footsteps: Facilitator Development Programme


footsteps  is a professional not-for-profit association of Organisation Development (OD) and development practitioners working with civil society organisations (CSOs) in Africa and other parts of the world which provides products and processes that strengthen CSOs and enhances effectiveness and impact. The organisation supports CSOs to contribute to ensuring justice, health, equity and development in society.

Footsteps is conducting the Facilitator Development Programme from 12-22 August 2012 in Scottburgh, KwaZulu-Natal.

The Facilitator Development Programme (FDP) is an intensive 10-day learning programme focused on supporting participants to deepen and develop their capacity to facilitate participatory processes.

A core curriculum and a clear conceptual and theoretical base form the foundation for this tailor-made programme that is co-created with the participants and adapted to the needs of the particular participant group. Practise is at the centre of the programme. As a participant you will experience real facilitation situations and learn from your own experience and that of others’, by facilitating and practising both giving and receiving direct feedback with trainers and fellow participants. Originally developed by Olive (OD & T), the programme is led by practitioners with extensive local and international experience in training, facilitation and organisation development. Participants come from a wide range of different sectors as well as from every continent and most African countries. Facilitation is a relational practice and you are the person doing the relating! Thus you can’t develop your facilitation skills beyond a purely technical level without working with yourself. Personal development and reflection are core components of the programme. You are the instrument of your practice! This is an opportunity to work with personal development as well as with skills development. A wide variety of methods and techniques are used in the learning process including creative and non-rational ways of working.

Participants will learn:

  • To work more effectively with themselves - to become more aware and relationally skilled;
  • To engage more effectively with others;
  • Enable others to make conscious choices and work towards achieving their goals.

By the end of the 10-day learning programme, participants will:

  • Have a framework for understanding the process of facilitation;
  • Be introduced to core issues and concepts in facilitation;
  • Have practised facilitation and related skills, and received individual feedback;
  • Be more aware of your own current patterns of facilitation and how these are shifting/have shifted;
  • Be more (self-) aware of how you relate, communicate, lead, manage, facilitate, train;
  • Have experienced the development of a group and reflected on how to facilitate this process;
  • Have designed a strategy to continue to develop yourself as a facilitator and how to introduce new/useful ideas on facilitation practice into your own organisation or practice;
  • Be excited about the “art” of facilitation and committed to further exploring and engaging in facilitation practice.

Who should attend?

The FDP is an excellent learning opportunity for anyone whose work is to support learning and development processes with people.
Participants come from a wide range of sectors as well as from every continent and most African countries. Over the past decade, the FDP has been attended by leaders, managers and field workers from NGOs and other local and international development organisations, private consultants, change agents in government, and individuals interested in becoming more effective at supporting change and development.
Why attend this programme?
Some would argue that ‘development is not working!’ footsteps suggest that a fundamental reason for this is that relationships and process are often not taken seriously. This is strange, given that:

  • Making change is all about process;
  • Sustainable change requires that relationships develop, transform and evolve.

Increasingly there is a recognition that multiple stakeholders need to be engaged if development is to succeed. But this recognition is often not reflected in practice. The old ‘machine’ model of the world persists - partly because it has been effective in giving us a degree of control over the material world, but also because it provides the security (or at least the illusion) of control and progress. But reality is more complex.

Real social systems and real human beings are not simple, well defined and completely coherent. They are often fragmented and irrational - they move and change in surprising ways. Learning to work with this fluidity is one of key challenges facing everyone in the development arena.

Facilitation is one practical approach that supports people to engage positively with this complexity. In the present context of high diversity, multiple competing interests, insecurity, unpredictability and global volatility and change, there is a great need for people capable of engaging flexibly and gracefully with what is. An orientation of “planned flexibility” is key to facilitation. The FDP provides space and support to learn more about this.

We make it happen together ...
This programme works through your active engagement. Choosing to participate means choosing to join a powerful learning community with enormous potential. The depth of your learning will depend a great deal on how you choose to engage.
The Facilitator Development Programme is led by practitioners with extensive local and international experience in training, facilitation and organisation development.

To obtain an application form, e-mail to

For more about footsteps, refer to

Event Start Date: 
Sunday, 12 August, 2012
Event End Date: 
Wednesday, 22 August, 2012
Event Venue: 
Cutty Sark Hotel, Scottburgh
Event Type: 

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