Planning and Workshop Moderation

I found it feasible to lump the two aspects of planning and workshop moderation together because in practice they are often intertwined. However, a lot of my interventions (CEFE appreciation workshops, organisational development, and participatory action research) ended up in presentation or planning workshops taking the findings of the mission into account. With my training background, I usually took care of these moderation assignments instead of calling in a neutral moderator. In a very few cases, the project chiefs favoured the idea of having that neutral person so that I could concentrate on defending the ideas developed during the assignment.

Introduction to the 4th Round Table on the future of the Rwandan handicraft sector. This meeting has been organised during two days with all stakeholders (ministries, craftsmen, donor organi-sations, provincial authorities, national chamber, etc.) present.

The basic planning techniques I applied were the ZOPP method (target-oriented project planning) which under the new name “project cycle management” – with a few alterations – has been adopted by the European Union as their principle planning method.

However, SINFONIE (systemic interpretation of the nature of factors influencing organizations and networks in their environment) seems to be more appropriate and more thrilling to the participants because it understands projects and any sort of development intervention as a multi-dimensional undertaking with several cause – effect relations. Compared to this, ZOPP only looks simplistically at single cause – effect relations while forgetting numerous other constellations and possible effects.

I discovered that moderation qualities are extremely helpful in all kind of encounters: business analyses in the enterprises including workers and administrative staff, dealing with provincial or district chiefs and their subordinates, presenting CEFE contents and methods during brief meetings with decision makers or interrogating high-level authorities of line-ministries or project partner institutions. Wherever you go in the development world and whosoever you have to consult, brilliant communication and moderation techniques including an excellent visualisation, summaries to the point or cracking jokes at the right time are extremely helpful.