The Context Project: training materials available to help develop national staff capacity
Leading and responding effectively to a looming or full-scale humanitarian emergency requires a special combination of skills: stress management, understanding needs and communicating with different stakeholders; prioritising tasks under pressure, and the application of accepted humanitarian norms and standards. Now, thanks to a unique partnership between 15 NGOs*, humanitarian organisations can freely access a fully comprehensive training program designed to support the development of key behavioural skills set out in the Core Humanitarian Competency Framework.
This article is also available to view in French or Spanish.
The materials and tools contained within the ‘Context’ Humanitarian Staff Development Project’s two programs - The Management and Leadership Skills Development Program and The Core Skills Development Program, are freely available in English, French and Spanish on www.contextproject.org. These tools synthesise the most effective training materials and methods currently used by each of the contributing agencies*.
Both programs are designed to focus on national staff development and can be organised as single or multi-agency training programs. The opportunity to combine resources, knowledge and learning with other agencies creates an inspiring environment for participants, and supports the sector drive for greater inter-agency collaboration and cooperation in emergencies.
A key characteristic of the Context program is the ‘contextualisation’ of emergency response within a specific scenario or cultural setting, such as drought, flood or earthquake and in a particular location. This reflects the intense development and piloting phase of the materials in Bolivia, Horn of Africa, Indonesia and Bangladesh. These materials continue to be used through the ENHAnce Training Program in these countries as well as in Niger (www.ecbproject.org/enhance).
Feedback from participants and line managers is overwhelmingly positive. One senior emergency manager commented that his staff returned ‘a more rounded humanitarian, with a broadened outlook’; a participant reported ‘As soon as I returned from the first workshop I was asked to become the Emergency Manager, in that role there have been a number of tools I immediately used’.
Context programmes reflect the need for a longer term approach to staff development; the Core Skills Development Program lasts for six months and the Management and Leadership Skills Development Program, for nine.
Fully realising that humanitarian staff and managers need to focus on their current role and responsibilities, five-day residential workshops are interspersed with self-directed study, the formation of buddy groups and coaching, to provide consistency and support for learning ‘on the job’.
Context materials are designed to provide all the support necessary for agencies to organise their own training programmes, from tips on logistics, to letters of administration, step by step plans for coordination, as well as workbooks and facilitator notes for facilitating individual sessions.
Agencies can also decide whether to deliver the entire training program, or select elements that fit with their own ‘in house’ training schemes. It is highly recommended that materials be delivered by experienced facilitators and / or humanitarian staff who can adapt and contextualise them accordingly.
You can download, or request a hard copy of the Programme Guide in English, French or Spanish, for a complete overview of how best to run and manage a program and which costs to consider. For more details please visit www.contextproject.org or contact Sarah Lumsdon at: firstname.lastname@example.org
*The Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies (CBHA) is a collaboration between 15 NGOs.
Friday 28 September 2012
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