- 1 DEFINING A CLEAR WORKSHOP AIM
- 1.1 A successful workshop is one that achieves its aim.
- 1.2 C1 - Example: a clear workshop aim
- 1.3 C2 - Example: mistaking a medium-term strategy for a workshop aim
- 1.4 C3 - Example: mistaking a mission statement for a workshop aim
- 1.5 Making a strategic contribution
- 1.6 C4 - Task: define the workshop aim
- 1.7 C5 - Task: define wider organisational strategy
- 1.8 C6 - Task: define contribution to strategy
DEFINING A CLEAR WORKSHOP AIM
The aim is what the whole workshop is trying to achieve.
Often, the aim of the workshop will contribute to a wider, longer-term program or strategy.
A successful workshop is one that achieves its aim.
To ensure success, the aim must be achieved within the duration of the workshop. So the facilitator must be very clear about the difference between the aim, objectives and strategies of a workshop. Sometimes the facilitator confuses aim, objectives and strategies; and if the aim of the workshop is unclear or undefined, then it can never succeed!
Let’s look at some examples.
C1 - Example: a clear workshop aim
“To implement a community media programming and distribution plan in order to incorporate local content created by the target community within the regular community radio schedule”.
- This is a very clear aim which identifies exactly what the participants are expected to achieve by the end of the workshop; and exactly why they’re trying to achieve it.
- Using this aim, it will be straightforward for the facilitator to design objectives and appropriate activities.
- The success and impact of the workshop will be measured by whether local content is incorporated within the regular schedule.
C2 - Example: mistaking a medium-term strategy for a workshop aim
“To develop an action plan to document good practices; develop training curricula; and support learning programmes, organisational development and smart technology choices”.
- This is not an aim, since it doesn’t tell participants why they’re attending.
- This read more as a list of specific workshop objectives, around which participant activities will be designed.
C3 - Example: mistaking a mission statement for a workshop aim
To strengthen governance and management of community radio and its founding institutions, in order to run radio as a successful social enterprise that supports the mission of development.
- This aim tells us what the participants are expected to do, and why.
- But it is perhaps too ambitious; it reads like a mission statement rather than a clear statement of what will be achieved by the end of the workshop.
- It may be difficult for the facilitator to design workshop activities to “strengthen governance” and “run radio as a successful social enterprise”.
- How could you measure the short-term impact and success of such a workshop?
Making a strategic contribution
It’s not quite enough just to design a clear and achievable workshop aim. The facilitator should define how the workshop will contribute to the wider strategy of the organisation in a significant way.
For example, the aim of the workshop described in Example C1 (p.5) is:
“To implement a community media programming and distribution plan in order to incorporate local content created by the target community within the regular schedule”.
Let’s assume that a health communication NGO is running the workshop and one of the NGO’s wider strategies is “to improve the health and quality of life of poor people by encouraging the sharing of better water sanitation techniques”.
Therefore this workshop will contribute to this wider strategy “by establishing and testing local content and programming formats which support top-down water sanitation messaging”.
By writing down a clear workshop aim and contribution to wider strategy, all stakeholders can see exactly what the workshop is trying to achieve. So now it’s time to confirm the aim of your workshop, and describe how it will contribute to the organisation’s strategy.
C4 - Task: define the workshop aim
Complete this statement: The aim of this workshop is:
[type the workshop aim here.]
C5 - Task: define wider organisational strategy
Complete this statement: The wider strategy to which this workshop will contribute is:
[type the wider strategy here.]
C6 - Task: define contribution to strategy
Complete this statement: By achieving its aim, this workshop will contribute directly to wider strategy...
[describe how the aim will contribute directly to wider strategy.]