Facilitators are key players in BRIDGE – the success of BRIDGE relies on the quality of its facilitators, and the use of the right facilitation teams. Facilitators should be involved at all steps of the BRIDGE program – from providing advice at the beginning, to the customisation process, to running the workshops themselves and contributing to the evaluation process, and ideally, continuing to be involved in a sustainable program.
For this reason, it is important that a client organisation has access to a pool of potential facilitators (including regional/international) to contribute to various stages of a BRIDGE program, allowing for availability, diversity and different skills and strengths. For sustainability reasons, a strong pool of local facilitators is essential for any extensive BRIDGE program. It is up to the program team to evaluate how many local facilitators need to be trained, and whether there is potential for this to be done within the client organisation, or whether the program team needs to look more broadly at partnering with regional or international organisations to train facilitators.
Facilitators should refer to 6.3 Running a BRIDGE Workshop and the Facilitation Manual for further information on facilitating a workshop.
Choosing and employing facilitators and facilitation teams
The importance of the BRIDGE facilitator to a BRIDGE program means that attention must be paid to getting the appropriate facilitators for the program as they will be involved in high-level decisions on workshop customisation, selecting the right mix of materials and understanding the profile of participants. In addition to being qualified professionals, facilitators must also be good team players.
An informal mechanism operates for selecting accredited facilitators from the regularly updated database of fully and partially accredited facilitators. The responsible BRIDGE partner can decide or advise on the choice of international facilitators. Intuitive judgments need to be made about the right mix of facilitators for any given workshop, and for this reason program teams are advised to contact the BRIDGE Office for advice on this matter.
A facilitation team should be a minimum of two facilitators, and several things should be considered when putting the team together. A team approach to facilitation is best, and a workshop should not be run if an appropriate team is not available.
The process of selecting a facilitation team should consider the following:
Determining facilitator numbers
Different programs will have different facilitator requirements, and program organisers will need to decide early on how many local facilitators they will need to train to support a sustainable program.
Questions the program team should ask are:
Other things to consider include: