Course Details - Facilitating Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration for Food, Agriculture and Nature

Multiple stakeholders, multiple interests!

Today’s world is faced by many complex issues: the over-use of natural resources, climate change, continuing poverty and inequality. Quite simply, these complex problems require innovative solutions that call for new ways of working together across the boundaries of business, government and civil society.

However, good processes don't just happen, they need to be designed and facilitated. Specifically, they need to be designed and facilitated on the basis of a sound rationale for change based on a good understanding of the context, with a clear purpose and vision in mind, and based on principles for transformative change.

This obviously implies some quite specific facilitation capacities and skills - from the capacity to engage with the complex political context underpinning the rationale for the MSP, to the capacity to work with individuals and groups in a way that enables them to challenge themselves and each other in the quest for new approaches and collaborative learning. The course covers state-of-the-art thinking about designing and facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships and institutional change.

Using and learning from your own experiences

The course is highly interactive and builds on the participants’ own experiences and cases of MSPs. You will have active discussions, work on group assignments, engage in role-plays and undertake fieldwork to explore a real-life MSP. You will practice with a wide range of participatory methodologies and tools. The course facilitators follow a flexible programme that allows adaptation to the specific needs of individuals and the group.

Becoming a good process facilitator

At the end of the course you will feel confident to design and facilitate complex change processes, in which diverse stakeholders are able to meet, share experiences, learn together and contribute to decisions.

Programme

The main topics of the course are:

  1. INTRODUCTION: What is an MSP? Where is it applicable? What are the different types?
  2. RATIONALE: Why do we need MSPs? Introductions to complexity thinking, systems thinking, institutional change, experiential learning, Theory of Change.
  3. PRINCIPLES: What are the key elements for successful MSPs? Embrace systemic change; transform institutions; work with power; deal with conflict; communicate effectively; promote collaborative leadership; foster participatory learning. Using interactive processes and tools to achieve this.
  4. PRACTICE: How to design and facilitate MSPs? Different phases of an MSP: initiating, adaptive planning, collaborative action and reflective monitoring. Reflections on group dynamics, preferred communication and facilitation styles.

This course is taught in a blended format: partially online and partially in person in an OKP country

Our courses are currently taught blended and follow this format:

  • Online pre-course assignments for you to get to know WCDI and for us to get to know your work environment and your expectations about the course;
      • Interactive plenary sessions where we share content, review assignments and facilitate exchanging experiences. During those interactive sessions we work with a number of online tools like Google Jamboard, Mural and Mentimeter. A part in online sessions and a part in person;
  • Group work either online or offline where you with other participants address a specific question or do an assignment. Results of these assignments are also shared and discussed during online sessions;
      • Individual assignments where you will read literature, watch videos, and do exercises on your own. These assignments are an essential part of the learning and most of them count for getting the certificate. They are meant to introduce or deepen knowledge and make the link between theory and your own situation. These assignments are reviewed either by peers or facilitators.

In some, but not all courses we go on virtual field visits – showing you ‘live’ situations in the field, or with companies or organisations that we collaborate with. We offer coaching trajectories where we support you one-on-one or in small groups to review your individual learning paths in the course and help with any basic questions you may have.

Online platforms: Zoom and TalentLMS

Internet connection is important for the completion of the course. Not sure about the connection in your area? Send training.cdi@wur.nl an e-mail about your situation.

We use Zoom as a facilitating platform for all our online courses. Our courses take place in general over a 6-8 week period to make the workload and time you spend online manageable.

Our online learning system is TalentLMS. Everything you need — our course programme, chatrooms, assignments, background information are in this system. TalentLMS is easy to operate, can also be accessed by your phone and has an on-and offline functionality. We even organise a technical check-in before the course starts, to test your facilities and get familiar with the tools.

Course planning and certificates

The course workload is approximately 16-20 hours a week (2-2.5 workdays).

The exact data of your course will be available 2-3 weeks before the start of the course. If you’ve successfully completed your course we send you a digital certificate.

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