|Training Human Settlement Workers in Eastern & Southern Africa (AFSC - Mazingira Institute, 1981)|
During the final evaluation session of the first Workshop on training human settlements workers in Eastern and Southern Africa, some of the participants expressed their concern that they had not spent as much time as they should have discussing training. Despite seven days of intensive morning, afternoon and evening meetings, they had not completely covered the topic. Nevertheless, it was agreed that some remarkable things had been accomplished.
On a shoe-string budget, twenty-five people from ten countries managed in only one week to learn enough about each other's countries and their work to realize that they shared a common concern for solving settlements problems by helping people to help themselves. They started an information network to continue their discussions and to include other colleagues in the region. They studied and visited projects in Lusaka, and still managed to discuss training and design the format for this publication which outlines their deliberations.
A lot of support was required to bring this all about and it was generously offered in the same small-scale and collective way that the Workshop was conducted. Initial encouragement from CUSO (Canadian University Service Overseas) helped bring the Workshop to fruition and special thanks are due to David Beer, David Sogge and John Saxby in this regard. CUSO also provided financial assistance and the logistic back-up of the Lusaka and Ottawa office staffs was greatly appreciated. Additional funds came from the limited budgets of OXFAM UK and OXFAM Canada, whose grant was matched by CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency). Travel funds were also provided by UNCHS-HABITAT and the Ministries of Housing in both Botswana and Sudan. After the Workshop, Mazingira Institute in Nairobi provided its facilities for editing the proceedings. Congratulations and thanks are also due to the participants themselves for the serious efforts which were put into their presentations and for their ready friendship and collegiality. I am sure they would especially want to single out those who took on organisational tasks during the meetings.
This publication is designed to be as thought-provoking as the Workshop itself was, and hopefully it will only be the first step towards more exchanges of information and experience.
Barry Pinsky, Workshop Coordinator, November 1981, Toronto.