|Training Manual in Combatting Childhood Communicable Diseases Part I (Peace Corps, 1985, 579 pages)|
|Module 3: Community analysis and involvement|
|Session 15: Working as a counterpart|
TOTAL TIME: 4 hours
A very important working relationship for the Peace Corps Volunteer is the one they maintain with Host Country Nationals who are their Counterparts. The Counterpart may be assigned to or identified by the Volunteer. At different times the Peace Corps Volunteer and the Counterpart will be consultants, friends, and leaders in their collaborative efforts. When the PCV leaves the community, the Counter part hopefully will remain to carry on the projects they began together. Because projects depend greatly on the relationship between the PCV and the Counterpart, the Volunteer needs to have a clear idea of their roles and the nature of their involvement with their Counterparts and with the community. In this session, participants define what it means to be a Counterpart, examine the role and relationship of the Volunteer and Counterpart, and explore ways to maintain a collaborative relationship.
· To explore different styles of working with others and assess the consequences of those styles in development projects. (Steps 1, 2, 4)
· To develop a working definition of Counterpart (Step 3)
· To examine the role and relationship of a Volunteer and his or her Counterpart. (Step 4)
· To solve a problem related to working with a Counterpart using the OFPISA problem-solving method. (Steps 5, 6)
The Role of the Volunteer in Development (Peace Corps)
- 15A Working Style Inventory
- 15B Continuum of Volunteer Helping/Working Styles
- 15C The OFPISA Problem Solving Model
- 15A Style Analysis
Newsprint, felt tip pens.
This session, while designed primarily for pre-service Volunteers, should prove useful to in-service Volunteers as well. For in-service training Steps 1, 2, 4 and 5, should be adapted to reflect the realities of the PCV's own personal experiences and previous training. The problems they choose to solve in Step 5 should be current problems they are facing.
Prior to this session invite a Volunteer and his or her counterpart to make a brief presentation on their experiences of working as a team. This presentation occurs in Step 4. Ask the pair to address the issues of how they came to work together, the "working styles. they use, and how these styles have changed through time. Before their arrival, send them a copy of the working styles inventory and the continuum in Handouts 15A and 15B. Ask them to use the ideas and terminology in the handouts to structure their talk.
You should obtain from the Peace Corps Country Program Directors
or second year Volunteers any guidelines that have been established for
selecting a Counterpart (e.g. language capabilities, status in the community,
formal educational background). This information should be used in Step
Step 1 (30 min)
Personal Working Styles
Explain the session overview and clarify each of the objectives. Distribute Handout 15A (Working Style Inventory). Have the Trainees read the instructions, do the inventory and score them selves afterward. Answer any questions which may arise. Suggest that Trainees move through the situations on the inventory without spending too much time on any one. Explain that there are no " right answers" and that the objective is to gain a sense of their working style. Any attempts at "second guessing" the inventory are defeating the purpose.
When the Trainees have finished calculating their scores, tell them that this inventory corresponds to a continuum of working styles and that their scores correspond to one of the following styles:
- A = Direct Service
- B = Demonstration
- C = Organizing with Others
- D = Indirect Service
Distribute Handout 15B (Continuum of Volunteer Helping/Working Styles) and ask them to read the explanation of the styles provided on the handout.
Ask for a show of hands of high scores in each of the four categories of styles. Discuss the continuum diagrammed at the top of the handout. Ask the Trainees to identify "who is responsible for the work. on each side of the diagonal line. Have them determine the extent to which dependency and/or self-reliance are being fostered by each working style. Discuss whether or not they feel that the inventory is an accurate reflection of their working style; and, if not, why?
When discussing "who is responsible for the work. on each side of
the diagonal line of the continuum, have the participants examine this issue in
terms of both working with a community and working with a
Step 2 (35 min)
Working Styles Continuum
Have the Trainees divide into pairs, such that each person in each pair scored high in a different category of the continuum. Assign the pairs the following tasks:
1. Discuss two or three of the situations from the inventory and for each one, share the reasons that you scored it the way you did, including any conditions that were present that made you decide one way or the other. Some examples of conditions might be the credibility of the PCV, similar past project failures, the timing of the project in relation to the situation, and so forth. Try to discover what assumptions you are making.
2. For each situation, discuss what the consequences of your choices may be in relation to the principle of working towards eventual self-reliance for the community and for the Counterpart.- What are the critical factors to be considered in each situation?
- What might be some consequences of a tendency toward any one style?
- What are the long term/short term effects of each working style?
- How does your need to establish credibility and your need for positive reinforcement influence your working style?
- Is self-reliance a desirable goal in all cases?
- During this discussion, what were the points you generally agreed and disagreed on?
At the end of the discussion, have the group draw some conclusions about the advantages and disadvantages of the four working styles by completing the newsprint chart you have developed from Trainer Attachment 15A (Style Analysis).
Prior to this step draw on newsprint a large version of Trainer Attachment 15A (Style Analysis) and keep this posted in a visible spot for the rest of the session.
The following summary, taken from The Role of the Volunteer in Development, includes points that should be mentioned during the discussion on the various working styles.
"These four styles can be seen as related to stages in the development of self-reliance. For example, in a beginning stage, a group may never have worked together, may not have any technical resources and may not believe that it is possible to make improvements. In such a situation a Volunteer may decide that the best way to get things moving is to: a) establish credibility; b) show people that (for example) a good laying hen can be produced; and c) salvage a bad situation. In so doing, he or she may decide to simply do the work himself or herself and show the skeptical that something could be done. In this instance, the Volunteer may be using a combination of "direct service" and "demonstration".
Tell the group that the rest of the session will primarily focus
on what it means to be and work with a Counterpart and the advantages and
frustrations that occur in this type of working
Step 3 (20 min)
Introduce this step by asking the participants to define the terms "Counterpart" and "Colleague". Ask them which of these words they would use to define their relationship with the other members of their training group and which would apply to their relationship with a Host Country National who is:
a) assigned to work with them by the Government;
b) someone in their community who is already working in the Volunteer's assigned area;
c) an interested community member.
If they differentiate between these terms ask them to discuss on what basis they are making a distinction. Possible points for discussion include:
- the status implied in the two terms (e.g., hierarchy or equality)
- cross-cultural values associated with either term
- level of training/experience of the Host Country National assigned to this program area
- amount of training the participants feel they will be responsible for imparting to a Host Country National or receiving from this person
- supervisory roles.
Have them comment on any insight they may have gained by examining these words and their concepts.
The purpose of this step is to have the participants begin to
examine their thoughts on how they tend to view what being a Counterpart means
to them. This term for pre-service participants may be one they've never used or
thought of before and they may view it as a concept that is only used in
cross-cultural contexts. In talking with others in the training center,
participants may have formed the impression that a Counterpart is a person that
has less status or educational background and is the recipient of the
Step 4 (35 min)
Conversation With A Counterpart
Introduce the Volunteer and his or her Host Country Counterpart who have been invited to attend this session. Tell the participants that their guests have been asked to share the experiences, difficulties, and benefits of their relationship. At the end of the presentation open up the floor to questions from the group.
Ask this pair to conclude their presentation by using the chart in
Trainer Attachment 15A as a format for listing the advantages/ disadvantages of
each working style they have used.
10 Minute Break
Step 5 (60 min)
Begin this step by asking the group to look at the two lists from Steps 2 and 4 which contain a summary of the points made for and against each type of working style. Ask them to select one disadvantage or frustration that they listed under the heading "Organizing with Others".
Distribute Handout 15C (OFPISA Model and Work sheet) and ask the group to read it. Using the problem selected by the group, work through the problem solving worksheet with them, clarifying along the way any questions they may have.
When the group feels comfortable with the model, ask them to select three other problems listed on the charts and form three small groups. Tell each group to resolve their problem using the OFPISA model as a format.
Answer any questions participants may still have about the assignment and tell them they have 40 minutes to complete the task.
Prior to this step prepare on newsprint a large version of the problem solving worksheet from Handout 15C to use with the group.
Ask the guest Volunteer and Counterpart to work with the small
groups as they solve their problems.
Step 6 (30 min)
Presenting Their Solutions
Have each group present their problems, the solution and the steps they used to reach an agreement on the solution. After each presentation allow a few minutes for other participants to discuss the solutions and to determine their acceptability. After all three groups have completed their presentations ask them to discuss:
- how helpful the model was for solving their problem.
- how the OFPISA model compares to any other problem-solving models they may have used in the past.
- how they think they may use it in the future.
Step 7 (10 min)
Planning for the First Month in the Field
With the help of the guest PCV and Counterpart, have the participants brainstorm a list of actions for selecting or working with a Counterpart that could be taken during their first month in the field. This list may include for those without assigned Counterparts:
- Establishing criteria for selection (e.g., language, formal education, sex)
- Determining actions to take for the selection process (e.g., meeting with village leaders, talking with ministry or program officials)
- Identifying resources for compensating the Counterpart's.
For those participants who will be assigned a Counterpart, the first month might include such activities as:
- Jointly determining their duties and responsibilities vis-à-vis the program
- Establishing program or project objectives
- Developing a work plan.