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close this bookTrainer's Guide for Training of Elected Officials (HABITAT)
close this folderPart I - Planning for elected leadership training
View the documentElected officials training: a changing mandate
View the documentWhat these materials DON'T cover
View the documentAnother example of what these materials don't cover
View the documentIs this guide necessary?
View the documentOptions
View the documentClient - centred training
View the documentTraining needs assessment
View the documentProviding case - based learning
View the documentTen ways to fail when you use this material


1. Time options

You could offer training programmes that last from an hour to three weeks, using the materials available in the back of each handbook. We don't recommend these extremes, but they are possible. More logical time frames include half- and full-day sessions on each of the roles, although some participants in the field test of the materials suggested offering two full days on some of the roles. We have included more exercises than you will ever need to cover each of the roles, but we wanted you to have options to select from.

For example, you could conduct a two-week workshop; two one-week workshops; several one- or two-day workshops; or a series of half-day sessions each Friday afternoon if you have enough councillors in an area where this approach would be convenient. Your selection from among these options will depend on several factors, including the time councillors have available for training and what you want to accomplish during that time.

2. Presentation options

Your opportunities to develop more competent elected councillors should not be limited to holding workshops of the kind suggested above. For example, you could make a presentation at the annual local-government conference on the various roles performed by councillors. This would be an opportunity to promote the training and to enlighten the audience about new ways to think about roles that elected leaders can perform. Or you and your training colleagues could conduct several concurrent sessions, each discussing a different role as covered in the handbooks. Conference attendees could go to the session of their choice. Or you might decide to feature these roles in articles in the monthly local-government journal (if you have one) or a series of newsletters highlighting some of the points made in the essays, using examples from local experiences. The handbook essays provide lots of ideas to help you develop this kind of written dialogue with your elected constituents. But we believe that significant learning is best achieved when you provide an opportunity for councillors to come together for a lively discussion of these ideas.

The essays have been written to be used for home study by councillors who are eager to expand their knowledge and understanding of the various roles. If there are enough councillors in a geographic area who have taken this approach, your training institution can make this kind of self-study more interesting and effective by working with them on an occasional basis. For example, these self-starting councillors, who have opted for self-study, could be brought together on several weekends to discuss what they have read or to carry out group exercises under your direction and guidance.

3. CIientele options

There are also options regarding who you train at any one time. We've just mentioned one option. Depending on a variety of factors, you might want to conduct training sessions that include only council presidents and the chairpersons of key committees, divide participants by region or size of the jurisdictions they represent, or include only women. You may have a council that wants to do "in-house" training that includes only their own members and perhaps key members of their staff They may see the training as a way to prepare the council and staff for a more intensive strategic planning process. We would encourage you to work with councils that want to exploit training to achieve these kinds of outcomes.

Another possibility is to hold training sessions for councillors from contiguous jurisdictions who need to work more closely together to solve regional problems. Training could provide a less threatening environment in which to get better acquainted after which they might opt to discuss more substantive issues. The options available for using these materials to train councillors are limited only by your imagination.