 02, 2008. This workshop is considered as an important milestone in the "Support for BRIDGE training for electoral process stakeholders" project signed on April 02, 2008 between UNDP Egypt, the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) and IFES as technical implementer of the project. The project aims to Deliver BRIDGE trainings to major elections stakeholders in Egypt as well as to Strengthen election monitoring unit at the NCHR. To achieve the project objectives, there was a need to have a pool of Egyptian BRIDGE facilitators from the NCHR and other organizations. This "Train the Facilitators" (TtF) workshop is the first of two workshop to be held in Egypt as part of the above-mentioned project with the aim of establishing a pool of Egyptian BRIDGE facilitators
In recent years, a number of Arab countries have undertaken significant steps to strengthen their institutional development, which allowed them to reach important structural reforms and procedural improvements in the administration of their electoral processes. Significant indicators of this progress include the rise of autonomous election management commissions, electoral law reforms to improve participation of women, and - in notable cases – the conduct of competitive and credible elections. However, thus far, these reforms have remained purely isolated domestic experiments, with a very limited exposure both within the Arab world itself and at wider international level, which in most cases have taken individual countries as far as their internal capacities, experiences and resources allowed.
I attended the BRIDGE Civic Education module on Monday 29th - Thursday 2nd October 2008. It was a very useful experience because I learned a lot of new information about the methodologies, knowledge, skills and disposition to be developed or transferred or encouraged in a Civic Education program and a lot of grey areas, like the place of morals and values in a democracy were made clear. There were some strong opinions for and against spiritual development going along with or side by side with social, economic, cultural, technological and political development and it was fascinating to hear the various views and different ideological positions on this topic.
This is an AusAID funded BRIDGE conducted by the Electoral Studies section of the Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies in Democracy and Governance (PIAS-DG) Southern Cross Hotel 29th Sept – 3rd October 2008. There were 33 participants attending from 6 countries across the Pacific including Fiji, Niue, Solomon, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The participants were a mixture of experienced election administrators and officials from other organizations and NGOs from the region and Staff from the UNDP Civic Education Project in Fiji
The lowest point on Earth is the Dead Sea. Situated 413 metres below sea level, this salt lake lies between the West Bank and Jordan. With one of the world’s first health resorts, the Dead Sea area has enjoyed important religious significance within Judaism, Islamic and Christianity histories. This unique site was a very appropriate location for a BRIDGE course in strategic planning for Jordanian election managers.
The mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho ran its first BRIDGE course in July 2008. With a population of around 2 million, Lesotho was the first country to adopt a mixed member proportional system in Africa. This electoral system and its seat calculation was the source of an extended dispute settled by the courts just before the BRIDGE course began. With the Electoral Commission being central to the disputed results, this was a hot topic during the BRIDGE course that was held in Teyateyaneng’s Blue Mountain Inn, just an hour’s drive outside the capital of Maseru.
Another successful BRIDGE module has been completed in East Timor with the staff from Secretariado Técnico Administração Eleitoral (STAE). The training was conducted in Dili for the 13 STAE district coordinators and 14 STAE Dili staff from Monday 28 July to Thursday 31 July 08. On this occasion there were some new facilitators and speakers who added an invigorating flavour to the sessions.
An AusAID funded BRIDGE Train the Facilitator Course (TtF) was conducted by the Electoral Studies section of the Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies in Democracy and Governance (PIAS-DG) at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in July 2008.
With the aim of contributing to the electoral reform process in Egypt, IFES and UNDP-Egypt in cooperation with the NCHR organized BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance, and Election) training in 2007. The workshop brought together selected participants representing various election stakeholders in Egypt to enhance their understanding of the principles that underpin the electoral process and share with them comparative experience from the region and other parts of the world as a framework in which to assess their own local experience and draw on best practices and lessons learned and was delivered by "IFES". IFES is one of the BRIDGE partners along with EAD, UNDP, IDEA and the Australian Election Commission (AEC). Based on the success of the 2007 BRIDGE training in Cairo, UNDP Egypt, in cooperation with NCHR, and IFES decided to offer further technical assistance to different electoral stakeholders in Egypt.
Since 2006 IDEA has conducted a series of regional BRIDGE courses for participants from East and Southern Africa. The regional approach hasshown to have a number of additional benefits beyond the impact of the training on improving the participants' skills and knowledge. One of the major benefits of the regional approach has been the comparative experience that participants are able to share from their diverse national backgrounds.
Running training in a shopping mall proved to be a good decision. The accommodation venue in Gaborone was filled to capacity and the option was to run the course in a marquee tent. Having been in a similar situation before, we opted for the mall. This was to be the first time a BRIDGE course was to be run in Botswana.
In recent years, a number of Arab countries have undertaken significant steps to strengthen their institutional development, which allowed them to reach important structural reforms and procedural improvements in the administration of their electoral processes. Significant indicators of this progress include the rise of autonomous election management commissions, electoral law reforms to improve participation of women, and - in notable cases the conduct of competitive and credible elections. However, thus far, these reforms have remained purely isolated domestic experiments, with a very limited exposure both within the Arab world itself and at wider international level, which in most cases have taken individual countries as far as their internal capacities, experiences and resources allowed.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Council for Human Rights and the United Nations yesterday signed a document for a new phase of the project on building resources for democracy and governance (Bridge) in Egypt.
The Zimbabwe Elections Support Network (ZESN) hosted a BRIDGE course for the different organisations in its network in mid-January 2008. 36 participants from all over Zimbabwe joined together in Nyanga, in the eastern highlands of the country, to attend training in Public Outreach and Electoral Observation from 14 to 18 January. The setting could easily have been confused with Scotland rather than Zimbabwe, with trout fishing and a golf course set amongst forests and rolling mountains and a constant chill and misty days.
Professional training usually does not involve impromptu soccer matches. But there they were: adult men and women engaging in an unexpectedly brutal game in a hotel conference room in Washington, D.C. Unbeknownst to most of the players, this was no ordinary game.
Since 2005, Egypt has witnessed many reforms in the field of elections. Two of the most significant reforms were the first multi-candidate presidential elections in 2005 and the formation of the independent High Elections Commission (HEC) in 2007. Other reforms included the amendments to 34 articles in the constitution opening the door for further changes in the electoral system.
The first ever BRIDGE Train the Facilitator's (TtF) training course to be conducted fully in Arabic by all Arab Facilitators was held in Amman, Jordan 2 -13 Sep 2007. The training was organized and coordinated by UNDP Iraq, United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) and the International Electoral Assistance Team (IEAT), International IDEA, IFES, and the Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq-IHEC.
The first BRIDGE training course was held in Cairo, Egypt from 8-12 July 2007. The training course was coordinated by three BRIDGE project partners: International IDEA, IFES and the United Nations Development Program-UNDP in partnership with the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) in Egypt.
International IDEA, IFES, and The National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia collaborated to bring BRIDGE training (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections) to the Commission's staff from June 11 to 22, 2007. The training marks the first time that BRIDGE has been conducted in post-conflict Liberia, and exemplifies strong collaboration in the recently - expanded BRIDGE partnership.
The Electoral Systems module of BRIDGE will be conducted for representatives attending the fifth PIANZEA (Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators Network) meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu. This course is funded under AusAID's Pacific Governance Support Program and will commence on April 19 at the close of the PIANZEA meeting.
AIPRD/Logica-AusAID Program in collaboration with USAID-LGSP Local Election Project. This is the 2nd Phase of ABRIDGE in its assistance to the 5 villages of Lhoong Sub-District. Module 7 on Preparing for Election Event was chosen after a long discussion. The aim of the training was to encourage creative and critical thinking to equip the village election committee to see what are the aspects involving preparations for the event.
From 10 to 21 June 2006, a Professional Development Course (PDC) was conducted for 35 upper and middle managers of the Supreme Commission of Elections and Referendums (SCER) secretariat at the Taj Sheba Hotel, Republic of Yemen. IFES and UNDP agreed to form a joint project in collaboration with the SCER Training Unit to develop the PDC based on harmonized elements of both BRIDGE and the IFES Basic Electoral Administrators Training (BEAT).
ABRIDGE Module 1 on EMB was conducted in the District of Lhoong, Aceh Besar Regent of Nangroe Aceh Darrusalam (NAD) for Phase 1 on June 10, 2006. The one day training was facilitated by AIPRD/Logica (Local Governance and Infrastructure for Communities in Aceh) - an AusAID funded project and conducted by an accredited BRIDGE facilitator contracted under LGSP (Local Governance Support Program), a AUSAID funded project.
During March 2006, logistics and integrity management training was conducted in Nanggroe Aceh Darrusalam (NAD) for KIP (Independent Electoral Commission) for Local Elections (Pilkada) in Indonesia. This training used BRIDGE. LGSP-USAID ran a marathon training programme in the 2nd and 3rd week of March at Cakradonya Hotel in Banda Aceh. The programme was funded by JICA and managed by Forum LSM, while supervised and facilitated by LGSP-USAID and KIP.
The first BRIDGE course to reach the shores of New Zealand arrived in February 2006 where 18 participants and several facilitators from various Pacific countries came together for a week of the usual BRIDGE activities and social outings. Pacific countries represented included: New Zealand, Cook Islands, Nuie, Tonga, Samoa and Tuvalu. There was also the welcome addition of a freelance election specialist who described himself as from Haiti/France/USA (now residing in New Zealand) – who added another international dimension apart from the Pacific contingency. The course provided an opportunity for the new Version 2 Introductory Module to be trialled, and for several of the participants who were semi-accredited at the June 2005 Fiji Train the Facilitator program to become fully accredited.
Press Releases - Fiji Government Online (www.fiji.gov.fj) Workshop vital to election preparation - Naivalu The 'Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections' (BRIDGE) workshop organised for Electoral Administrators and District Commissioners from through out the country is vital and of great importance said the Commissioner Northern Misieli Naivalu.