All 10 participants to this TtF were Colombian; 7 came from the Registraduria National del Estado Civil (National Civil Registry Organization), 2 from the Consejo Nacional de Elecciones (National Elections Council) and one from IDEA Colombia Office. The course was facilitated by a team of three: Nicolas Garrigue (IDEA Consultant), as lead facilitator, Gladys Ventura (from the Jurado Nacional de Elecciones in Peru), as Workshop Facilitator and Carlos A. Coronel (from the RNEC), as Trainee Facilitator. All ten participants received their Certificate of Completion at the end of the course, and Mr. Coronel successfully completed his accreditation process, which he had started one year before in the last regional TtF in Peru (Nov 07). This brings the total number of Spanish-speaking accredited facilitators to 10 inidividuals!
This TTF came as the first step in a BRIDGE implementation workplan established together between IDEA and the RNEC, following a needs assessment mission conducted in May 07 by Paul Guerin and Virginia Beramendi-Heine from IDEA. It was meant to prepare a first corps of Colombian facilitators who will then support the roll-out of additional BRIDGE activities, such as the Introductory Module for electoral administrators from the RNEC (early 2009) and at least one more thematic module for a group of electoral stakeholders, to be defined later in 2009. Hopefully, all 10 semi-accredited facilitators can complete their accreditation process within one year.
In the longer-term, the Registraduria is keen on conducting many more BRIDGE events for its field staff as well as with political parties in Colombia. The need is great as capacity-development programs inside the Registraduria are still limited to pre-electoral periods and follow traditional lecturing techniques. In fact, all participants to this TTF, who regularly conduct training sessions inside their institution, were eager to start applying BRIDGE teachings as soon as possible.
It seems that, once again, the power of BRIDGE as a mind – and eye – opener on a whole new approach to adult learning functioned again!