(L-R): Ms. Burke, facilitator; Ms. Assiatou Diallo, Policy Advocacy Assistant of WACSI and Ms. Afadzinu, Executive Director of WACSI
WACSI strengthens the facilitation skills of its staff and trainers
For two days, WACSI empowered its staff and trainers with robust training and facilitation techniques.
During this training, first of its kind organized by WACSI for its stakeholders, 8 staff of WACSI and 5 of the Institute’s trainers were encouraged to make good use of their voices, body gesticulations and effectively claim and use their training space during training.
This came as Ms. Eloise Burke, an organizational development expert who works with Coady Institute, Canada, with thirty years of experience as a trainer, and trainer of trainers, nurtured the staff and trainers with effective facilitation skills.
Ms. Burke, the trainers and staff of WACSI had interactive, engaging and experience sharing sessions between Monday October 15 and Tuesday October 16, 2012 at the Institute’s Secretariat in Accra. The sessions enabled the staff and trainers of WACSI to demonstrate how they would normally facilitate or train civil society actors while Ms. Burke guided them on how to be masters in the domain of facilitation and training. She encouraged them to be loud, eloquent and confident while speaking, be sensitive to the emotions and attitudes of trainees, and make good use of the training environment as a means of getting all participants involved in the training process.
This two-day training provided an opportunity to re-energise the facilitation and training skills of WACSI’s trainers and staff to enable them to be more effective and responsive to the training needs of civil society organisations (CSOs) in West Africa and WACSI.
Mr. Daniel Andoh, Consultant with Cicada Consult, Ghana, and a WACSI trainer since 2010 expressed his satisfaction in taking part in this training. He noted that he has learned new techniques of engaging participants during his training sessions that would make his trainings more engaging and interactive.
The facilitator of this two day exercise shared facilitation techniques which were easily imbibed by WACSI trainers and staff during several practical sessions. She promoted a learning and sharing environment characterised by hands-on sessions which enabled trainees to master facilitation techniques through practice. Ms. Burke encouraged them to blend their powerful voices with relevant non-verbal cues and the content of their training to effectively impart knowledge and skills into civil society actors from CSOs in the region.
“I love stuffs like these. It makes my day”, Ms. Burke happily stated as she assigned participants to undertake a role play exercise. Asking why she is happy about this, she explained that “It gets people to participate, to be active and creative. I get people to think on their feet. It makes the sessions lively. I can share handouts, screen a video or use other equally effective facilitation techniques. But through this, you [WACSI trainers and staff] get to learn and I like it”. This denotes Ms. Burke’s satisfaction with the level of engagement that promoted peer learning during the two-day training. She created an environment which enabled participants to demonstrate their facilitation and training skills, and built on that to enhance them significantly.