Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Facilitating Participatory Rural Appraisal - 27th January 2010

"Facilitation is not easy!" "I have gained more insight about the why of participatory rural appraisal methods", "I discovered more about my own facilitation style". Two ICCO - Togetthere Junior Capacity Development advisors participated on the 27th January 2010 in the training Facilitation of PRA. They will be active as facilitators in Honduras and Indonesia.

The training was focused on practising, reflection and getting feedback. As case study was choosen a video about Farmer to Farmer learning in Ethiopia. A Red Cross project on how to deal with climate change in Ethiopia.




Exercises were done on social mapping and the historical time calender. These are methods which are regularly used for community and organisational development processes. More about PRA literature, Training manual PRA - Simon Adebo & PRA, Bishnu B. Bhandari.

Literature and links on facilitation can be found at "Facilitation - Just another weblog".

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Project Cycle Management - Capacity Development, 14, 15, 18 January 2010

"The training helped to get focus about my future job!", "The cases were very interesting", "The course had a good flow! We remained active and involved". "When the day started I regained my energy and got involved! ". "It had a good balance between theory and practicals!"


On the 14th, 15th and 18th January 2010 the Hendrik Kraemer Institute organised a training on Project Cycle Management (PCM) and Capacity Development. The course was attended by participants from Togetthere, ICCO, Theatre Embassy, De Verre Naasten, GZB, Mensen met een Missie and the Hivos Knowledge programme.

The first day of the training, conducted and led by Simon Koolwijk, was focused on the steps of project cycle management. How to do a context and stakeholder analysis. How to define the problems and from there onwards build it to a logical plan with goals, results and activities. On the second day each participant got the opportunity to present their own future job description. All participants will somehow be in the position as organisational advisor, assisting local organisations in their development. Indonesia, Southern Africa, Sudan, Belgium and Congo were shared as cases where the development professionals will be involved.
How to do an organisational assessment? How to build engagement within the organisation? How will it lead to better service delivery to the target groups and beneficiaries? These were some of the questions that were delt with during the course. On the final day each participant presented a draft working plan, on how they might tackle a capacity development intervention. However, a 'draft is a draft', since it might be very likely that the local context in the aforementioned countries might be totally different. Therefore, the participants discussed the dilemma's on how to dealt with different situations and on how to involve colleagues more actively in your capacity development intervention.
An interesting article about "How to involve your colleagues" can be read at the ICCO blogspot of "Everything you always want to know about Capacity Development"

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Facilitation methods 6 - 7 January 2010

"The practical exercises were very useful", "Wow, we had a lot of exercises and received feedback", "we learned a structure on how to do facilitation", "the role plays about resistance were very challenging".

Staff from ICCO, and Young professionals from Togetthere and one advisor from 'Mensen met een Missie' participated in the training facilitation methods on the 6th and 7th January 2010. On the first day, the training was focused at learning methods and getting acquainted with the theoretical principles of facilitation. Participants went through the steps on how to do a basic conversation (the conversation method) and on how to lead a brainstorm workshop. Both methods are part of the Technology of Participation. These methods have been developed in social ecumenical work in the '50s and '60s by the Institute of Cultural Affairs in the USA. On the second day the nine participants practised with these basic methods. One team modified the brainstorm workshop method, and asked the group to vizualize the future regional office of ICCO through the metafore of a garden. In the afternoon participants delt with resistance issues during two role plays. How to deal with situations, which you had not expected as a facilitator? It brought a lot of new lessons for the group.
"After 6 months I will still remember and visualize some of the scenes during this training", expressed one of the participants. "It will be very useful for my future work".


For more literature about facilitation you can read the IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation and the Skilled Facilitator. Simon Koolwijk is a Certified Professional Facilitator through the International Association of Facilitators.