September 26-29, 2018, Córdoba, Spanyolország
A Training of Trainers (ToT) on Farmer organizations’ performance, equity,governance and negotiation was held in Cordóba, Spain between26 and 29 September 2018. The training was organized by the EU Bond project. Itfollowed the Interregional Forum of BOND in Cordóba, which brought together the60 beneficiaries, the project partners, associate partners, and otherstakeholders. The Forum took stock of the 2018 study tours (results andexperiences), shared good practices and involved participants in actionplanning exercises.
Young farmer leaders and trainers working in the BOND project took part theTraining of Trainers right after the Interregional Forum. They came from 14countries (Czech Republic, Greece, Bosnia Herzegovina, Moldova, Romania,Croatia, Albania, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Macedonia andBulgaria), so it was an ideal opportunity for common learning, sharing visionsand thoughts. The ToT aimed to empower farmer leaders and managers to advancethe scale and effectiveness of their organizations through improved bonding,bridging and linking capital. Presentations were held on four big topics and alot of group work helped the young farmer leaders and managers to understandand practice the learned skills together, straight away.
The firstday was about Bonding – Understanding theorganization as a group, its values and creating a common vision. Thepresentations gave insight into seeing the almost invisible emotional spacewithin an organization (e.g. what roles people can play); and how to transformconflicts by using emotional intelligence and non-violent communication. Principlesand values of the international cooperative movement and farmer organizationswere presented. The values equity and equality got special attention during thesessions. The group works focused on how to build a shared vision within anorganization.
The second large topic of the ToT was Bondingand bridging – Performance assessment and advisory services. Theparticipants got to know the framework for the analysis of organizationalperformance, that can be a useful tool for the self-assessments of farmerorganizations. A performance assessment questionnaire was filled in, evaluatedand group works helped to practice the self-assessment skills. Anotherpresentation introduced advisory services to farmers and rural communities. Participantshad the opportunity to discuss how their own organizations could provide suchservices.
The third day was about Bridging andlinking – Communication, dialogue and advocacy. Based on the skills learntin the previous days, the young farmer leaders and managers developedstrategies in group work, and framed action plans for their own organizations.Another very useful session introduced tools and techniques for communicationwith different stakeholders‘ group and media. Group works helped practicingconstructive dialogue techniques.
The final day focused on Linking – Negotiationand individual planning. Practical skills for negotiation were presentedand participants could practise these in group work. La Via Campesina’snational, regional, global level experience on advocacy for FarmerOrganizations was presented too.
The intense, four days training gave the participants new knowledge,insights, skills for understanding their own organizations, enhancingperformance, being effective in providing services. Furthermore, knowing theimportance of emotional intelligence; communication, negotiation andconstructive dialogue skills can be used by farmer organizations in theireveryday work and long term planning as well. The own individual action plans developedduring the ToT can help to apply the acquired knowledge and disseminate it inthe participants’ own countries.
Photos: Emma McInerney, Peter Kajner