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close this bookTraining for Elected Leadership - The Councillor as Decision-maker (HABITAT, 1994, 22 p.)
close this folderPart II. Workshop on the councillor as decision-maker
View the documentOverview
View the document3.1 Warm-up exercise: decision preferences checklist
View the document3.2 Trainer presentation
View the document3.3 Exercise: good and bad decisions
View the document3.4 Simulation: the allocation decision
View the document3.5 Case study: a central bus park for Rumai
View the document3.6 Skill transfer exercise



The performance of elected leaders is judged by the decisions they make. Better decisions can mean improved government performance and a more positive image of local government and those who govern.

This workshop is designed to provide participants with an understanding of the decision-making process and to explore the various styles and methods use by those with decision-making responsibilities. Councillors who complete the workshop mill be able to identify blocks to good council decision-making and to plan and implement strategies to avoid or remove them.


brief description of each learning activity is shown below with an approximation of the amount of time required. If you wish to change the order, omit something, or to add training material of your own, feel free to do so.

3.1 Warm-up exercise

Participants individually choose which of five types of decision-making they prefer in their councillor roles. The pros and cons of each preference are then discussed in plenary session. (45 minutes)

3.2 Trainer presentation

Brief presentation on council decision-making. Draw on material from the essay to cover how decisions are made, stages in the process, barriers to decision-making, and how council members can be more effective decision-makers. (30 minutes)

3.3. Exercise: good and bad decisions

In groups of five to seven, participants are asked to list characteristics of Councils that make good and bad decisions. Encourage participants to think creatively about ways to improve council decision-making performance. (120 minutes)

3.4 Simulation: the allocation decision

Participants take part in a decision-making simulation involving a council budget session where several citizen groups are competing for a large grant of money received recently by the council. Allow time for three presentations, council deliberation, and discussion of the decision outcome. (120 minutes)

3.5 Case study: a central bus park for Rumai

In small groups of five to seven, participants read a case containing a problem that might face any city council. Each group is asked to read the case, reach a decision, and answer questions about the approach they followed in arriving at the decision. Observers are assigned to each group to monitor the process actually followed. (60 minutes)

3.6 Skill transfer exercise

Participants reflect privately and, then, share with others what they intend to do after the workshop with what they have learned about decision-making at the workshop. Encourage personal commitments to change. (45 minutes)