We are just returning from a wonderful week in Chaminuka, a little paradise not far from Lusaka. We spent three days training a group of 15 participants – about one third GTZ staff members, and the other two thirds working with GTZ partners in government departments and civil society organisations.
The I-P-K training approach is built on three levels:
- The conceptual level provides participants with a complexity-based understanding of social change, ie. the system of thought around complex-adaptive systems and how to cause transformation in such a system. We consider it absolutely essential to see the big picture underneath in order to competently design change processes and events. After all, there is nothing more practical than a good theory! Furthermore, if we want to avoid a devaluation and disrepute of many of the tools and methods, we must contain the risk of their inconsiderate and mechanical applications. Yet, we introduced the complex ideas and concepts of complexity on a playful way, ie. by playing and simulating complex systems, an experience for every participant we could constantly refer to.
- The second level of training deals with “practice”, which contained two kind of modules:
- Sessions on more general, yet very practical aspects of faciliation, such as the role and behaviour of the facilitator, promoting diversity and dealing with conflict, and similar areas, which help the faciliators to consiously improve their own practice in any faciliation situation.
- We introduced a series of methods and tools by practicing them in the training itself. Participants hence had a first-hand experience of how these methods “look and feel” and had an immediate insight in possible applications and the practical aspects of applying them.
- The third level aimed at the experience of participants. Participants submitted “clinic cases”, ie. real events they will have to organise, design and facilitate themselves in the next three months (in distinction to “case studies” which lie in the past, “case clinics” are in the future and have more relevance and urgency for the participants). At the beginning of the workshop, they introduced their cases (in a Speed Geeking session, a method which they thereby learned) and then they worked in groups on their cases for 1 hour per half-day, immediately applying what they had learned. They walked out of the workshop with a clearer understanding of their upcoming tasks and new agendas for the events, where they will immediately use the methods learned.
The training cycle consist of three phases. We now held a basic training of three days consisting of modules on all the levels mentioned above. Subsequently, participants will now hold their events between now and December, thereby making their own first steps and gathering own experience. Towards the end of January, they will return and in an advanced training, we will capitalise this experience, discuss and understand it, and complement it with more sophisticated approaches and methods.