Lots of contracts require some kind of group feedback: a presentation and Q&A session. But the jobs outlined below all required specific facilitation skills and processes which are a bit more developed than managing a simple workshop.
Occasionally I have been contracted to actually facilitate a large and tricky meeting – to stimulate debate, manage conflicting positions, generate consensus and steer participants towards a common set of actions. More usually, the need for this has become apparent during the course of the consultancy process, and I have offered to play this role.
Either way, facilitation (or as consultants like to joke, facipulation – getting the result you want out of a group of people) is a specialised skill. You need to manage time, process, egos and agendas, and always keep the purpose of the event at the front of your mind. It’s fun, too. And exhausting.
And no, the picture isn’t relevant. I wasn’t about to put a boring picture of people in a room playing with sticky notes up there. It’s a pretty raised path / flood prevention scheme from Bangladesh.
Facilitation contracts, and other jobs where formal facilitation was necessary
2016 – Lead consultant for the Danish Red Cross on behalf of a DIPECHO consortium and a range of partners including the Government of Nepal.
Role: Design and facilitate national level simulation exercise.
2016 – Facilitator – International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
Role: My second time to facilitate the DMWG – this time in Switzerland – with a strong focus on global surge response tools.
2016 – Facilitator – for the RC Movement DMWG
Role: Facilitate three day meeting of senior international disaster managers
2015 – Nepal Earthquake Recovery Advisor / Coordinator – for IFRC
Role: Provide technical advice and coordination support to Nepal Red Cross, develop the recovery plan and gain buy in from RC Movement partners. Facilitate Movement Wide partnership meeting.
2013 – Team Leader – for IFRC and the Pakistan RC
Tasks: Design of simulation materials; management of facilitation team; facilitation of 3 day event; lead lesson learning workshop and document.
2013 – Team Leader – for IFRC and Bangladesh Red Crescent
Task: Lead the team to undertake a detailed review of three linked cash transfer programme components for floods / landslide response. Facilitate a lesson learned worship for key stakeholders.
2013 – Designer, facilitator, and report author – for IFRC and CaLP
Key questions: what can be done by humanitarian agencies to better plan for swift, large-scale cash transfer programmes?
2012 – Team Leader and facilitator; proposal author – for American Red Cross, Haiti.
Main tasks: included detailed multi-sector options analysis and participatory workshop with HQ and field stakeholders to finalise proposal.
Innovation: Detailed technical approach to response option analysis
2011 – Sole consultant – for CaLP
Key tasks: consult trainers and participants, review monitoring tools, recommend changes to approach, content and monitoring
2010 – sole consultant – for IFRC Geneva / Haiti
Task: Develop a business plan for the recovery operation
2009 – Sole consultant – for UNDP Suriname
Objective: support the GoS in a multi-stakeholder process to reflect on the floods of 2008, develop a capacity analysis, hazard mapping, action plan, and strategic framework
2009 – Author – for IFRC and Indian Red Cross
Key task: Support the finalisation of the 5-year strategic development plan