What is BRIDGE?


In December 1999, a group of prominent electoral experts from around the world met in Canberra, Australia, to discuss the potential structure and content of a short capacity-building program for electoral administrators. They were asked to reflect on everything which, with the benefit of hindsight, they wished they had known when starting work on their first election. The knowledge they identified formed the basis for what has become the BRIDGE curriculum.

What is BRIDGE?

BRIDGE stands for Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections and 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.

BRIDGE is designed to be used as a tool within a broader capacity development framework. 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. 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.

BRIDGE, which relies on resources from the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network, is designed to meet the needs of organisations that have embraced, or wish to build institutional excellence and embrace, modern management principles of diversity, equity, cross-cultural sensitivity, inclusiveness and maximum use of the skills of all staff.

Learn more about BRIDGE as a capacity development tool.

BRIDGE Partners

The five BRIDGE Partners are the:

  • Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)
  • International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA)
  • International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA).

Learn more about the BRIDGE Partners.

BRIDGE methodology

BRIDGE uses a methodology based on participatory adult learning principles combined with a distinctive values-based approach centred on specific electoral principles.

BRIDGE considers that people learn best when they take responsibility for their own learning and engage with material and information that is relevant to them and is presented in a memorable and innovative way.

Participants get to know each other, share experiences and have the chance to increase understanding and skills and build bridges within their own organisation, or between different organisations, countries and cultures.

Learn more about the BRIDGE methodology.

BRIDGE curriculum

BRIDGE concentrates on the principles underlying 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.

It has been developed by electoral administrators with wide experience of elections in many different countries and contexts, working in cooperation with electoral trainers and curriculum developers possessing extensive expertise in the application of adult learning principles.

Learn more about the BRIDGE curriculum.