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.