BRIDGE workshops in Yemen and Tunisia

BRIDGE—Building Resources in Democracy, Governance, and

Elections - is an internationally recognized curriculum designed by and for election administrators to better understand the electoral process.  It is a partnership between 5 leading organizations; International IDEA, UNDP, the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division (UNEAD), IFES and the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

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 practices and access to networks of peers. BRIDGE has the potential to trigger change at an organizational level, broader understanding of an organization, morale, and cohesion within the organization. Workshops encourage participants to reflect on bettering their organization, providing comparative examples and alternative approaches, generating blueprints or support for organizational reform. The curriculum spans 4 main areas: the foundation of election administration, electoral stakeholders, operations and electoral architecture. There are 24 modules in the BRIDGE curriculum and over 10,000 pages of materials.

In order for the program to achieve its planned outcomes, especially its first outcome regarding the capacity of women leaders increased on governance and election, the HEYA program must increase women’s participation in  elections, not only as a voter and candidate but also as a policy maker. BRIDGE proved to be the most effective means to do so. The purpose of the BRIDGE program within the regional project is to build the capacity of a group of women leaders on governance and election in order to play an active role in policy making to increase women political participation in MENA region.

In the context of the above-mentioned project, AID-MENA implemented two workshops lasting five-days for each BRIDGE workshop for a group of women leaders and activists from Sana’a, Yemen and Tunis, Tunisia. The workshop took place in both Yemen and Tunisia with the first workshop held at Sana’a – Yemen from 15 – 19 May 2014 and the Second workshop held at Hammat, Tunisia  from May 29th to June 2nd 2014. The objective of the workshops was to build the capacity of a group of women leaders from Yemen and Tunisia on governance and election in order to play an active role in policy making to increase women political participation as part of the HEYA project in the MENA region.