Customized Workshops


In May, 2008, DH began work with the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance on a three part capacity building program for humanitarian field personnel.  The first element is distance learning, which involves reading 6 chapters related to humanitarian emergencies, which were written for this program.  The chapters are: Humanitarian Coordination, Information Management, Protection,  Preparedness and Strategic Planning, Advocacy, and Humanitarian Funding.   In the initial roll out

 of the course, 85 people signed up to participate.  Every two weeks, they each completed a chapter and an exercise at the conclusion.  These exercises were submitted to the course managers, reviewed and received a response.


Following the successful conclusion of the distance learning component (Phase 1) the participants were invited to and attended a face-to-face training workshop.  In the first year, one was held in Geneva, a second in Mombasa, Kenya and the third in Bangkok.  These workshops focus  on developing and enhancing competencies required for effective performance in humanitarian emergencies.  Three more workshops have been scheduled for 2009.  Mombasa and Bangkok are the sites for the first two, which will be conducted in June.  The third will be conducted in December at a venue yet to be decided.

The third phase is a follow-up involving personal action planning and is completed over a two month period after the workshop has been completed



Development Principles and Practices 

When we were asked to design and deliver a ten-day "Introduction to Development" course we were asked to consider covering a long list of concepts and ideas-from structural adjustment to community mobilization to women's empowerment.   We were intrigued and excited.  We printed out two copies of the email message, one for each of us to peruse and contemplate.   Finally, a few weeks later, during a long road trip, we designed the workshop around two main themes: (1) development issues; and (2) development management.   In 2004, we added a third-(3) the Rights Based Approach (RBA).  We also designed the course around our own development and training beliefs: 

  • "Reducing poverty" is the goal toward which development efforts must be focused;
  • A  development effort must be sustainable to be successful;
  • Community involvement and management-in development project planning, implementation and decision-making-is not only desirable, but essential for sustainable development;
  • The Rights Based Approach (RBA) should be applied to ensure that people's full rights-as set out in international law-should be upheld and respected; 
  •  A good training course must be as practical and realistic as possible;
  • A good training course asks participants (in small groups) to be responsible for finding, analyzing and presenting content.      

The Workshop Objectives: By the end of the workshop participants will have experience with a number of development frameworks through which they will have examined how development efforts (attempt to) manage and sustain projects to reduce poverty.  By the end of the ten -day "Development Theory and Practice" short course,  active participants will have evolve some answers to five key development questions, as follows:  (1) What is development?  (2) What are we developing?  (3) What is a development project? (4) What is development management?  And (5) "When 'it' is developed, how do we know it?"   Development course participants also address gender and other key development issues, concerns, institutional mechanisms and processes; create a development case study;  create development scenarios;  observe and analyze actual development projects; examine community-involvement and community-management indicators;  concentrated on applying the RBA to NGO-specific programming; integrated cultural components; participate in a development forum; and develop an action plan for their organization.

Reference and Reading Materials: English language versions of UNDP Human Development Report for the appropriate year, and UN, ADB, or World Bank Country-Specific Strategy and Program Reports, as well as Human Development Reports for the Country or the Region are used as basic reference materials.    

Topics and Methodologies:  During the workshop, participants (1) learn a variety of sustainable development concepts; (2) do development within a simulation and (3) analyze a series of real development projects as the result of a field visit.    They work in one of five RBA watchdog groups (Gender Equity, Freedom of Expression, Human Security, Human Dignity and Productive Employment) and one of five development-issue Focus groups (Food Security; Governance; Income Generation; Education; and Health). The workshop is conducted within the context of a "minor" simulation, in which a country is created.   The ten days has been designed with flexibility to incorporate learning needs as they are discovered.  As such,  it is a work in progress that allows participants to experience a variety of methodologies (field visit, role play, brainstorming, project design) to (1) develop projects based on the needs of the "simulated" people in the five issue areas; (2)  analyze  the Development Indicators the project addresses;  (3) do a  Benefits and Harms Analysis of the project; (4) do  a Participation Analysis of project partners;  (5) do a Logframe matrix;  and (6) design a management structure.   Participants also create a glossary of Developmentese.  


TAP (Training Associates Pacific, LLC) is a human resource development organization registered in the U.S. in Washington State. TAP associates form a global network of professionals who advise on, design, and facilitate state-of-the-art participatory live- and on-line learning events, customized courses, and training materials in the United States, Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Europe.