The steps are based on a field workshop in the Schweizer-Reneke community of South Africa, April 1995. Some additional background information is available in the book Action Planning for Cities, Hamdi-Goethert, John Wiley, 1997.
Preparation for Workshop: Workshop Checklist
- Are there representatives reflecting the range of families in the community: the old, the young, men and women, as well as the leaders?
- Are government representatives drawn from the various departments involved in the community: water and sanitary engineers, road engineers, health workers, local teachers, elected representatives?
- Are NGOs, both local and from the outside included? What/how could they contribute?
- And do not forget: who will be the moderator?
Arrangements with community:
- Has the community been made aware of the objectives and the program of the workshop beforehand?
- Is the community clear about the purpose and expected outcome?
- Is their a strong commitment by the community and the other participants?
- Make sure that the expectations are not out of hand and unrealistic.
Workshop location, equipment, and materials:
- Find suitable location well before workshop - make sure space is large enough for expected attendance.
- Ideally the workshop should be on-site, and not in office remote from issues. This allows instant checking of the situation during the discussions.
- Make sure that there is sufficient wall space for hanging charts and worksheets.
- Make sure you have necessary materials on-hand:
- Flip-chart paper - lots! Any large sheets of paper are OK: wrapping paper, etc.
- Handouts: overview of schedule
- Markers, crayons, etc. of different colors - 4 kinds?
- Tape or pins to attach charts to wall
- Sufficient tables or chairs for participants
- Base plan of area, and any other information useful to discussions as resource
- Perhaps a folder for each participant with paper, pencil schedule, small base plan, etc.
- Maybe a camera to document workshop
- And last, perhaps a bell or whistle to call the sessions to order!
- Arrange for drinks, snacks, and if needed lunches. Maybe ask the community to provide this?
Managing the workshop:
- A higher level authority person should open the workshop to give legitimacy to the sessions and to address the dynamics of city politics.
- Encourage participants to organize a final day event; i.e., reception, dinner, entertainment, etc.
- Ensure that invitations to guests for the final day - and perhaps the first day - are prepared and sent out in a timely fashion. Those guests who attend the opening should attend the closing to see the outcome.
- If workshop has a parallel training objective, consider and arrange for certificates if appropriate,
- Participants should be led to discover for themselves: do not force ideas. They should not be prescribed by the moderator.
- Participants should be encouraged to perceive problems, issues, and solutions through the eyes of the various actors with whom they will deal with when undertaking the tasks. Role playing is a very useful technique in this respect.
- Local people have a better understanding of local issues than experts from the outside. Keep this in mind during the discussions and encourage local participants to express their ideas.
- Each session should start with a summary of the previous day's activities and with an outline of what is to come.
- Each day should end with a summary of the days activities.
1 - Tell them what you are going to tell them.
2 - Tell it to them.
3 - Tell them what you told them.
- Adhere to schedules, but be flexible enough to incorporate new ideas or to spend additional time where it may be needed.
- Illustrate issues and points with concrete examples which participants can identify. Summarize what you have said several times to make sure people have understood. Repeat entire sessions if needed. Try mini-exercises if needed to clarify issues.
- Point to charts when you talk about them: place charts in a visible place and easy to reach.
- Go around and see how people are getting on during the workshop. Remind people of what they are doing.
- Be sure someone knows how to change bulbs in projectors and overheads if you are using them.
- Keep breaks (tea, lunch, etc.) short. It is better to finish the day early than to extend to extend breaks, or to fill in time.
- During discussions or participant responses, ensure that only one discussion is being conducted at any one time.
- Avoid abstract diagrams or ideas.
- Control wandering of participants during presentations and discussions.
Make a Timetable
- A detailed hour-by-hour schedule is necessary for the workshop.
- First make a general outline, then the detailed activities.
- A helpful framework is as follows: