BRIDGE was started in 2009 and is a registered non-profit organisation. BRIDGE came about because of the realisation that a critical part of the problem in education in South Africa is that stakeholders do not sufficiently share, adopt and implement what works. Pockets of successful practice, operating in silos, have consequently failed to improve the education system in an impactful, lasting and sustained manner.
The idea of collaboration is the foundation of BRIDGE’s intervention, which ensures the maximising of collective effort and the decreasing of duplication and competition in key focus areas in education.
The mission of BRIDGE is to link people and share working practice and knowledge in key leverage areas in the education system as fostering collaboration and co-operation helps to spread successful practice, which in turn promotes systemic improvements in education.
BRIDGE believes that complex problems require the views of diverse stakeholders in order to solve them, and that all stakeholders in education have a role to play in systemic improvement in education in South Africa. BRIDGE stakeholders include representatives from civil society, government, funders, educational practitioners, learners, teachers, principals, parents, research organisations, universities and unions.
In support of its mission, BRIDGE has developed a membership of over 3000 stakeholders from over 650 organisations across different education sectors. These members collaborate in 12 Communities of Practice with specific objectives in five key focus areas. BRIDGE hosts over 60 face-to-face Community of Practice meetings and dialogues a year, has an extensive facilitator network and has developed and refined a tried and tested methodology.
BRIDGE’s facilitation in the Communities of Practice makes certain not only that resources and knowledge are shared (both internally and beyond) but also that innovative ideas are generated through joint problem-solving activity. Communities of Practice are not just gatherings of people with similar interests; they are activist by nature and are made up of practitioners who commit to engaging and working together to increase the impact of their work and to create systemic change.
BRIDGE uses a variety of communication platforms and a knowledge hub to disseminate working practice, tools and resources, and its collaborative online network provides a space for virtual engagement among its members.
Our Theory of Change and the BRIDGE outcomes
BRIDGE’s methodology is based on our Theory of Change, which in turn is linked to a set of generic outcomes for our work. The following diagram illustrates these relationships.
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