Deepening our Practise: Programme Staff attends a Facilitators Development course
Our Process Facilitators participated in a Facilitator Development Program (FDP) course facilitated by Davine Thaw of Footsteps International. The programme was facilitated over 2 modules, with each module lasting 3 days.
An assignment was also given in between the two modules, where participants had to think through their organisational practices, identify strengths and areas that need further improvement. Reference reading materials were also provided for participants to promote further learning beyond the workshop setting. In total 15 people participated in the course. These include PACSA staff and staff from organisations such as Dlalanathi, Groundwork and Biowatch attended. The coming together of all these organisations was useful as it enabled the sharing of common experiences, whilst also understanding experiences and challenges from organisations that work on issues closely related to those that PACSA works with.
PACSA’s vision was to create common experience for the development of process facilitation practice for the practice team, especially as 3 team members were joining the team. The FDP therefore came at an opportune time for this to happen, whilst also enabling the new team members to concretise their induction process and creating a space for practice team members to know each other and share current and past experiences within a learning environment.
When PACSA’s practice team returned from module 1, they sat together for 4 days to reflect on module 1, and to incorporate lessons from the FDP into our organisational practice and to integrate this to the strategic vision of the organisation. This created a space for embedding the lessons learnt from the FDP, further deepening the induction of the 3 new process facilitators, and identifying existing gaps in our facilitation practice.
The Facilitators course has also been an opportunity for PACSA process facilitators who have used process facilitation as a methodology to reflect on their practice against theory.
Some of the key lessons that emerged from the course were:
• It provided a space for facilitators from different organisations to bring experiences from the field to share and to source ideas for improving their practice
• The course was reaffirming for many PFs, particularly that development facilitation is a professional practice, which has its specific tools to make it effective
• Facilitators from the various organisations are facing common challenges
• Our task as development facilitators is to support other people to think differently in order to achieve their desired outcomes action reflection cycle is one of the vital processes to improve practice
• Conflict in community groups needs to be viewed as an opportunity presented for growth and positive change
• Development Facilitators do not have to have all the answers
• The course created possibilities for individual PFs from the different organisations to develop supportive systems in the form of thinking partners that could continue to support each other beyond the course.