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Working together and strengthening local capacities

Talent development

Blog Post

Save the Children's Carol Hatchett shares messages from trainers and facilitators from Talent Development, a project which brings organisations together to build local capacities.

The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in May 2016 highlighted the importance of organisations working together and strengthening local capacities.

Talent Development, a project funded by UK aid and sitting within Start Network's Disasters Emergencies Preparedenss Programme, aims to do just that. We're bringing organisations together and building the capacities and competencies of more than a thousand humanitarian workers in Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Jordan and Kenya.

So, six months on from the WHS we look at some of the messages from the people involved.

Muna Abbas, a facilitator involved in the Humanitarian Trainee Scheme, Jordan

"None of the trainees had experienced anything similar before, being young graduates with limited work experience, so this course was challenging. They had to work with new people in a difficult environment, in a second language (English), completely cut off from their families, working long hours and had to cope with the challenges we put them through. I’m sure that was a personal learning experience and they became more mature after the training. I’m really proud of them. I feel that they have learned and gained a lot and I think that many of them have great potential to have successful careers in the humanitarian sector, I can see their passion."

Illiassou Adamou, a trainer involved in the Context training (run by Oxfam and Bioforce), Democratic Republic of Congo

"By the end of the training, participants have acquired, among other things, a better understanding of humanitarian situations (variety of actors, vulnerabilities and capacities), humanitarian principles and team leadership. Participants acquire new skills (team management, beneficiary involvement, better time management, team spirit, etc.), which can translate into improved work with communities and better quality listening, taking into account beneficiaries’ points of view and creating more space for beneficiaries during the planning and implementation of humanitarian responses. They gain an enhanced ability to communicate with their managers and create conditions to make their voices heard within their work teams and have an opportunity to share experiences with other participants and with the trainers.

They also demonstrate changes of attitude, leading to more interactive staff who support each other through working groups that carry on meeting after the project has ended, ensuring continuation of the learning process. The programme participants’ managers have been unanimous about its contribution to strengthening the skills of their staff: participants are empowered and their managers have more confidence in them."

Michele Cueni, a facilitator in the Leadership for Humanitarians Signature Programme, Jordan 

"Every single time I come home, I feel I am so rich and lucky to be involved in such a programme. There was a beautiful story recently about a gentleman in the Za’atari camp in Jordan. It was all about unleashing talent, which is one of the components of the programme. It looked as if there was going to be no water to be delivered to Za’atari for three or four days – a real emergency - but he managed to turn it around so that the refugees noticed no difference. They delivered the water and he attributed that purely to unleashing the talent of his team. And he was extremely excited about it.

"The result and the highlight of the programme is that we can serve the communities they work with. This is what is amazing. Not only the participants benefit, but also in all cases their teams benefit because they have listened more and they have aligned their systems together. Then the whole organisation has also benefitted and of course who they are serving, and that, of course again is the most important thing. So that truly is a win-win-win for everybody, from the individual/participant right through to the beneficiary. And I find it inspiring.

Read more about Talent Development.

Read more about the Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme.

Photographs courtesy of Save the Children UK, Oxfam/Bioforce and Relief International

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  • by Startnetwork