Sunday, December 28, 2008

Youth Participation - comments from students & tutor from Hogeschool Utrecht

On the 18th December 2008, Simon Koolwijk conducted a training on Youth Participation at Hogeschool Utrecht - Social Department.

One of the students, interviewed by another student, and the tutors are sharing their experiences about the training. Hogeschool Utrecht - Social Department is already working more than 10 years with Facili2transform.

One of the students sharing his experience about the training Youth Participation.

One of the tutors sharing his experiences about his work with Simon Koolwijk.

Interested in a training about Youth Participation, contact Simon Koolwijk, e-mail.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Training Facilitation Methods - 22nd December 2008

A very inspirational training. My toolbox has been filled, I am ready to go for the hands-on experience in the field. I am definetly going to use the workshop method and the caroussel for some multi-stakeholder interventions. Three international advisors, who will be working for ICCO in Honduras and Peru, and Stichting Stephanos, shared their enthousiasm at the end of the training facilitation methods. The training was conducted by Simon Koolwijk.

The training was focused at sharing and learning theoretical principles of facilitation with the help of the caroussel method. Participants practised with two basic methods of the Technology of Participation (ToP), the Basic Conversation Method and the Brainstorm Workshop method. ToP has been developped by the Institute of Cultural Affairs - USA and is now actively being used in more than 50 countries around the world in development work, governments, companies, schools, universities and other public institutes. The methods are very useful for having focused conversations with groups from 2 - 40 people.

Participants also learned about the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) techniques. KIT has been publishing a handbook called Village Participation in Development. In this handbook development practitioners can learn and find more about social mapping, stakeholder analysis, seasonal calender, gender analysis and many more useful methods, which can be used for participatory workshops. The handbook Participatory Learning and Action, published by IIED in co-operation with the University of Sussex, also provides useful tips for conducting PRA sessions.

The Open Space is also a very useful method for large scale interventions. When talking about large scale interventions we talk about 100 - 500 people. The method has been developped by researchers who found out that participants shared more meaningfull knowledge and information during the coffee breaks of (training) events than during the training. The method is very much stimulating and encouraging group's own responsibility in sharing what they would like to share.

More methods for facilitation can be found at the facilitation method site of the International Association of Facilitators. Simon Koolwijk is a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) through IAF.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Training facilitation methods at the University of Social Work - Utrecht - Amersfoort - 18th December 2008

Great course! The discussion method is a great tool for reflections and evaluations. The course was very useful and interactive. We were involved the whole day, and did not get time to loose attention. A nice and involving way of teaching. I am inspired to use the methods at my work. Students from the University of Social Work - De Horst in Amersfoort (Hogeschool Utrecht) had a great experience on the 18th December 2008.
Community Youth Development was the topic of the course. Students learned new methods for involving and engaging youth. Focus during this course were on the Technology of Participation Methods which have been developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs in the USA. The future youth workers learned to practise with the basic conversation method. Through this tool participants are able to share their observations, feelings, meanings and decisions. It is a powerful tool in getting groups focused and involved. The other method was the brainstorm workshop method. Focus question of the workshop was: "What are practical ways to stimulate youth participation? " To foster culture & creativity, youth - organisation - sports, get youth involved in societal issues, learn through education and involvement in society were identified as the practical ways to get the youth involved.

Finally one of the participants facilitated the evaluation by using the basic conversation method. More useful methods on facilitation can be found through the IAF method website of the International Association of Facilitators. Simon Koolwijk (Facili2transform) is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF).

After finalizing the course the students went for a drink with the trainers to celebrate the end of the year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Facilitation Fundraising strategy - Milieukontakt International - 17th December 2008

"We have set priorities! It was a good day to share and to reflect. We have done a lot of good work in raising funds with our partners at the Balkan for the Green Agenda project. We did not recognise that we had a facilitator today! Simon was behind the screens, but still he was there...." These were some of the comments of the staff of MilieuKontakt International at the Balkan Fundraising strategy meeting, where information was shared on how many local funds were raised for the Green Agenda project.
The Green Agenda project focuses on conducting multistakeholder processes on environmental pracises with citizens in 6 countries at the Balkan; Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. In each country 3 pilots projects are conducted in 3 communities where improvement of cultural and natural values are the key. Some communities are already busy implementing some projects such as the promotion of bicycles in Banja Luka in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Sustainable tourism & energy saving light in some communities in Macedonia, some improved waste management practises in Albania and some nature preservation and tourism initiatives in Montenegro.
Many of the participating projects have already raised local matching funds for the pilot projects. A number of local governments are supporting some pilots, and for example the Soros foundation and the Global Environmental Fund are supporting some multistakeholder processes. PSO in The Hague is also supporting some capacity building parts of this project.

Challenges are still there in the area of getting financial support for international exchange. The MilieuKontakt team will further strengthen their fundraising efforts in promoting and dissiminating the best practises of the Green Agenda Project. As we move on as we are moving now, the project will sell itself, said one of the participants. It is really something practical and successfull where civil society is taking initiatives themselves in improving the environment, expressed one of the participants at the end of the seminar.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Deepening under the surface of the iceberg - Facilitating LEF Faciliation Team - 16th December 2008

Inspiring, variation, let go, ah hah, authenticity, challenging, deepening, the future of our LEF facilitation team! These were some of the comments of the 18 LEF Facilitators, who are part of the facilitation team of LEF and participated in their third team exchange meeting. The meeting was facilitated by Jet Proost, Hannie Vonk and Simon Koolwijk.
LEF is one of the centres and departments of Rijkswaterstaat. Rijkswaterstaat is an organisation of the Dutch Government which ensures the mobility and safety of the roads, water ways and air in The Netherlands. The LEF Future Centre assists the Dutch government in dealing with complex issues in the area of water-, road and air infrastructure. For example how to deal with the rising sea level? How to deal with the traffic jams? In order to find solutions for these difficult problems creativity and imagination is a must. LEF Future Centre plays an assisting role in dealing with these issues.

Unique Value Points of LEF are the combination of using different pre-sets (room set-ups) and creative facilitation approaches to deal with difficult problems. For example one of the goals of the third team meeting of facilitators was to get a more deeper understanding about its own successes and failures. Four groups were divided into 4 different pre-settings, such as the kitchen, picknick, room fire and sport hall set up. These different settings created an informal and relaxed atmosphere to look at the facilitation process from a different perspective. Finally, lessons were shared through creative presentations. One highlight for me was that I was confronted with a shock effect from my colleagues. "How to deal with a group, when they are not happy with a rigid time schedule?" I learned it was helpful to express and show my own feelings about this to create a safe environment for discussion.
Another highlight was the Quiz. The goal was to get acquainted with the rules and procedures of the LEF Future Centre. Colleague facilitators could mention a rule and procedure, and two managers from the LEF Centre could respond if these were right or wrong. Finally the group came up with 34 rules & procedures, and only 5 were guessed wrong.
Finally the participants shared about the cultural values of the LEF Future Centre. Through this, the facilitators Simon Koolwijk and Jet Proost used the Ice Berg method. Participants identified the visible elements of LEF, and the underlying cultural elements such as Norms & Values, Rituals, Identity and Certainties. The paradox question: "How can we get rid of LEF"?was a very stimulating question in getting out the real cultural values of LEF. Authencity, Being Futuristic, Warm Atmosphere, Being a Frontrunner and Open for Changes were some of the key elements which were mentioned as some of the cultural elements which are typically LEF.
The session was closed with a one-word evaluation. For each letter of the word Evaluation, participants could express their feeling in one word. Energy, Variation, Authenticity, Laughing, Unique exchange, At the Table, Teams, Inspiring, Eer to Jet, Simon & Hannie.
For more impressions click.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Participatory video participant web 2.0 training, 3rd December 2008

At the end of the web 2.0 training on the 3rd December 2008 one of the participants interviewed the trainers Joitske Hulsebosch, Elmine Wijnia and Simon Koolwijk. It is simple and practical way on how to involve the participants in applying modern techniques for knowledge transfer.

The web 2.0 training is a joined initiative of Joitske Hulsebosch, Sibrenne Wagenaar, Elmine Wijnia and Simon Koolwijk. They have a joined website at werkenmetweb2.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Working with web 2.0 tools, 3rd December 2008

"I am very much inspired, but now the challenge to do it at home..." "A very useful course to get acquainted with all the electronic tools, you can use for learning processes", "Lets first start myself and master the tools a bit, before I start to encourage my colleagues". Comments which came from the participants at the end of the training working with web 2.0 tools held in Utrecht on the 3rd December 2008.

Most of the time of the training was focused on practising and playing with the web 2.0 tools (see photos and impressions). Participants got acquainted with social bookmarking, forum discussions, wiki's and on how to load down rss feeds. During the exercises Joitske Hulsebosch, Elmine Wijnia and Simon Koolwijk were available for assistance.The training provided a lot of eye openers. Social bookmarking gives you an opportunity to list and store all literature and resources, and you can check the bookmarkes of your colleagues. It provides you insight on how to update yourself professionally. Forum discussions help you to answer urgent questions with a critical group of people. Simple questions such as: "where can I learn most effectively Chinese? Or which games or energizers can I use next week for a group high profile managers" will definetely generate answers on a forum. Wiki's and blogspots are useful tools to share resources, such as toolkits and articles. Simon Koolwijk for example works with a group of capacity development advisors from ICCO and they share their resources at the iccocad wiki and their articles at the blogspot "Everything You Always wanted to know about Capacity Development". RSS feeds will provide you the opportunity that the information will come to you, instead of you searching long time for the information.
During the last day part of the training the participants came up with new ideas on how to apply the e-tools in their worksituation. Use the wiki for coaching, make a social bookmark for myself, start a forum discussion in my organisation, build a training course using a wiki.
The next training in web 2.0 tools will be planned in early February 2009. This course is a joined initiative of Joitske Hulsebosch, Elmine Wijnia, Sibrenne Wagenaar and Simon Koolwijk. They share a joined website called Workingwithweb2.0 tools.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Training project cycle management & capacity development 27 - 28 november & 1 December 2008

"The flow was perfect" "I enjoyed every moment" "A very useful course, which supports me to plan my capacity development efforts" "A dynamic course with a lot of variation in exercises".
These were the comments of three development advisors who will be working the next two years for ICCO and Stichting Stephanos in Malawi, Peru and Honduras. One advisor will be supporting touristic initiatives in Peru, one will work as a creative therapy consultant with youth in Honduras, and one will be working as an educational co-ordinator supporting local schools and orphans in Malawi. The course was organised by the Hendrik Kraemer Institute in Utrecht. The institute is preparing development advisors for consultancies and missions in the south. Simon Koolwijk was conducting the 3-day training.
Capacity development, strengthening local partners to make their service delivery more sustainable and effective, is one of their main tasks. Assisting local staff in project planning and proposal writing will also be one of their duties. Therefore the training was focused at learning skills in project cycle management and learning skills on how to do organisational development and capacity planning. More tools and resources can be found at the ICCOcad resource site.

Articles about capacity development advisors, who have been trained by the Hendrik Kraemer Institute and who most have a working background with ICCO projects can be found at the ICCOcad blogspot "Everything you always wanted to know about capacity development" .

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Capacity Development for ICCO Desk officers 18 - 19 November, 2008

"It has changed my perspective on how to communicate on a different way with partner organisations!" "Most of the theory was not new, but now I can link it to my own work situation and understand the value of organisational assessment tools..."
Ten (Assistent) Desk Officers from the international development organisation ICCO received on the 18th & 19th November 2008 a two-day training on theories and tools for capacity development. Main purpose of the training was to widen and deepen the perspectives of the participants on how to communicate differently with their partners in Asia, Africa, Latin-America and Eastern Europe in regards to developing organisational capacities.
Participants got acquainted with organisational assessment tools such as the IC-scan, the Integrated Organisational Model and the ECDPM scan. Planning exercises were done with the HRD/OD/ID model of PSO.

Gertrud Wagemans, currently Desk Officer with ICCO, shared her experiences as capacity development consultant in Madagaskar and shared her perspectives on how she communicates with donors. "Don't push your partners too much for change, otherwise they will do things for you and not for themselves". "But otherwise, keep contact with them and communicate with them openly, so that you together can build and work on developing the organisational capacities which will finally lead to better service delivery. "
At the end of the training the participants planned for an exercise on the job. In the coming months the desk officers will apply some of their lessons learnt and will further elaborate ways on how to strengthen partnerrelationships for developing strong development organisations. Results will be shared and presented in January 2009.

Regards, Simon Koolwijk, e-mail.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Training in citizen participation - 29th October & 5th November 2008

Practical tools! It will help to focus my work as community worker! Very efficient to mobilize people and make people to move on issues they consider as important. Students from the University of Social Work of Hogeschool Utrecht - Amersfoort shared their experiences at the end of a two day training on methods for citizens' participation. On the 29th October and 5th November 2008 thirteen students got acquainted with basic facilitation methods on how to stimulate citizen's participation.
Students got acquainted with the theory and principles of citizen's participation, and got acquainted with a number of basic facilitation methods for engaging and activating groups, called the Technology of Participation.
The Technology of Participation methods have been developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs. From the early 50's up to late 60's a lot of experiments and pilots were done with a number of community development based methods. One of the most successfull projects was Fifth city, a big neighboorhood in Chicago. A video about this project was made in mid seventies where Oprah Winphrey is interviewing citizens who went through the community based project. Since early seventies the methods were promoted in 24 time zones around the world in about 40 countries. In more than 95 % of the pilot the methods generated big result of community empowerment. Since early 80's many trainers and community facilitators have been trained in these methods, and nowadays they are widely used in not only the development sectors, but also in governments and business organisations.
"Winning through participation" and "The Art of Focused conversation" are some interesting books which explain and explore the power of these community and citizen participation tools.

Training Capacity Development, Sudan - 6th November 2008

The day moved very fast. Like a flow! It was very inspirational! These were the comments of Jens Lund Hansen, who was prepared for this job - Field Representative ICCO -Sudan. Jens will be working on the field office in Juba, where he will be involved in a peace building programme which is focused in improving basic services (water, health, food security) for the local people and conflict transformation. The last programme component will focus on preventing conflicts and strengthening the local media in promoting peace.

Jens Lund Hansen was trained in the basic principles for Capacity Development. Based on his future job, an analysis was done on the current capacities of ICCO Sudan. One highlight was the organisational life cycle were issues for further capacity development were identified.

Organisational life cycle

A draft plan was elaborated on the Human Resource, Organisational and Institutional level. Another highlight was the element of formulating questions. The fact that you have formulated a question, indicates you have already been thinking about the contextual complexity and challenges of the organisation, commented Jens.
The course was closed with exchanging experiences on the pitfalls and conditions of success for capacity development.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Training in coaching principles & methodologies in Macedonia - 17th - 19th October 2008

"I personally discovered some aspects of my personality on which I will have to work (want to)"; "I have learned that COACHING is a process!"; "I understand causes of some misunderstandings.." "It's a new way of staff development!"

Trainers and NGO representatives coming from Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro sensed a new way of learning and received new perspectives on how to do their work. The training - organized by Milieukontakt International - in coaching principles & methodologies, was conducted by Chris van de Sanden and Simon Koolwijk. The three-day training explored new ways of working.

The training focused on the basics of verbal and non-verbal communication. How to establish rapport = "meaningful contact". Through role plays participants learned in which phases to ask in-depth questions related to issues which kept the coachees awake at night. Transactional analysis (TA) was another important tool which was presented in this course. TA is developed by the Canadian Psychiatrist Eric Berne, MD (1910 - 1970). The emphasis in TA lies on communication between people, transactions and games. From there perspectives are elaborated if somebody is acting in the position of parent, adult or child. Eric Berne also introduced the concept of "I am okay, you are okay!" This perspective is also helpful in fostering communication in building meaningful relationships.

The final part of the training was focused on e-coaching. Participants practised through the skype chat an e-mail chat. By combining the practicals with theoretical lessons, participants learned on how they could apply coaching techniques in improving their communication with partners in the Green Agenda (GA) project. Green Agenda focuses on involving communities at the Balkan in improving environmental practices through citizen's participation. In each of the 6 participating countries, 3 pilots will be developed. Through lobby & advocacy, networking and dissimination of best practices Milieukontakt International is engaging national and international stakeholders in the process of environmental improvement.

More information and theoretical practises about e-coaching can be found in the book hallo-ik-ben-uw-e-coach ik ben uw E-coach - Bart Hisschemoller.

By the end of the course participants felt motivated to explore more about coaching. One commented: "If this course is baseball practice, then as batters we should at least be able to hit the ball; whether it's a pop-up fly or a homerun, if you're okay, then I am okay!"

Chris and Simon are ready to conduct this course for other groups through a 2-day or a 3-day module. Please contact Chris at: or Simon at

Friday, September 19, 2008

Capacity Development in the programme approach, 15th & 16th September 2008

"Cut out the dead wood", "work with the most passionate partners!", " Keep up our professional approach"! These were some of the observations which were shared by ICCO development professionals who are involved in the ProCoDe process of ICCO. The meeting, facilitated by Simon Koolwijk, was held on the 15th & 16th Septemer 2008 at the Conference Centre Wageningse Berg in Wageningen.
Pro stands for expanding the programme approach, where ICCO partners are being involved in building programme coalitions in their target countries on specific development themes such as improving basic services, creating economic opportunities for the poor and building mechanisms for peace and democracy in war affected countries. Aim is to expand the impact of programmes through funding and supporting a mix of local development projects and lobby & advocacy and exchange mechanisms which can lead to political and policy change at national level.

Co stand for co-responsibility, where people with a non-vested interest, reputation and knowledge from the local area, formulate the long term policies at the regional level. This is done through Regional Councils, who are independent from the ICCO-partners.

De is the decentralization process. ICCO is planning to open up 11 regional offices up to 2011 around the world. Main aim to build up a closer relationship with the project partners.

During the meeting 18 field staff from 4 continents (Africa, Asia, Euro-Asia and Latin-America) and 7 Head Quarter staff shared their views and experiences on how capacity development can be ensured in the programme approach. How do we build the capacities of our partners working in coalitions? On what areas do we focus our support when we talk about building and empowering societies? These were some of the issues which were shared.

At the end of the meeting field staff expressed they felt they had had a great opportunity to share and gain from exchange. They see and feel motivated to continue knowledge sharing with their colleagues. On the whole, the two days were too short to deepen out all the difficult issues in building programme coalitions. However, the field and head quarter staff will continue their exchange through electronic exchange. One of the action steps is to initiate a learning community.


Simon Koolwijk

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Participant evaluation Web 2.0 workshop 10th September 2008

One of the participants, Frank Hulsbos working with Kessels & Smit shares his experiences and new perspectives after participating in the NVO2 Web 2.0 workshop at the Baak in Driebergen, Zeist.

This training was a joint initiative of NVO2, Joitske Hulsebosch, Sibrenne Wagenaar, Elmine Wijnia and Simon Koolwijk. For more information at the Werkenmetweb site.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Web 2.0 workshop - 10th September 2008 in Driebergen

Very practical! I am able now to explain the advantages of Web 2.0 tools for learning processes. I feel enthousiastic on applying web 2.0 tools at my work!

These were some of the comments from 15 participants, members of NVO2 and active in learning processes within profit and non-profit organisations. On the 10th September 2008 a workshop was organized by NVO2, where Joitske Hulsebosch, Sibrenne Wagenaar, Elminia Wijne, and Simon Koolwijk explained more on how to experiment and apply web 2.0 tools for knowledge transfer, exchange and learning processes.

Elminia Wijne presented the changes which have been taking place at internet during the last 10 years. It seems very normal now, but Youtube only exists since 2005, LinkIn since 2004, blogspots have just become popular since 2002..... A whole new world is developping and everybody is "sharing their shit", or is it something useful we can learn from?! Anyway, if you don't give, you will not receive!

After the morning break the participants practised with online tools such as Wiki, RSS Feed, Social bookmarking (Delicious) and discussion fora (Ning). It was a nice way to get acquainted with the tools, through learning by doing!

Participants were very enthousiastic by the end of the training. Many of them see possibilities for application of online tools for Coaching, intervision, management team meetings, Employee Boards 2.0 and even some see possibilities for writing a participatory book. The possibilities are unlimited.

The Web 2.0 workshop was assessed as a useful and helpful training for those who want to develop and facilitate electronic learning processes. It is planned to organize a next Web 2.0 training workshop by the end of November 2008.

More information.
Simon Koolwijk

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Capacity Development for starters & volunteers 1 & 2 september 2008

This training was like a hot vegetable soup! A clear training; it helps you to come step-by-step towards a workplan! Very practical! Sometimes the course was like a heavy meal, but it was very interesting!

These were some of the comments from 6 starters and volunteers who will be working through Togetthere (an organisation linked to ICCO ) which sends out volunteers and starters for a period of 5 - 10 months in a development country. Main topics of the training were: How to make a workplan when you are going to work for a development organisation in the South? How can I contribute towards strengthening the local capacity? and how to deal with cultural but also workrelated dilemma's when I work there?

On the first day Simon Koolwijk took the participants through the steps of problem, goal formulation and assisted the participants in planning their outputs (accomplished products) and workactivities. One of the participants who will be working Israel, will focus on producing an interactieve sustainable website which is adapted by the local organisation promoting dialogue amongst Palestinian and Israeli youth. Another starter who will be going to Mali, will focus on assisting the local organisation in getting an improved communication system. If my local colleagues will say after 6 months, that they have learned and adjusted 10 things on communication in their organisation and department on internal and external communication, I am a happy person, she commented. Other volunteers were preparing plans for India, Paraguay and Israel. Two of the plans were presented on the second day to the Liaison and co-ordinators of Togetthere, who provided feedback to the participants. Some useful feedback for the volunteers was that the workplan should not become something fixed, but that you have there flexibility to function. And that it is important to speak out expectations from both sides, starting from the beginning.

The session on dilemma's was led by Henk Bosch from Togetthere. Henk focused on discussing the cultural and workrelated dilemma's while working there. How to deal with an authorative director? What to do when you work in isolation and you do not really get an opportunity to meet with your local colleagues? And what to do when they want you to do things, which do not fit to your qualities? When expectations from both sides are completely different? These were some of the issues which were discussed.

Finally the participants assessed the training as very useful. A course which provides structure and raises awareness for effective work in helping to develop capacities from the local organisations, but which also helps to develop your own capacities.


Simon Koolwijk

Friday, August 29, 2008

Project Cycle Management & Capacity Development 25 - 28 August 2008

"A very useful course commented the participants! Many options for application and the reference material is great! We know now what models and methods which are best applicable for our field work!"

Members from ICCO, Zending Gereformeerde Gemeenten, De Verre Naasten, Gereformeerde Zendingsbond and Stichting Kapini, and Kawempe Youth Centre followed from 25th - 28th August 2008 a 4-day training in Project Cycle Management/ Logical framework, capacity development and facilitation. Participants learned on how to develop a project and project proposal, how to initiate an organisational analysis and how to contribute towards organisational strengthening. On the last day the participants gained facilitation skills and led a number of workshops and received feedback. This training was hosted by the Hendrik Kraemer Institute in Utrecht.

Some highlights for the course were the issues on capacity development, the pitholes and the challenges and the various examples Simon Koolwijk gave from Eastern Europe and Africa, where the facilitated and guided many local organisations. The course is definetely one to be recommended, commented the participants.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Building local inland organisations in Suriname / June - August 2008

On the 11th, 13th June and 21st August, Ahmad Vreden - development advisor for ICCO -, was trained in approaches and methods for capacity development.

Ahmad is guiding on behalf of ICCO local organisations that are working with the population in the inland forest areas of Suriname. One of his main tasks is to strengthen and build the capacities of two local organisations, STEPS and VGOV. Both organisations aim to improve the well being and wellfare of the inhabitants of the forest areas in Suriname. Another important task of Ahmad is to assist the local population in the process of starting an educational centre for unemployed and disadvantaged youth in Mungo. This centre will assist the local youth in improving their life- and social skills, so that they will be enabled to find employment. The centre will also provide opportunities to improve the entrepreneurial skils of youth to start their own business.

During this training Ahmad Vreden got acquainted with the approaches of capacity development. Based on this knowledge draft plans were created for the development 'Youth Education & Employment Centre', and draft capacity development plans were created for STEPS and VGOV. Extra attention was paid on how to create ownership and involvement of the local organisations on how to formulate and elaborate these plans. Some of the participatory techniques used were; 1) organisational profile, 2) life cycle & scan of organisations, 3) the organisational scan, 4) SWOT analysis and 5) strategy formulation and planning.

This training has widened my perspective on how to guide local organisations in setting priorities and build their capacities in strategic thinking, commented Ahmad at the end of the training. It was a very practical and useful course.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Romania - training facilitation methods 14th - 15th July 2008

Hi Everybody,

On the 14th and 15th July, 2008 members from 4 Romanian NGO's working on the implementation and promotion of Eco-San Toilets and Water Safety Plans participated in a training on community mobilization and facilitation methods. This training was organized by WECF who are currently implementing a programme on sanitation and clean water in poor rural areas of Romania. Areas are based around Bucharest, Alexandria and Timisoara. For me it was the first time to work in Romania, and I enjoyed it very much to work with 11 dedicated people working together at a school in Alexandria.

In the training members from NGO's, who are guiding the implementation process of these water and sanitation projects, and teachers participated in the training. Both groups showed an immense motivation and enthousiasm on learning and practising the facilitation methods. As one of the participants stated "The facilitation process is necessary at work and in everyday life and being a "facilitator" is a human quality first of all.

Other commented that is was an efficient course, and a useful one for developing the capacities and qualities in facilitation.