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How the Context programme is building humanitarian skills in DRC

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We spoke to Guillaume Bahizire, a co-facilitator of the Context programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Part of Talent Development, the Context programme provides long-term learning and development through face-to-face group-based learning, coaching, individual project work and web-based learning.

"The skill development needs in the region remain huge. I think that the impact of the Context project in the region has been positive, but would be even more so if the project could continue, allowing us to train more humanitarian personnel."

- Can you explain your experience as an observer, then co-facilitator, in the Context project?

I started as an observer for a Core Skills workshop, which was an interesting experience, but also a bit frustrating. I had already been a facilitator on other training courses but, in that case, I was initially asked to simply observe. I later realized that I needed to have that experience in order to understand the method and fully assimilate the tools of the Context programme. That enabled me to adapt and to appropriate the content of the workshops, as well as learning how best to communicate with and facilitate the other trainers. I learned a lot. I was then given the role of co-facilitator, which I found really interesting. I’ve learned a great deal from others, and continue to do so.

The Context programme has enabled me to grow, while also meeting and making contact with other, more experienced, facilitator colleagues, who know how to support multidimensional groups of participants. Through the Context programme I have also learned about the tools and methodologies adapted to the different workshops and how they are used. In my view, the Context programme is ground-breaking; it provides a response to the humanitarian needs in the countries of the Great Lakes region. The tools are tailored to the programme, while the content of the modules is well designed and is adapted to the reality of the area.

"In my view, the Context programme is ground-breaking; it provides a response to the humanitarian needs in the countries of the Great Lakes region. The tools are tailored to the programme, while the content of the modules is well designed and is adapted to the reality of the area."

- Can you tell us about the participants, their learning journey and the project's impact on them?

The participants of the various workshops that I have observed or facilitated come from different backgrounds - international NGOs, national NGOs, the UN, support staff, programme staff, and so on - which has been very interesting. I have noticed that they are very focused and have great determination. The workshops are always participatory and there is always a desire to press ahead.

The dynamic is always good, with lively discussions both in the plenary sessions and in the working groups. There is also good group cohesion during the workshops, with a good balance of presentations and input between women and men. What’s more, women's participation since the first CORE and M&L programmes is worth noting, as it demonstrates that the gender perspective has been taken into account in the Context programme and that Congolese women are committed to taking training and strengthening their skills.

Concerning the impact of the programme on the participants, I would say that without a doubt it has been positive. The participants have gone on to implement in their organizations the skills acquired during the training. They are applying the humanitarian standards and principles and are contributing to improving responses to humanitarian crises. Some have even been promoted to positions of greater responsibility within their organisations.

"The participants have gone on to implement the skills acquired during the training. They are applying the humanitarian standards and principles and are contributing to improving responses to humanitarian crises. Some have even been promoted to positions of greater responsibility within their organisations."

- What do you think about the place and impact of the Context project in the region?

Many humanitarian workers had difficulty accessing training to develop core skills and management and leadership skills, and the DRC Context project was seen as a real opportunity in the region. Some people had even sold their plot of land to take similar training in Europe and elsewhere, so finding this course here in DRC was very welcome. However, the skill development needs in the region remain huge. I think that the impact of the Context project in the region has been positive, but would be even more so if the project could continue, allowing us to train more humanitarian personnel.

Talent Development is part of the Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme, funded by UK aid.

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