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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Leadership Tools for Grassroots Trainers

One of the fronts in our exploration is the creation of leadership development tools that can be used by grassroots leadership trainers. In India we tested whether the CCL tool Visual Explorer – a set of pictures used to facilitate creative thinking and group dialogue – could be used by trainers who work with youth and community organizations. Philomena Rego observed two tests with Adrian Rosario, a leadership trainer who had only been provided Visual Explorer tool along with simple written instructions. She reports:

We used Visual Explorer with a group of 185 college and working youth in South Bombay, India. The facilitator used Visual Explorer with the framing question: where are you in the bigger picture? These youth were asked to consider where they see themselves playing a role at the present how they could become more involved in playing a leadership role. It was amazing to see them in small groups talking about their role in schools and at work and how they are able to make a difference in their own small ways. Some of these young students felt that they had the responsibility to make this world a better place for everyone.

Jeevan Dhara is an NGO based in Cheetah Camp, Mumbai. This is Asia's second largest slum. Jeevan Dhara operates pre-school classes for children, adult literacy classes and study classes. It also works on HIV/AIDS issues and drug & alcohol rehabilitation. Visual Explorer was used with the teachers of the above programs. The framing question used was "how do you see your work/role in this community?" The session was conducted in Hindi, as the teachers are mostly Muslim, and Hindi is the most understood language in Mumbai slums. The teachers enjoyed the session which was aimed at improving their ability to work together and stay committed, inspite of the difficulties. VE helped them to express themselves more freely since they were speaking about the picture they had picked. The pictures do not have any language barriers.

Another Visual Explorer session was held with a small group of Young Christian Workers in Mumbai on August 24th. This group wanted to help each other see the importance of belonging to the group and sharing their thoughts. The group felt the pictures made it easy for them to talk about themselves and what each of them contributes to make the group strong and meaningful.

The success of Visual Explorer in field tests such as this has encouraged us to pursue the development of a broader range of inexpensive tools that can be used by grassroots trainers, teachers, and community workers. These tools work best when they are simple to use and flexible in their range of application. More on Visual Explorer at:


chuck said...

Very nice work!

Eshan said...

Thanks for sharing the information about Leadership skills development training programs in India. It is very informative.