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close this bookTraining for Elected Leadership - The Councillor as Enabler (HABITAT, 1994, 18 p.)
close this folderPart II - Workshop on the councillor as enabler
View the documentOverview
View the documentWarm-up exercise: the nine dots
View the documentTrainer presentation
View the documentExercise: service delivery options
View the documentExercise: stakholder's map
View the documentCase study: the Million Houses Programme
View the documentSeries Skill transfer exercise

Overview

Purpose

The complexity of problems facing urban communities makes it increasingly difficult for elected leaders to get things done in traditional ways. Gone are the days when a handful of councillors could sell an elegantly crafted solution to a patiently waiting population. Dawning is a new day where success in addressing community issues calls for mutually beneficial partnerships, active participation by many people, and a new role for the councillor as a catalyst, a broker, an "enabler."

If you meet a hungry man and give him a fish, he will not be hungry; but, if you teach him how to fish, he will never be hungry.
-An ancient Talmudic lesson

This workshop is designed to provide participants with an understanding of the enabler as one who seeks to enlist others who are affected by community problems to help themselves by taking an active part in finding solutions. Workshop participants will explore creative alternatives to conventional methods of service -delivery and how power sharing and collabouration can be used by elected officials as powerful forces for getting things done.

Contents

A 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, to omit something, or to add training material of your own, feel free to do so.

6.1 Warm-up exercise: the nine dots

Participants are asked to find the solution to a puzzle to demonstrate that many problems can be solved only by getting outside conventional ways of thinking. (15 minutes)

6.2 Trainer presentation

Brief presentation on the councillor as enabler. Draw on material from -the essay that opens this unit to clarify what it means to enable the activities and performance of others. Distinguish between the production and the provision of public services. Explain how collabouration and power sharing can accomplish more than independent action and when these techniques can and cannot be used effectively. (30 minutes)

6.3 Exercise: service-delivery options

Participants, working alone, list programmes and services that are currently being carried out by their governments and then in small teams to identify and analyse alternative ways to deliver one of these programmes or services. (45 - 60 minutes)

6.4 Exercise: stakeholder's map

Based on a seemingly unsolvable problem their city is having, participants, working in small groups, develop a map showing all of those who have a stake in seeing the problem solved. (90 minutes)

6.5 Case study: the million houses programme

Participants read a case and discuss the potential of decentralization and citizen involvement in dealing with complex community issues and in creating greater trust and positive regard for local authorities. (60 minutes)

6.6 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 enabling at the workshop. (45 minutes)

Warm-up exercise: the nine dots

Time required: 15 minutes

Objective

This is a classic exercise used by trainers to demonstrate how preexisting ways of thinking can prevent us from seeing new ways of doing things. It can be substituted for a longer warm-up exercise when time is a factor or can be used at any time during this or other training units to encourage creative thinking.

If you want to have different results, you need to have different thoughts.

Process

Display on newsprint the pattern of nine dots as shown below. Ask participants to reproduce the pattern on a sheet of their own paper. Give them the task of connecting all nine of the dots by drawing four straight, continuous lines without lifting their pencils or retracing a fine.

The Nine Dot Pattern

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Allow participants a few minutes to make several attempts. Ask how many of them solved the task. Either have a volunteer step forward to display the solution or else show participants how it is done by drawing the lines yourself The key to the nine-dot problem can be found in the Trainer's Guide on Training for Elected Leadership.

1. Lead a discussion of the exercise focused on the three following or similar questions:

2. What approach do we take in attempting to solve the problem? (e.g., we visualize a square and try to circumscribe it, leaving the centre dot untouched.)

3. What change in our thinking is necessary for us to find the solution? (We have to step outside the mental box that we create for ourselves or others create for us.)

4. What implications does the nine-dot problem have for your performance as councillors?

Trainer presentation

Time required: 30 minutes

Objective

This presentation is to provide participants with ideas and perspectives on the enabler role and a conceptual foundation they can use for the individual and group exercises included in this workshop.

Process

Prepare the presentation based on information from the preceding essay on the enabler role. In particular, clarify what it means to enable the activities and performance of others. Distinguish between the production and the provision of public services. Explain how collabouration and sharing responsibilities can accomplish more than independent action and when these techniques can and cannot be used effectively.

Outlined information on note cards may help you cover the information systematically and stay on schedule. Ask questions from time to time during the presentation as a check on participant comprehension and to hold their attention. Augment the presentation with visual aids including pre-printed newsprint sheets and overhead transparencies as a further aid to comprehension.

Exercise: service delivery options

Time required: 45-60

Objective

This exercise is meant to stimulate creative thinking about different ways of doing what local governments are accustomed to doing - producing public goods and services. The twin focus on creativity and on alternative delivery systems makes this exercise a good introduction to understanding the enabler role.

Process

Ask participants individually to make a list of three programmes and services that their local governments currently perform using their own employees, equipment and facilities, programmes and services that could be performed by someone else.

When participants have completed the task, divide them into severalsmaller groups of four to seven members each. Ask each group to select one programme or service from one of the lists and to identify at least one way the programme or service could be carried out differently (maybe better) without using the government's employees, equipment, or facilities. Ask each group to list the advantages and disadvantages of the service option(s). A worksheet is provided on the next page for use by participants in making notes on service options and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Reconvene the small groups after about 30 minutes and ask for reports. Initiate a discussion about the benefits that can result from new ways of delivering government programmes and services.

*The amount of time scheduled for this exercise may be extended up to three hours depending on the number of programme and service examples participants are asked to consider.

SERVICE OPTIONS WORKSHEET

Programme or service


_______________________________________________________

Alternative service delivery method


_______________________________________________________

Advantages

1.

_______________________________________________________

2.

_______________________________________________________

3.

_______________________________________________________

Disadvantage

1.

_______________________________________________________

2.

_______________________________________________________

3.

_______________________________________________________

Based on your analysis, what would be your recommendation:


_______________________________________________________

Exercise: stakholder's map

Time required: 90 minutes

Objective

This exercise is to expand on some of the ideas about the importance of involving key people in the process of solving problems and making decisions about issues that affect them. Using community groups to plan and participate in problem-solving can lead to the resolution of many seemingly unresolvable problems.

Process

Ask participants to identify a problem in their city which seems to be unsolvable using the city's own human and material resources. If there is a team or teams present from the same council, ask them to work on a current problem facing them as a council.

Divide participants into smaller groups of six to ten. Ask each small group to prepare a "stakeholder's map" consisting of the names of individuals, groups, or organizations that are directly influenced by actions taken by others relative to the problem or that would have a stake in seeing the problem solved. Ask participants to draw their maps on newsprint sheets using the example on the next page as a guide.

After about 15 minutes of map-making, have small groups report. In the ensuing discussion, have the various groups assist one another in adding to their respective lists of stakeholders.

When each group has reported and received assistance from other groups, reconvene the small groups and ask them to complete three tasks:

1. Identify the three to five most important stakeholders;

2. State why they are the most important stakeholders;

3. Describe how the council might go about getting the most important stakeholders involved.

Ask each small group to report its results in a plenary session and ask participants to critique each other's presentations.

End the exercise with a general discussion of the importance of involving others (enabling them) and the various ways that local governments can collabourate with others in the delivery of programmes and services.

ILLUSTRATIVE STAKHOLDER'S MAP


Figure

In this example, the councillor represents a rural area which today has 10 per cent of its population receiving potable water. The council is responsible for finding a way to participate successfully in the national goal of a potable water supply for 90 per cent of the country's rural population in 10 years. The national government has adopted a strategy of reaching this goal through a network of community-based water systems. The councillor in the example has identified the stakeholders involved in carrying out this strategy and has entered their titles in the oval-shaped figures. As you can see, a circle at the centre of the map contains the goal.

Case study: the Million Houses Programme

Time required: 60 minutes

Objective

This case study is to provide an opportunity for councillors to visualize and appreciate the strength of decentralization and citizen involvement in dealing with complex community issues.

The case should not be used as a substitute for the stakeholder map exercise but might be used to supplement it in a full-day workshop design. In any event, participants should be provided with presentation material on the strategies used by the community energizer, consensus builder, and "enabler," before being introduced to this case.

Process

Distribute copies of The Million Houses Programme and ask participants toread the case. If possible, arrange to provide participants with copies of the case to read before the workshop.

After participants have read the case, divide them into small groups of four to seven. Give each small group the tasks of.

1. Identifying the stakeholders in the case and making a list of them using the worksheet at the end of the case.

2. Answering the four questions following the case.

Reconvene workshop participants after about 20 minutes and ask for reports from each small group. Encourage a general group discussion.

THE MILLION HOUSES PROGRAMME

Perspective

The Million Houses Programme is a unique approach to shelter production developed in response to economic and demographic conditions in a developing country. It remains one of the few examples of national housing policy in which the role of the public sector is confined entirely to the direct provision of technical and financial support to individual low-income households and communities.

Background

Ten years ago, administration of the country's National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) was decentralized to the district level. Emphasis at the start of the programme was placed on the development of a system for community housing administration instead of constructing or upgrading individual dwellings. To accomplish this, the NHDA assisted local housing authorities to train community development officers whose principal responsibility was to stimulate the formation of community development councils (CDCS) representing between 50 and 100 households in slum or low-income housing areas. With the assistance of the NHDA housing officers and local community development officers, the CDCs were responsible for subdividing and platting land, formulating building standards, deciding on the level of infrastructure provision, and managing the disbursement and recovery of governmental loans. The CDCs resulted in a new layer of government to serve as a liaison between individual households and the established urban local authorities.

The Million Houses Programme developed a process of learning-by-doing by participants at all levels. In a relatively short time, the national government had converted the NHDA, established for the centralized control of public-housing production through the construction of costly and highly subsidized dwellings, into a participatory technical and financial assistance agency. Through this process, some 50,000 families have benefited each year. It has been estimated that small government loans (a maximum of US$350 per household) have stimulated the release of nearly three times that amount from the private savings of low-income homebuilders. The construction industry's artisan level and the building-materials market have grown rapidly, creating new jobs and incomes at the lowest levels. Through partnership between the public and the community sectors, a new form of community confidence, stability and development has been generated in those urban areas reached by the Programme.

Questions

1. What were the major actions or decisions that account for the positive outcomes in this case?

2. What do you suppose would have happened had the NHDA continued to exercise centralized administrative control over local housing production?

3. What types of community programmes and services might be addressed effectively by a highly decentralized and participative system or organizations like the CDCS?

What are the two or three most important lessons to be learned from this case about enabling others to take greater responsibility for community problems?

Note.. The situation described in this exercise is based on a 1984 Sri Lanka programme aimed at decentralizing shelter provision and establishing a partnership between communities and local authorities with a focus on community participation.

WORKSHEET

In this space below, make a list of those individuals or groups that you believe are stakeholders in this case.

Series Skill transfer exercise

Time required: 30-45 minutes

Objective

This exercise is to help participants transfer the learning experiences of the workshop into their real-world activities as elected officials. The focus of this exercise is on raising expectations, engaging in realistic planning, and making personal commitments. Most of the work is done on a personal basis with some interpersonal sharing.

Between knowing and doing there is a wide chasm.

It is generally agreed that the purpose of training is to improve the way people do things by showing them a better way. In fact, the success of a training experience can be measured by the amount of personal growth and change that takes place both during training and after the training is over.

Training rarely has the impact on workshop participants that trainers hope it will have, particularly after an exposure of only a few hours. The exhilaration of the moment fades quickly when the trainee is confronted with old work habits and the resistance of work associates who have not shared the training experience.

On the other hand, commitments to learning and change made at the close of a workshop can help participants overcome learning resistance in themselves and in the work environment. A trainer can help learners make a successful transition from the world of learning to the world of doing through a few simple planning exercises. Think about it this way. The time taken to
encourage learning transfer could be the difference between a brief exposure to some interesting ideas and a life-changing experience.

Process

Spend at least half an hour at the end of the workshop to focus the attention of participants on important learning's and encourage them to continue experimenting with these learning's in their council activities. Begin by giving participants about 15 minutes to work independently on a simple learning transfer questionnaire.

When participants have completed the questionnaire, ask them to share quickly with the group two or three things they intend to do differently in their council roles as enablers to close the workshop.

A LEARNING TRANSFER QUESTIONNAIRE

Take a few minutes to reflect on the role of the enabler, the new ideas you encountered in this workshop, and how you feel about them. Then, in the space below, write a sentence or two to describe something interesting you have learned about yourself during this workshop.

Based on what you have learned about yourself and the many possibilities for change presented by this workshop, what two or three things do you intend to do differently in your council role as enabler?

1.

__________________________________________________________________________

2.

__________________________________________________________________________

3.

__________________________________________________________________________

Finally, what obstacles in yourself or in your work environment do you expect to experience during your efforts to implement these changes? What will you do to remove or minimize these obstacles?

Obstacle

Action to remove the Obstacle

1.

________________________________

1.

___________________________________

2.

________________________________

2.

___________________________________

3.

________________________________

3.

___________________________________

If you can learn it, you can do it.