A BRIDGE program is a customised series of workshops that help to achieve a specific set of program objectives. As stated in the rules of BRIDGE, BRIDGE workshops must be conducted by accredited BRIDGE facilitators.
Outlined below are the most common types of workshops included in a BRIDGE program.
Module workshops are the core of BRIDGE programming where a BRIDGE module or modules are delivered by BRIDGE facilitators using the BRIDGE methodology. The intention of the workshop is to enhance professional skills, rather than create those skills.
A module workshop can be conducted in one of the following ways:
- conducting a module directly from the curriculum materials with no modification
- customising a module or modules, e.g. shorter versions, mixing modules, adding new tailored activities and materials using the BRIDGE methodology
- mixing the BRIDGE methodology with operational training or other courses, or
- using BRIDGE for a specific purpose outside of professional development training (e.g. as a conference tool).
Length of a workshop
Each BRIDGE module can be customised to create an agenda for one day to one week, with the average workshop length being three days. The modules contain in-built flexibility – providing a menu of topics and activities to be tailored to suit the need of the audience and time available.
Electoral administrators at all levels can benefit from taking part in module workshop. However, the full range of stakeholders in the electoral process, such as media, political parties and observers, benefit from participating in a module workshop.
A workshop can vary in size; the ideal group size is no less than 15 and no more than 25 participants.
Pre-requisites for attendance
Ideally participants should have some prior or current experience in elections or participate in election-related activities if they are electoral stakeholders.
Participants will get most benefit from workshops when they are: motivated individuals, committed to the democratic process; willing to share information and to assist in the setting up of national training programs; and willing to participate in the evaluation and further design of the program.
Train the Facilitator (TtF) course
The TtF course is integral to the BRIDGE program and pivotal to the accreditation process.
Using a ‘train the trainer’ model, it provides potential BRIDGE Workshop Facilitators with critical and practical skills and knowledge about the BRIDGE curriculum and methodology. It also establishes an understanding of the values of BRIDGE that need to be ‘lived’ as a BRIDGE facilitator.
A TtF course should never be conducted as a one-off or stand-alone event. Ideally, the TtF course should be one part of a BRIDGE program that aims to build capacities and fully accredit participants of the TtF course over one or more years through a number of planned and customised workshops. Its usefulness is only apparent when it forms part of an ongoing capacity building program, for example National TtF courses are conducted in the country where a sizeable BRIDGE program is planned and where a corps of facilitators needs to be employed to provide ongoing sustainability for the BRIDGE program.
Length of the TtF course
The TtF course is structured as an intensive 10-day workshop (spread over two weeks) and the recommended maximum participant group size is 20 participants.
The option is available to conduct the TtF course as an 8.5-day workshop and the maximum number of participants is capped at 18, however a smaller group (14-16 participants) is strongly recommended.
The minimum number of BRIDGE facilitators for a TtF course is 3, preferably 4, regardless of the days and number of participants.
The TtF course targets experienced trainers, preferably with a background in curriculum development and with some knowledge and/or involvement in elections. In addition to meeting these criteria, facilitators will ideally have a solid grounding in the methodologies and approaches of BRIDGE and understand the principles of capacity development.
Facilitators interested in working in international environments are required to have demonstrated an ability to work in cross-cultural environments.
Pre-requisites for attendance
It is strongly recommended that a pre-requisite to attendance at a TtF course is participation in at least one BRIDGE module workshop to experience the methodologies and approaches of BRIDGE and have demonstrated understanding of capacity development.
BRIDGE uses the word ‘showcase’ to refer to the use of a specially customised BRIDGE workshop to demonstrate the BRIDGE methodology to potential clients or stakeholders to assist with expectation management and appropriate program design.
A showcase is usually based around the Introduction to Electoral Administration module, which provides a broad summary of electoral principles and a taste of each of the different thematic groups.
It demonstrates a good range of approaches used within the BRIDGE methodology and establishes the appropriate pedagogical and ethical forum for a BRIDGE program.
A showcase typically involves experienced BRIDGE facilitators as they will be able to answer questions that might arise and ensure that a quality workshop is delivered.
The purpose of this workshop is to provide guidance to individuals and organisations responsible for designing and setting up a training program that will include an element of BRIDGE and use the BRIDGE methodology. It aims to familiarise participants with what BRIDGE is (its scope and flexibility) and implementation strategies.
Length of workshop
This is designed as a three-day workshop, but can be conducted in two or four days, depending on the audience.
Participants are ideally the people who will be the implementers of a potential BRIDGE program – those who will be designing, administrating and managing the program and workshops.
Pre-requisites for attendance
It is strongly recommended that as a prerequisite participants have participated in the Introduction to Electoral Administration BRIDGE module. If they have not, it is highly recommended that a one-day showcase be included as the first day of this Implementation workshop.