Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Planning meeting 22nd December 2009

"The meeting was useful. It made implicit knowledge explicit! The competence table helped us to divide roles and responsibilities between the advisors, the regional and the central working office." This start-up meeting is a good reference point, when we will be working as a value chain advisor in the coming months." These were some of the comments from the Value Chain team of the ICCO Fair Economic Development Department.

On the 22nd December 2009 two Value Chain advisors and two members from the Value Chain team from the ICCO central working office met to prepare for two market development programs in the Philippines and West Africa. The two programs will focus on strengthening the quality and quantity and price-value components in production-marketing chains on fruit, shea, sugar and other food products.
The meeting was facilitated by Simon Koolwijk. Main purpose of the meeting was to fine-tune and co-ordinate roles in the two market development programs, to discuss the monitoring & evaluation procedures and to plan for the next 6 months.


More information about ICCO's experiences on Value Chain and Fair Economic Development can be found at ICCO FED's blogspot.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Facilitation Methods 15 - 16 December 2009

"The course had a good balance of theory and practise!" "I enjoyed the diversity and participation of my fellow participants", "The role plays about resistance provided much more understanding about how to facilitate in difficult circumstances." These were some of the comments of the participants in the course Facilitation methods, which was held on 15 - 16 December 2009.
Two Value Chain advisors, preparing for their work at Philippines and West - Africa and one programme officer from ICCO and one trainer from the Hendrik Kraemer Institute participated in the course. The training was led by Simon Koolwijk. They got acquainted with some basic facilitation methods, Technology of Participation (ToP), which have been developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs. The second day was focused on practise and feedback. "One of the questions in one of the workshops was "How to deal with difficult people in a workshop? " . The outcomes from this workshop were linked to the session on how to deal with resistance. During role plays these difficult situations were further elaborated.


Simon Koolwijk is certified professional facilitator with the International Association of Facilitators (IAF).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Capacity Development - 7, 10, 11 December 2009


"The course was very practical! A good hands-on experience to get acquainted with capacity development of local organisations. I have learned some useful insights and tools on how to enter with a capacity development intervention. " These were some of the comments of the professional development advisors who participated in the course "Capacity Development" which was hosted by the Hendrik Kraemer Institute.



The five advisors participating in the course are working for ICCO and The Verre Naasten. Some of them are involved in Value Chain Development in the Phillipines and West Africa, while the other advisors are involved in religious dialogue and capacity development of local churches in Indonesia.


During the first day of the training the participants got acquainted with the principles of Project Cycle Management and the Logical Framework. The theory of this module founded a basis to better understand the dynamics of capacity development. Theory, presenting the own job descriptions and practising with the tools in organisational development were part of the second day. One of the highlights on the third day was a presentation from a returned ICCO Value Chain advisors who was involved in capacity development in Ghana and Liberia. "Start with a meeting with the Director of a local organisation, is one of the most important entry points". Another useful insight is to start simple and try to gain some small successes, like how to work with excell, to win the trust of the local partners. More information about tools and experiences can be found at the capacity development wiki of ICCO.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

In-company training Project Cycle Management - Logicalframework, 2-3 December 2009

"The training was to the point, organized and within a short time you gain a lot!" "The training is helpful in deepening your insight in projectrelations, goals and results" "You have to invest time in partnerrelations, visit and get to know the people to enable projectgoals and results". "The training enlightens your own way of working, however follow-up is needed to embed it in our daily working practices."


Three organisations: Bijzondere Noden, Zending Gereformeerde Gemeenten and Deputaatschap voor Israel participated in the training Project Cycle Management and Logical Framework. This in-company course was conducted by Gerard Verbeek from Synergo Consult and Simon Koolwijk from Facili2transform.
The two-day training was focused on the 4 steps of the Project Cycle. 1. Identification, 2. Planning, 3. Implementation and monitoring, 4. Evaluation. Participants gained knowledge and skills on how to do a stakeholder analysis and dig out the perspectives from the most important stakeholders in the process of project formulation. Based on their own cases participants elaborated a projectplan including goals, results and indicators. Based on photos from the case studies, a monitoring & evaluation plan was formulated on the second day. The fourth step in the cycle was closed with a role play where the different interests from the stakeholders were matched with the lessons learned in the process.


"The training was a useful investment in time and money in order to improve the quality of the projects we are supporting!" commented one of the participants. Another commented: "The training provides a hands-on method to use the different tools, without being limited to models and procedures.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Training Online Facilitation October 29 - November 5, 2009

To facilitate an online process is hard work! I have gained more insight in online exchange processes. The training was a good combination of online learning and face-to-face training. These were some of the comments by the online professionals, who participated in the training "Online Facilitation" which was organized by Elmine Wijnia, Sibrenne Wagenaar, Joitske Hulsebosch and Simon Koolwijk. View more of them at the video "Genetwerkt Samenwerken"



Between October 29 - November 5, 2009 participants exchanged experiences through a Ning Platform. Some examples of topics which were shared: 1. Who can share some online experiences? 2. How to keep participants motivated and online?, 3. How to deal with safety issues? 4. How to best conduct a teleconference online? The discussions generated a lot of useful suggestions and ideas.

On the 5th November 2009 the training was finalized with a face-to-face meeting, were examples of best practices for online learning were shared and participants got the opportunity to set up an online exchange process based on their own cases.

The week was very intensive, but I have gained much more confidence now to start and build some online processes"", commented one of the participants at the end of the training. The next training on Online Facilitation will be organised in Spring 2010. Further information will be published at a joint website: Werkenmetweb2.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Facilitation - 13th & 14th October 2009

"The training had a good balance of theory and practise! The case studies about resistance generated a high dynamic of energy. Facilitation is not easy. However, I am very much motivated to apply the methods in my work."During a two-day training in facilitation staff from ICCO and Theatre Embassy got acquainted with theories, methods and practical case studies in facilitation. During the first day much time was used for learning facilitation methods. Most of the methods are based on the Technology of Participation methods, which have been developed in social community work in the USA. On the second day participants practised with the brainstorm workshop, the basic conversation method and an intervision tool (hot/ cold questions). In the afternoon cases were practised on how to deal with resistance. Role plays were rehearsed were the facilitator got into a situation, where the expectations from the participants were totally different from the program outline presented. "Facilitation is a challenging job", commented one of the participants afterwards. "But is has gained me deeper insight in the different group dynamics and expectations."
The training was conducted by Simon Koolwijk. He is certified professional facilitator through the International Association of Facilitators.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Capacity development 5, 7, 9th October 2009

Very useful. Logical. The cases and dilemma's in capacity development were very interesting! The training was complete. It has a head, body and feet! These were some of the comments from the participants in the training capacity development, which was organized by the Hendrik Kraemer Institute in Utrecht.
Capacity development advisors from the Theatre Embassy, ICCO and Mensen met een Missie participated in this training. Within a couple of months they will be working for local organisations in e.a. India, Kenya, Indonesia and Honduras to strengthen their capacities for improved service delivery.
The training was focused on learning and gaining skills in project cycle management, logical framework, tools for organisational development, basics and theory in capacity development and linking the theory with the actual job description. Special attention was paid to dilemma's and pitholes in the process of strengthening local organisations. It provided insight that assisting a local organisation is a challenging but also interesting job!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Facilitation methods - 9th September 2009

Very practical! I became aware that I knew much more about facilitation, when I started with the course! I am definetely going to use some of the lessons learned in my work! I would like to make a follow-up appointment with Simon. It was a great training!

Three staff members from the Development co-operation organisation ICCO participated in the course facilitation methods on the 9th September. One of them will be working as a capacity development advisor in Ethiopia for an organisation which promotes practises of sustainable energy. The two others are attached to the Head office of ICCO. All of them expressed that they very regulary are in the position of leading and facilitating meetings. 'People benefit of more effective meetings', expressed one participant. People want to be involved and share the feeling that they are part of a team. Effective facilitation is definetly an important need!
During the training the ICCO staff members got acquainted with the Technology of Participation methods. They learned about mind mapping, the caroussel, the basic conversation method and the brainstorm workshop method.They also got a number of useful tips and hints about available literature in facilitation. Simon Koolwijk, the trainer, is a Certified Professional Facilitator through the International Association of Facilitators.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Capacity Development training - dev't professionals 24 - 27 august 2009

A very useful course! It is widened my perspective on how to develop capacities with local organisations. I have gained some useful tools, which I definetely going to use! These were some of the comments of the 4 participants who took part in the course Capacity Development which took place on the 24th, 25th and 27th August at the Hendrik Kreamer Institute in Utrecht.


Two development professionals working for ZHHK (Zending Hersteld Hervormde Kerk) and two from ICCO participated in this course. All participants will be involved in assisting local organisations in strengthening the internal capacity of their organisations. How to get a better planning system? How to motivate and equip the local staff with management skills? How to do monitoring and evaluation? How to build financial systems? These were some of the questions and needs that came up in the course.
During the course topics on the principles of project cycle management, monitoring & evaluation, organisational assessment and capacity planning, dilemma's in advising were discussed. The flow was logical. We experienced a variety of teaching methods. We learned about the theory, practised, reflected and were able to share our experiences. The stories from our trainer were very useful.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summerschool Moldova 20th July - 2nd August 2009

"A great experience! I would have loved to stay a week longer. I very much liked the atmosphere, the games, it was a wonderful week of joy and learning!" These were some of the comments from the Moldovan youth who attended the summerschool at Holercani in Moldova from 20th July up to the 2nd August, 2009.


The summerschools are part of the program "Youth in the Centre". This program aims to assist 4 communities in Moldova (Varnita, Cotiujenii Mari, Vadul Rascov and Ulmu) in building and strengthening local structures for youth development. This summercamp was one of the kick-off activities of this project to identify and mobilize youth leaders, who are willing to take the lead in setting up activities management by themselves in their own communities. In building these structures they are assisted by adults such as parents, teachers, local civil society organisations and the municipalities.


This program is a joint initiative of Procomunitate (from Moldova), Proni Social Centre for Education, Kontakt der Kontinenten and Windesheim - Hogeschool for Education, department social work. The program is financially supported by Matra, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

From 20th up to 26th July, youth from 19 - 29 participated in the summerschool. From 27th July up to the 2nd August, youth from 13 - 18 took part. During the summerschool youth learned about communication, teamwork, leadership, decision making, community actors and planned some activities for youth work in their communities. In the afternoons youth had free time to sport and prepare for the evenings with entertainment including games, local dances and music. Simon Koolwijk attended the summerschool to work and talk to the youth and the local trainers in identifying the training needs for the youth development training program which will start in the autumm of this year. Parellel to the training youth will develop with support of adults the youth structures in their communities. The start was great. The atmosphere was energizing. For more photo's.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Capacity development Starters & volunteers 2-3 July 2009

"This course is a good preperation as part of working in a development country in the area of capacity development", "During this course you learn how to support capacity development processes!", "These two days have clearified my job description and my role".


These were comments from 3 participants at the course capacity development and support, which was held on 2-3 July 2009. Two starters preparing for a theatre supporting role and planning, monitoring & evaluation role for a community based project in Zimbabwe and one volunteer preparing for a webbased exchange programme between Palestinian and Israelian youth got acquainted with the principles and theories of capacity development. Other parts of the training focused on practical elements such as how to plan for a capacity development intervention and dilemma's in capacity support for local organisations.
The 3 participants are employed by Togetthere. This organisations sends out young professionals and young people to work for local organisations in the South. The training was conducted by Simon Koolwijk.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Working with web 2.0 tools, 29th May 2009


"I will start my own netvibes link". "It will save me a lot of time!" "Netvibes and delicious are terrific tools for me." "I will further discuss the new ideas in my organisation and am considering to start up a Ning forum for discussion within our network!".
Participants were delighted and inspired after the 4th course "Working with web 2.0 tools", which was organised on the 29th May 2009 in Utrecht by the "Werken met Web2.0" consortium. The training was conducted by Simon Koolwijk and Elmine Wijnia who are both (e-) facilitators and advisors for developing digital learning products. Joitske Hulsebosch and Sibrenne Wagenaar are the other partners in "Werken met Web2.0" consortium.
During the course the participants got acquainted with the whole history of web 2.0 in the last 10 years. Flicker started in 2003, Linkedinn in 2003 and Youtube in 2005. The webworld and availability of webtools is changing very rapidly. After the coffee break up till mid afternoon the participants practised with 1. How to work with discussion fora - Ning, 2. How to do social bookmarking with Delicious, 3. How to get the information come to you by Netvibes and 4. How to develop documents and stored information through a wiki.
The day provided us a possibility to play. The set up of the day was very dynamic! Fine to play a practise during this training. My fear for webtools has been taken away! These were some of the positive comments of the participants on the day. "How to convince the Management Team about these tools", "What are pitholes to get other people enthousiastic and involved!" was provided as feedback on how to improve the course.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Participatory Video Youth Centre Uganda, presentation 16th May 2009

"Fantastic that the youth can film their own centre!" "It gives an actual impression of Kawempe Youth Centre" on how the youth see it". "A worthwhile initiative which helps the youth to improve their future possibilities!".

On the 16th May 2009 members and supporters from Stichting Kapini saw the participatory video "Youth about KYC". This video made by the youth from Kawempe gives a picture on how the youth and the staff see, feel and think how the Kawempe Youth Centre is functioning. Esther Kyazike, director of the centre, was proud to share her views during the video presentation which was held at Stichting Oikos in Utrecht. "It is nice to see in the video that the youth are happy that the facility offers possibilities to read books, do sports and make friends, and that the centre makes a difference in their lifes!"


The process of the video making was facilitated by Simon Koolwijk on the 28th February 2009 when Kawempe Youth Centre organized a Youth Day. Emmanuel Sserklaniko and Geofrey Lule filmed and interviewed the people at the centre. "It is another way of making youth feel part of the centre!".

Community participation, impact assessment & video making

"The video making was very inspiring!", "You have to involve the youth in making the scenario and doing the video making", "I see many situations where I can apply the community development methods", "The idea on how to do impact assessment, is now much clearer now!" These were the comments of Hanneke Velthuijsen at the end of the training "Community participation, impact assessment & video making" which was held on the 19th & 20th May. The training was conducted by Simon Koolwijk. The training was hosted by ICCO, who provided the training space and logistics. ICCO is one of the organisations for which Hanneke did research on youth in Guatemala.

At the moment Hanneke Velthuijsen is working as sport development advisor for Safe Passage in Guatemala City. Her role is to develop a sports development programme for the youth. Main focus is to help the youth to develop skills and gain tools which will direct them to positive action in their lives. Many youth in Guatemala City become involved in youth gangs, and this programme is focused to empower them to choose other directions in their lives by empowering them. Hanneke is currently under contract of Change the Game. This organisation is focusing on promoting sports as a tool for development in various countries around the world. Hanneke is sponsored by Vodafone.
On the first day Hanneke got acquainted with the project cycle and community mobilisation methods, that enables citizens to participate into community projects. Social mapping, venn diagram - stakeholder analysis, problem- and objective tree and action planning were some of the methods which were demonstrated and discussed. Some more tools can be found in the sports development toolkit box. On the second day Hanneke got acquainted with the principles of monitoring & evaluation, how to do impact assessment, and how to plan for a impact assessment by using the medium of video making. Ben Haagsma from IC Consult was one of the resource persons who shared his views about monitoring and evaluation. He is one of the authors who contributed to the book 'Planning, monitoring and evaluation in development organisations'. This book is stressing that monitoring & evaluation is process oriented. It should both focus on improving and proving, and the ownership for the evaluation should be with the main stakeholders in the project.
Finally Hanneke made a scenario for the video. This training was the topic and based on the video scenario she made more than 10 video shots. Through the editing program Power Producer Hanneke was trained on how to compose the video according to this programme. "This part is very inspiring to me!", Hanneke commented.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Methods for citizen participation - Hogeschool Utrecht & SWA Amersfoort

"Very practical!", "Useful for our work", "We become more aware about what we are already doing!" "I can use the methods with young kids, and also very useful tools for policy making!".These were some of the comments of the social-cultural workers who are members of Stichting Welzijn Amersfoort (SWA). SWA aims at improving the social conditions of the citizens in the city of Amersfoort (counting around 200.000 inhabitants). The social cultural workers focus their work on empowering and guiding children, eldery and migrant communities in life skill training, coaching and group activities.


The training conducted by Simon Koolwijk and which was organized by Hogeschool Utrecht on the 12th May 2009 aimed at inspiring the participants in learning methods for active citizen participation. The role of the facilitator and brainstorming were the key parts of the first day of this training.


The methods for citizen participation are called Technology of Participation and have been developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs. These methods are successfully applied in social development work in more than 40 countries around the world. Simon is promoting these methods in the basic facilitation training courses, since they provide key insights in the principles of facilitation.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Start up project Youth in the Centre - Moldova

From 4 - 8 May 2009 Procommunitate and Kontakt der Kontinenten met to start up the project Youth in the Centre in Moldova. This project aims to strengthen and build sustainable structures for youth work in Moldova. Beside Procommunitate and KdK, Proni Centre for Social Education, Hogeschool Windesheim, State University of Moldova and the Moldova Social Investment Fund are involved in this project. The project is focused at building partnerships between youth, government, parents and local organisations. The youth will be the ones in the centre, making their own choices with support from the stakeholders. During the start up KdK and Procommunitate shared their views and thoughts on how to implement the project. Visits were made to 3 of the 4 partner communities such as Cotiujenii Mari and Vadul Rascov in Soldanesti District and Varnita in Aneii Noi District. "For more photo impressions"


Simon Koolwijk is part of the KdK team and is involved in the training & capacity development part of this project.