Implementing a Train the Facilitator (TtF) workshop
A TtF is also a more complex implementation task than a standard BRIDGE module. The nature of the workshop is that it is quite intensive in non-facilitation tasks, and needs to be quite narrowly targeted and planned. Thorough planning is crucial for a successful TtF.
A TtF is much less structured and predictable than a standard BRIDGE module because of the scope that it gives to participants to develop and create their own activities. Because of this, implementation of a TtF needs to take some extra issues into account.
Administrative support is essential to a TtF. A TtF involves many more ad hoc administrative tasks (such as procurement, printing and photocopying) than a standard BRIDGE module. Facilitators will know from the beginning of a standard module the activities they plan to present, and the resources they will need. In a TtF, as participants are developing and creating activities throughout the two weeks, this is much less predictable and it is essential to have an administrative support person to deal with participants’ requests and the flexibility of the workshop, in addition to usual BRIDGE administrative tasks such as venue management or travel.
A TtF requires sufficient space to allow participants to work quietly in partners preparing activities and presentations. Breakout rooms are highly desirable, although a large enough main room can be sufficient. There should be enough tables and chairs for each pair to work separately, without distraction from other pairs.
A quiet area to give feedback is also essential. Facilitators will spend the last day of the TtF giving verbal evaluations to the participants on their performance at the TtF, and ideally there should be several private rooms or areas where this can be done.
TtF materials differ from standard module materials. In addition to the Facilitators and Participants handbooks, there is also a Participants Workbook, Facilitation Manual and the BRIDGE curriculum.
Implementation Manuals should also be provided for participants who are likely to be involved in implementation as well as facilitation.
There should be ample generic stationery available to allow participants to be creative, but also to work with the kinds of things that are likely to be available to them – e.g. coloured paper, glue and sticky tape, markers.
It may be useful to ask participants to bring along laptops if they have one, to facilitate their activity development, or to have several PCs available for use. However, computer access is not essential, and it can also be useful for participants to learn how to operate without computer support, as they may be expected to facilitate in areas where this is not available.
Access to a photocopier and printer is essential for a TtF as participants will want to copy handouts, and if they have laptop or PC access, to print out materials.
As usual, a projector (OHP or data) is also required, along with a screen or bare white wall for projections, and facilitators may choose to use DVDs/videos which may require a television and player. A small stereo for music can also be useful for both activity work and more informal use.
Ideally, a social outing should be arranged for the middle weekend of the two-week TtF. It provides a welcome break to an intense and lengthy workshop, plus the opportunity for participants to socialise. If participants are international or from outside the host city, a cultural outing is ideal.