CRUDAN’s experience in facilitation training

FacilitationFacilitation

by Francis Ademola.

CRUDAN (Christian Rural and Urban Development Association of Nigeria) is a growing organisation with a big vision! In the year 2000, CRUDAN set up new offices in five different zones of Nigeria to share their activities more widely.

Staff meet with churches and organisations to create awareness about holistic development – the need to balance Christian teaching with social action to help the poor live a dignified life. As a result, there has been increased demand for CRUDAN’s services – especially in capacity-building, training, project design, planning and evaluation.

At present, CRUDAN have nine programme staff. In addition, they have over 1,000 individual members. Among these members are professional people with skills and knowledge in particular aspects of development work. Some of these are known as Associates who sometimes work alongside CRUDAN staff. In order to meet an increased demand for training and other services, CRUDAN planned a workshop on Communication and Facilitation Skills for new staff and potential Associates using participatory learning.

CRUDAN values people’s participation and the use of local initiative, responsibility and resources in the process of empowering people. CRUDAN also sees learning as a vital part of all their programmes. They wanted to equip Associates with knowledge and skills in participatory methods to help change people’s attitude and behaviour.

The training took one week and involved 15 participants from around the country. Among the topics covered were learning styles, understanding adult learners, analysis of training needs, developing learning objectives, training methods, and evaluation of training. Basic communication, presentation and facilitation skills were also a key part of the training. Each participant was asked to make a short presentation with other members role-playing the audience. They then received feedback on their training style. The workshop used many different ways of encouraging participation including brainstorming, role plays, group discussions, case studies and group presentations. Participants wrote action plans describing how they would put new learning into action. They then replicated this training at regional level.

Follow-up training took place a year later to enable the Associates to report back on the implementation and impact of this training and in particular on how effective they had been in carrying out the action plans made during the first workshop. It provided an opportunity for them to discuss the difficulties and challenges they faced. They also learned new skills in report writing and facilitation.

Associates who took part in this training have been able to facilitate training for CRUDAN in advocacy skills and holistic development. They have also participated in carrying out needs assessment, planning, and evaluation for a number of organisations. Their skills in facilitating training in their own organisations have also improved.

Reviewing the action plan

  • What worked? (planned and unplanned)
  • What methods were used?
  • What challenges were faced?
  • How did you cope? What were the enabling factors?
  • What did not work? Why?
  • What were the challenges?

Francis Ademola is in charge of operations and programmes for CRUDAN, with responsibility for training courses. CRUDAN, Sabon Barki – Bukuru, PO Box 13484, Jos, Nigeria E-mail: crudan@hisen.org