Introducing Community Management Training
Training for Strength; A Community Management Training Methodology
by Phil Bartle, PhD
1. Introducing Community Management Training:
This document describes a methodology of management training adapted and applied to the process of empowering low income communities.
For whom is this document? It is aimed at community empowerment facilitators, trainers, officials, leaders, mobilizers, donors, programme officers, planners and others interested in community work who may find this document useful.
1.1. Why Management Training for Communities?
In organizations (corporations, profit enterprises, non profit agencies, clubs), management training results in far more than some skills transferred to individuals; the organization itself becomes stronger, more effective and purposeful in its goals, methods, and identity (more organized).
With appropriate management training, so too can communities. Management training, along with social animation (community participation promotion), empowers communities.
Sustainable development, the empowerment of low income and disenfranchised groups and categories of people in urban and rural communities and neighbourhoods, in the provision and maintenance of human settlement facilities and services, is the broad, overall goal of a community management programme.
The primary methodology is training, but not training in the orthodox sense of running a training institute to teach skills to trainees who then each leave with a specific set of techniques. This is training, through individuals to be sure, but not only for those individuals but for the empowerment and increased effectiveness (in self development) of their communities.
1.2. Not "Once-And-For-All" Training:
The training itself is part of a process of empowering communities, not just skill acquisition for trainees. That process takes time; all community work is time consuming.
Trainees need ongoing support plus a forum to share experiences with each other and produce solutions to problems encountered in the field. Thus the training must be ongoing, and continually revised to meet changing conditions in the target communities and among the trainees.
Community workers of all varieties need to be frequently revitalized. To combat discouragement that they may acquire while they work among their target groups and communities, they should routinely come together with colleagues doing community work elsewhere, to share ideas and encourage each other.
As well as learning new skills, they can share information and encouragement in the context of ongoing training. Training should not be "once-and-for-all."
1.3. Training as Organizing:
Later in this document, the notion of training that goes beyond the orthodox concept of transfer of skills will be explained. This is training as empowerment, or capacity building, of the group as a whole, which transcends the abilities of the individuals in that group. Essentially, this means using the training sessions for organizing. See Organizing.
Organizing includes: (1) creating new organizations where none existed before, or (2) reorganizing currently existing organizations.
There are two kinds of organizing that may overlap: (1) organizing for decision making, and (2) organizing for more effective action.
Illustration 2: Assessing the Community Situation;
Note: To copy or download each image from its URL, right-click on it and choose the "Save_Picture_As" option in the pull-down menu. Also see Community Strengthening Cycle Illustrations , Disaster Illustratons, Income Generation Illustrations and Extra Illustrations for complete sets with no text. You can down load the illustrations from there for producing your own training material.
© Copyright 1967, 1987, 2007 Phil Bartle