Tag Archives: training
SCHEDULE: the Facilitation Team agreed on dedicating five full days to ComDev. One can argue that it is not enough time but for us, given the background and the resources, this was a good compromise. In line with the objectives, the agenda was divided into five main Steps and several activities. Every step was described in an ad-hoc agenda which was distributed to the participants before the beginning of the Workshop:
1. BASICS (1/2 day)
- Intro to workshop about KEY points of the week
- Description of the OBJECTIVES of the training
- Proposal of a people-centred approach to describe the projects through people’s perspective
- Overview of the projects’ innovative aspects and main benefits
- Collective reflection on the beneficiaries’ perception, expectation and participation with regards to the project
- ComDev component-activities to date and first impressions
2. COMDEV THEORY (1/2 day)
- Theoretical background
- Communication planning
- Gender and Communication
- Methodological approaches tools
- Tools, channels, techniques
- ComDev strategy design
- Monitoring & Evaluation
3. COMDEV FOR FSCA-PISA PROJECTS (2 and 1/2 days)
- Analysis of Communication Issues in FSCA projects
- Success vs Constrains: Identification of communication issues
- Presentation of Case Studies
- Matching Constraints with Solutions
- Regional approach
- Networking Initiatives
- FSCA forward looking: Ideas for the future and Collaborations&synergies
4. LABORATORIES (1 day)
- Web Lab
- Photo Lab
- Radio Lab
- Video Lab
- Mobile Telephony Lab
5. CONCLUSIONS (1/2 day)
- Workshop Evaluation
- Closing session
In addition, we prepared also a detailed plan for facilitators only, with more information such as: name of the facilitator, learning objectives, description and details of the activity, facilitation technique, materials and specific support required, and a long list of notes taken during the prep meetings.
These notes were very important to give a shape to the flow of the training and collect all the reflections done by the Team members during the preparatory works: I strongly suggest to collect them. It really helps keeping record of the logical evolution of the planning as you can easily lose track when the preparation takes long.
FACILITATION METHODS: we decided to adopt a specific facilitation method for each session of the training. This choice had 2 objectives: offer the participants the occasion to test the widest range of new methods, and organize dynamic sessions introducing different kind of incentives. As a result, we carried out:
- A Chat show, with the communication consultants, to introduce the actors and their work,
- A World café, finalized to learn more about expectations, perceptions, and participation of the beneficiaries in the field,
- A Case Study exercise, to highlight a specific obstacle encountered in the implementation of the ComDev strategy,
- A SWOT Analysis, to make a collective effort of analysing good and bad aspects of each project,
- The network mapping, to graphically design communication flows inside and outside the National teams and develop a visual approach to communication,
- The mind mapping, to discuss the objectives of the national projects and their inter-regional connections,
- The Wall of participants, to link names with faces and put people in contact,
- A public Rules collection, to have the participants fully engaged in the workshop,
- A Dotmocracy, to collect a final feedback on the main aspects the workshop,
- The Social Reporting Team, to provide direct feedback on the activities and get participants involved in the use of Social Media.
Moreover, in the effort to stimulate higher attention in the audience, the Facilitation Team decided to avoid powerpoint presentation. Initially, this decision provoked astonishment in the participants but it produced positive results in stimulating people’s fantasy and creativity, especially during the presentation of the Case Studies (see the photo below!).
Introducing important tools like the Case Study exercise and the SWOT analysis were significant steps. At the end of the training, we asked for a punctual evaluation both of them, receiving, respectively, a 52% and a 70% of positive votes.
The training on Communication for Development organized for the FSCA-PISA programme was a great success. We saw enthusiasm and a lot of interaction during the five days spent in Dakar with the seven National Teams. Now it is time to put order among all the innovations we introduced. My first notes are about the Organization and the Language issue.
- ORGANIZATION: the FAO Facilitation Team composed by Riccardo, Silvia, Antonello, Catherine, Elena and I worked for long time on the preparatory activities. The original idea of delivering a technical training was launched early 2010 and evolved into a broader event, aimed at discussing ComDev in general.
The debate on the objectives took long. At the end, we decided to approach ComDev as a whole rather than focusing on a specific tool (the web, in our case). This choice answered to the perceived need to clarify ComDev concepts and details among the FSCA National teams.
The first discussions took place before Christmas. At the beginning we defined objectives, target audience and a draft calendar of activities. Then, one meeting after the other, we got into each macro activity to define it in details, from the learning objectives to a precise timetable.
- 7 COUNTRIES and 2 LANGUAGES: the language issue was one of the main problem to afford. Both the organization and the content were strongly influenced by this factor, in every step of the preparation. The initial idea of having two different sessions, one for the Anglophones and another one for the Francophones, was abandoned in favour of one single workshop with interpretation provided to the two groups. As a consequence, the budget, the agenda, the schedule, the content and the logistic were deeply affected.
I admit that this was the right choice to do: being an introductory training to a strongly participative but relatively new discipline for the participants, the one-group approach highlighted all its strengths. At the end of the event, people’s appreciation for meeting all together confirmed this idea.
Suggestion: do not underestimate the problems and the costs due to interpretation of the workshop and the translation of the documentation. Moreover, test the ability of the interpreters and provide them the training material well in advance.
This is the last week before the beginning of the FSCA-PISA Training in ComDev that will take place next week in Dakar, Senegal.
The list of tasks to complete is long at least as the list of innovations and new opportunities we are offering the participants. Among others, I would like to remember:
- the use of several interactive methodologies to facilitate the sharing of knowledge (World Café, Chat show, Open Space, Dotmocracy, Network Mapping, SWOT Analysis, Mindmapping)
- the six different communication labs dedicated to: web, video, photo, rural radio and mobile telephony
- the preparation of a Case Study to identify the main issues in the Communication strategies
- the five Cross Cutting Thematic Meetings organised during coffee breaks and lunches
- the proposal of a Social Reporting Team to document the event
- the video-photo coverage of the week
- the interactive website collecting any information about the event since early this year
- the informal approach used for the training
Sometimes all of those ideas seems old and not valuable. In reality, while preparing such an event with over 45 people involved, you realize how difficult is to adopt new approaches and what big benefits the trainees can have from them.
One of my main tasks in this period is the organization of a training workshop on Communication for Development from 11 to 15 April 2011 in Dakar, Senegal. This training is a direct outcome to the recommendations of the FSCA-PISA project team during the latest Regional Workshops.
We consider this event being fundamental for the progress of the project: it aims at enhancing the communication skills of project staff and key stakeholders, and at strengthening the linkages among the various FSCA projects and harmonizing communication approaches. The workshop also aims at addressing the specific training needs expressed by the individual projects.
Our first worry was to design a highly participative workshop, where trainees are asked to contribute with their own experiences, know-how and visual material from their own projects. These will constitute the basis for interactive sessions during which all participants convene around themes of common interest, prepare case studies, share successes, approaches and lessons learned through tools such as World café, Open Space, Chat Shows and other modern km techniques.
Each project is asked to propose a team of maximum 7 participants among whom we suggest representatives of Ministries of Agriculture, involved in the activities, members of farmer based organizations, partners and the communication consultants. The selection process is fundamental because these people play a crucial role in the management of the projects. A focal point will be designated to coordinate the participation of the whole country team.While waiting for April to come, we don’t want to loose time. So, the training will consist of two distinct phases: a pre-workshop distance learning step and the proper 5 days face-to-face workshop:
Phase I - The distance learning step must be completed in advance. It basically consists of a data collection exercise about the projects and about the participants themselves. Our team of facilitators will soon contact them individually and guide them through the process. This phase will help in solving part of the problems due to distance and differences of the 7 countries involved in the FSCA-PISA activities. The more data and objects related to the activities will be collected the better. They will be used to give the other Teams the feeling and the sense of what each project is like.
Phase II – Face to face workshop will be held over a 5 day period in Banjul, Gambia. In addition to the theoretical presentations, there will be practical, participatory labs for communication tools such as web, video, photography, rural radio and mobile telephony. The training sessions will run in parallel for both English and French groups.
Write an answer on Quora:
Alice Bafiala Mutombo, an independent radio journalist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. My congratulations!
She won first prize in an Africa-wide scriptwriting competition on healthy communities organized by FRI.
After the selection of a long and interesting list of 68 proposals, here is the complete list of winners in alphabetical order by country is:
- Kpénahi Traoré, Burkina Faso – Composting human waste is a healthy way to reduce disease and feed the soil
- Alice Bafiala Mutombo, Democratic Republic of the Congo – A clean village for a healthy life
- Gabriel Adukpo, Ghana – A family fights malnutrition with local leafy vegetables
- Simon Mukali, Kenya – Talking to teens about unsafe sex
- Charles Kemboi, Kenya – Empowerment saves youth from drug abuse
- Lawrence Wakdet, Nigeria – Occupational and nutritional therapy for people living with HIV and AIDS
- Oluwakemi Aduroja, Nigeria – Empowering communities with participatory community enumeration
- Ugonma Cokey, Nigeria – Florence saves girls from human trafficking
- Bonaventure N’Coué Mawuvi, Togo – Collecting plastic waste: Cleaning the city and generating income
- Filius Chalo Jere, Zambia – AIDS support program gives positive people a new lease on life
More details on the FRI scritpwriting website.