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.