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