Training-of-Trainers Workshop for Security Institutions, Kampala, Uganda
26-28 October 2015
The Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR) held a three-day training-of-trainers (ToT) workshop in October 2015 for military and police officers from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Uganda. The workshop brought together 25 participants (12 female and 13 male) to build and enhance their facilitation and training skills in peacekeeping and peace support operations, with emphasis on HIV/AIDS, conflict management, human rights, and gender; and to develop their competency to transfer these skills within their institutions and places of deployment. This workshop also provided a platform for knowledge-sharing and networking for participating institutions.
The October 2015 ToT workshop in Kampala had four key objectives:
- First, to deepen the knowledge of participants on peacekeeping and peace support operations;
- Second, to enhance the ability of participants to conduct training on peacekeeping and peace support operations, with a focus on HIV/AIDS prevention and care, conflict management, human rights, and gender, to enable them to implement their mandates more effectively;
- Third, to provide a forum for the sharing of experiences, knowledge, and ideas on means of strengthening skills and knowledge in conducting training across the participating countries; and
- Fourth, to enhance knowledge and practical skills in planning, administering, facilitating, and evaluating training programmes.
The workshop was facilitated by Paul Mulindwa, CCR Senior Project Officer; Ann Ireri, CCR Consultant; and Bradley Petersen, CCR Senior Administrative Officer. The training was conducted in English and French with the help of simultaneous interpretation services, with customised training materials supplied to participants.
The workshop provided an interactive and participatory approach to foster a theoretical and practical understanding of the topics covered. Participants were provided with training materials (facilitation skills manual) tailored to their needs, and were supported on how to use these materials. All content covered was linked to practical exercises, to enhance participants' ability to apply what they learned to their daily work. Multiple concepts were introduced to deepen participants' understanding of what they do and how they do it, with exploration of various types of facilitation, training methods, and planning and preparation.
Participants at the training-of-trainers workshop had earlier attended CCR's April 2015 capacity-building workshop in Kampala.
Thematic Areas Covered
Understanding facilitation and training
The workshop began with an exploration of the role of facilitation, focusing on the characteristics and personal qualities of a facilitator. Discussion also explored styles of facilitation as the factors that influence and determine the learning process of trainees. It was recommended that various styles of training need to be integrated and mixed based on the nature and type of the audience to be trained. The following were listed as the common styles of facilitation: brain-storming, interactive talk, illustrative talk, group discussion, panel discussion, role-play exercise, and workshop method. Participants were given tips for effective facilitation and reminded that the role of the facilitator is to ensure that trainees receive the intended skills and knowledge.
Group dynamics and managing group expectations
Discussion also explored group dynamics and techniques of managing diversity in training sessions to ensure that all participants are involved equally. It was observed that diversity in training is a value addition to the learning process, bringing a variety of skills, experience, and knowledge that, if well shared, will add to the expertise of the trainer to enhance participants' skills. It was recommended that management of diversity - through effective understanding of group dynamics - be paramount in the training process, to ensure that all individuals share with and learn from one another.
Training techniques: principles and methodologies
To help participants make the connections between facilitation skills and group dynamics, training techniques were explored. It was noted that for training to be effective, participants need to take an active role in the learning process. It was also recognised that the trainer needs to be aware of verbal and non-verbal cues, such as a participant's body language, for effective communication and recognition of any unspoken issues. For example, a facial frown from a participant could indicate confusion regarding the point under discussion, which in turn may mean that the trainer needs to explain the point differently.
Communication skills: exploring effective communication and barriers to communication
Discussion also focused on communication skills for effective facilitation and training. It was emphasised to participants that communication lies at the core of any activity. Without good communication, new concepts will not reach the right people. Communication attempts to bridge the gap between the sources of ideas and potential consumers of those ideas. It attempts to make available messages in a form that people can understand, examine critically, and incorporate into their regular practice, if they can see any benefit in applying them. Participants were given tips for effective participation, and barriers to effective communication were discussed.
Evaluating training effectiveness
The workshop concluded on the topic of how to evaluate the effectiveness of training. Participants were reminded that evaluation is a crucial step of effective training. Unless the training is informed by critical feedback from recipients, there will be little chance for further development and improvement. Training is valuable only when it is relevant and effective in its ability to bring about the desired change, growth, and development. Various procedures of evaluation were explored, including verbal and written, with various modes of questionnaires. It was underscored that evaluation procedures should be applied differently depending on what is being evaluated and the purpose of the evaluation. The key objective here should focus on evaluating skills and knowledge gained.
Participants noted that their facilitation and training skills had increased as a result of the workshop, and that they were committed to implementing the skills gained. For example:
Lieutenant-Colonel Innocent Horumpende, Training and Mobilisation, Ministry of National Defence and War Veterans, Bujumbura, Burundi, noted that the CCR training had enabled him to acquire new facilitation techniques. Prior to the workshop, he had conducted training in a less methodical way.
Lieutenant-Colonel Batabombi Apanza Jean Daniel, Director of Sensitisation, Moralisation, and Public Relations for the Congolese army, reported: "I learnt that for a proper grasp of the message by learners/attendants, there are prerequisites such as: preparing for the topic as well as individual preparation, knowing one's target [audience], identifying the needs, selecting the communication style, following and assessing the level of ownership of the topic by the learners, and readjusting the methodology if required."
Colonel Augustin Nigaba of the Burundi Ministry of Defence and War Veterans reported that the CCR workshop had enabled him to meet military representatives from the DRC and Uganda, and to share experiences regarding facilitation, human rights, and gender issues.
Colonel Bomwenda Manoy, Head of the Civil-Military Department in the Congolese army, reported her commitment to use the knowledge gained to strengthen future training sessions; while Colonel Augustin Nigaba at the Burundi Ministry of National Defence and War Veterans committed to recommending to his superiors that capacity-building and facilitation training be prioritised as means of conflict resolution.
Participants at CCR’s training-of-trainers workshop for military and police officers from Burundi, the DRC, and Uganda, Kampala, Uganda, 26-28 October 2015