BRIDGE Train the Facilitator

9-19 January 2024

Sri Lanka

First BRIDGE TTF Undertaken in Sri Lanka

Meredith Applegate

With the support of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka hosted its first ever BRIDGE Train the Facilitator (TtF) workshop. From January 9-19, fourteen participants – largely made up of men and women working at the Election Commission of Sri Lanka – took part in an eight-day TtF. In partnership with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and through the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Election Commission of Sri Lanka used this opportunity to build the facilitation skills of staff from across Sri Lanka to design curriculum, facilitate training, and improve their adult-learning methodology. 


Participants took part in tasks designed to build their skills, with practical exercises that allow for hands-on learning and give participants the chance to hone skills over a two-week program. Participants led sessions from the Introduction to Election module; tailored and designed exercises for their colleagues to then facilitate; built agendas for customized modules; and discussed techniques to manage facilitation challenges. One participant remarked, “I used to think that BRIDGE training was just about the election process – now I understand a lot more about story telling and engagement; I know how important preparation is and learned a lot from my facilitators.” 


Participants shared both their national experiences while expanding their knowledge of international comparative examples. They expressed their excitement about learning new facilitation techniques and the BRIDGE methodology. “I used to think – how can I improve my training skills? I think now I have more opportunities and I can use the great resources and be part of the BRIDGE community,” said a TtF participant.


The Election Commission of Sri Lanka has a robust training initiative planned, one that increases in intensity in the lead up to elections. Participants noted how they will use their new skills during these trainings: “In the election period, now I believe we can use new methodologies to train all election stakeholders.”

The facilitation team consisted of Rushdi Nackerdien (Lead), Meredith Applegate, Silja Paasilinna and J.A.S.P Jayasinghe.

Rushdi Nackerdien, Meredith Applegate, Silja Paasilinna
Face to face workshop
Audience(s) for this workshop:
Electoral Management Body
English, Sinhalese, Tamil
Modules used at this workshop:
Train the Facilitator (TTF)
Expected Outcomes:
Professional Development of Staff