Some notes on trainings

Trainings can be a blessing or a curse. I guess there is no need to explain why they are a blessing. On the other hand, I believe that with trainings there is a high risk of being satisfied with the activity being done rather than focusing on its eventual impact. Delivering a training doesn’t mean that the attendees have learnt anything, and if they did, it is far from a foregone conclusion that they will do anything with the knowledge acquired. The activity can hence give the trainer the wrongful impression that the problem was addressed and that no further action is needed. You tick the box, then move on.

Yes, visibility is important.

This said, I really like to organize and deliver trainings, and I consider this one of the most pleasant and rewarding activities I had been involved while working in South Sudan. In the course of the three years I spent there I happened to deliver trainings on child protection, general protection, gender based violence and Camp Management for colleagues, local authorities and community members.

As anyone that has been a trainer or has delivered presentations knows, PowerPoint is a double edged weapon. An abused one. I try to avoid it as much as possible: trainees get often distracted, if they are literate they spend time trying to copy what’s written on the slide, and I think that the trainer himself gets dull. Whenever possible I relied on flipcharts, used drawings, and tried to make the thing as interactive as possible, with role plays and group discussions – which often is the only real choice if your audience happens not to be literate.

As an example, here are some of the flipcharts that I had sketched for an internal training in GBV prevention and response (the audience was literate, spoke English and were not direct beneficiaries of the program). Of course, if you have time and resources, especially for trainings targeting the affected community, you might want to consider to have some local artist working on the materials.





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