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.

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