BRIDGE stands for Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections. It is an initiative set up by five leading organizations in democracy and governance who offer comprehensive workshops designed to be used as a tool for capacity building. The five BRIDGE partners are the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), International IDEA, and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division (UNEAD).
Its aims are to promote internationally accepted principles of democracy and good electoral practice. In order to run a BRIDGE workshop, all trainers must be fully accredited through attending several hours of BRIDGE training workshops and serving as trainer assistants.
BRIDGE training will be used as part of the HEYA Program in order to build the capacity for our women candidates to participate in electoral and governmental activities. By educating a population on the inner workings of the electoral process, they are more likely to take part as well as be more diligent in observing the fair running of the election process. This is hugely important for democracy, as it gives a truer representation of the public’s will but maybe more importantly, give people greater confidence in democracy and elections as a whole. Committed, ethical, professional and confident people are the key to increasing the prospects of running a good election, in both emerging and more established democracies.
BRIDGE as a professional development tool primarily affects participants at the individual level. The BRIDGE workshops use an activity-based approach that maximizes retention of knowledge and skills learned. In addition, the workshops are designed to promote or reinforce professional confidence, ethics, understanding of principles of best electoral practice, and access to networks of peers.
BRIDGE has the potential to trigger change at an organizational level. It can provide a broader understanding of an organization, morale, and cohesion within the organization. Workshops encourage participants to reflect on their better organization, providing comparative examples and alternative approaches, generating blueprints or support for organizational reform.
For more information please visit: www.bridge-project.org