BRIDGE in a castle in Stadtschlaining – and it snowed!

23 November 2009

ASPR is housed in a captivating castle in Stadtschlaining.

The objective of the course is to support the development and consolidation of pluralistic, democratic societies through preparing participants for observation and assistance tasks in electoral missions. Participants receive an introduction to the concept of elections as part of the democratic process, explaining basic concepts and practices of democracy, the relationship between elections and human rights, and the democratic international standards for elections. Topics dealt with include different electoral systems and different institutional approaches to election observation and assistance (e.g. UN. OSCE/ODIHR, EU, the Carter Center, IFES, ANFREL).

Cate Thompson and Peita Mamo from the Australian Electoral Commission were invited by ASPR via the BRIDGE Office to conduct three days of BRIDGE within the two week ‘Election Observation and Assistance’ course.  Participants attending were from Albania, Austria, Cambodia, Croatia, DR Congo, Ghana, Nepal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Romania, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Uganda.

This was the first time BRIDGE had been conducted for ASPR in Stadtschlaining and as usual people were very impressed by the quality of BRIDGE and the methods of engagement.  Some comments included:  ‘The outcomes met the expectations and the open learning environment was not at all confronting or tiring.’  ‘This was the best workshop I ever participated in.  I expected to learn far fewer things than I did. Sorry but it’s your fault that you made me so happy.

Thanks!’ Once again new members have happily been welcomed into the BRIDGE family and participants look forward to meeting up somewhere else in the world where BRIDGE will collide with their lives.


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