Learning in Practice

Essential elements

When designing a learning opportunity, we have found that it is important to keep certain essential elements and steps in mind:

  • Invite the right trainer
  • Thoroughly introduce the subject and the goal of the training
  • At the start, ask participants what they expect, then reflect on these expectations at the end
  • Vary your methods: presentations, group exercises, role play, demonstrations, …
  • Insert plenty of energisers between discussions
  • Conduct a thorough evaluation at the end

A training about risk ­­– a sensitive topic! – requires a facilitator who really understands the context: an expert at trust-building who creates a safe space for everyone. A technical training, on the other hand, calls for a facilitator who is highly aware of the most recent policies and laws: someone who introduces the topic, then takes a step back to let participants discuss among themselves.

Sensitive topics

We work in contexts marked by conflict and inequality – peace and equality are often sensitive to talk about. Here are some of the lessons we have learnt by conducting trainings on these topics over the years:

  • Sensitive topics require specific learning methods
  • The right expert/trainer makes all the difference
  • Discuss the most sensitive issues in the middle of the training, never at the beginning
  • Ensure enough time to create a safe space (at least half a day)
  • No judging, always speak from your own personal experience
  • All discussions are confidential
  • No interrupting, phones are turned off