|Step by Step Group Development - A Trainer's Handbook|
Self-help organizations (SHOs) are mushrooming all over the world. In the context of development efforts they acquire utmost importance, in urban as well as rural areas. The motives of SHO-members to join and pool their efforts may vary from case to case. In many instances economic aims are associated with social and psychological benefits which may arise from an increasing self-esteem and acceptance in society. Among the most active within the self-help movements are womens groups.
Growing together in a group is a long and sometimes painful process. Members aims and commitment may differ, conflicts arise, economic drawbacks, lack of support, bad leadership and external interference may pose serious difficulties. Lack of formal education, organizational, and technical skills often hamper the development of groups, but even more fundamental preconditions for success are mutual trust, and the ability to create and maintain open and horizontal communication relations among members and leaders.
Appropriate training in all these fields is vitally needed. Training which responds to the groups needs in various development stages and which enables them to take and carry out their own decisions and monitor their performance. These training efforts should not only include technical and commercial aspects of managing a group business, they should also help the members to foster satisfactory group relations, to build up self-consciousness and develop their identity as groups and individuals.
The Deutsche Stiftung für internationale Entwicklung, Zentralstelle für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (DSE/ZEL) (German Foundation for International Development, Centre for Food and Agriculture Development) has been active for many years in offering advanced training opportunities in the fields of Management and Promotion of Self-help Organizations, for participants from SHOs and promoting organizations in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In these training courses, participatory training methods are not only being applied but also trained and evaluated. Exchange of experiences among participants is a key element. In this context the need for suitable and easy to apply training materials on topics like group development and community participation has become obvious. In the eighties, DSE-ZEL developed an introduction to Participatory Approaches for Cooperative Group Events *) which focussed on participant and problem-oriented working methods supported by mobile visualization.
*) DSE DOK No. 1637 C/a, completely revised edition, 1991, distributed by DSE-ZED, 53225 Bonn, also available in french (DOK 1404 A/b) and Portuguese (ISBN 85-85213-019)
Today, we are glad to present a training manual which is designed for direct application with groups on grassroot and multiplier levels. The author developed this manual during her research and education work in Zimbabwe, in close collaboration with the Association of Womens Clubs. The material was applied in Zimbabwe and again tested in a DSE-ZEL training course at Feldafing, Germany in 1994, with participants from various African countries.
We hope this manual will find good acceptance among practitioners of self-help promotion all over the world and will prove fruitful in enabling self-help groups to achieve their development goals. Comments and further suggestions are welcome.
Feldafing, December, 1994
Dr. E. Krüsken
Director of DSE-ZEL
This book is the result of a two-weeks-workshop, held in 1991 with 25 area trainers of the Association of Womens Clubs in Mutare/Zimbabwe.
These female trainers deal with groups in their work as multipliers. Handling the many different expectations, including the training of skills, animating and facilitating in adult education as well as leading income-generating groups to project planning and management, certainly requires training and assistance, too.
When we finished the course and collected the material used in a handout for the participants, we decided to open the material to a larger group of people.
With its background information, exercises and games ready for use in daily group-work, this book is a worthwhile helper for all kinds of trainers on grass-root-level, especially those facing the tasks of developing countries.
It is written in an easy and understandable language with remarkable examples and ready-for-use exercises.
Based on the experience of the workshop and on many tips and hints from different group-workers, it serves as an introduction and a companion in further education of the trainer and group-worker him/herself and his/her work with the group.
Before we start, I would like to give many thanks to those who helped me to bring the whole project foreward:
To the Association of Womens Clubs in Mutare, especially Mrs. Moyo and Mrs. Samatanga for their support;
Krischan Johannsen, for his assistance with many of the chapters;
To the Evang. Fachhochschule for Social Studies in Freiburg/Germany for supporting me with equipment and professional advice;
To the Kath. Landseelsorge in the Archbishopric of Freiburg/Germany and the German Foundation for International Development, Centre for Food and Agriculture Development, Feldafing/Germany for their support;
To Marie-Luise Küchler for the pictures;
To Catherine Johnson for language revision;
To the Friends for Zimbabwe for their financial assistance during the workshops;
and, last but not least, to the women who attended the workshop, where it all began!
May all these peoples work be fruitful for those who will use the book!
Mutare, Freiburg 1992/1994