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This Media & ICT Planning Guide was written to help you plan and run successful ICT / media workshops which deal with strategic issues such as capacity building; programming; community inclusion etc. It assumes that you have basic experience with ICT / media workshops. It guides you through a series of exercises which will help you to:

  • Define a clear workshop aim, which contributes to existing organisational strategy.
  • Set specific objectives, and design activities to achieve these objectives.
  • Measure the workshop’s impact, and its contribution to organisational strategy.

What this Planning Guide does NOT try to do

This Planning Guide is not a step-by-step guide that you must follow precisely. Rather, the Planning Guide is a workbook that will help you design the most appropriate format for you and your participants to achieve your workshop’s aim.

The Planning Guide does not provide information on basic workshop planning and administration. If you need some advice on this, refer to How to Run a Workshop by Moynihan et al (2004, Amsterdam) which provides some excellent online advice for planning NGO workshops. If you have web access, this manual should be available online: http://www.networklearning.org/library/task,cat_view/gid,42/

This Planning Guide was not written for technical or engineering workshops.

There are many workshop planning books available for purchase, which may also be available to you from a library. For example, this Planning Guide often refers to How to Run a Great Workshop by Nikki Highmore Sims (2006, Pearson Education).

Comments and feedback

We really welcome your feedback on this Planning Guide, and your own ideas and experiences of ICT / media workshops. Please feel free to contact:

Ian Pringle - Education Specialist, Media, Commonwealth of Learning, ipringle@col.org

Planning Guide written by Jerry Watkins, May 2009.


If you’re reading this Planning Guide, then you probably know already that you want to run a workshop. You may have some idea of who you’re going to invite; where you’re going to hold the workshop; and what you’re going to talk about. That’s a good start.

Now, take a moment to reflect upon what you’re trying to achieve. Remember that in many cultures, a ‘workshop’ is traditionally a place where something is made, created, repaired or even updated by people with special skills and tools, working individually or together.

Therefore the most successful professional or community workshops can be those at which participants work together to achieve a solid outcome; for example a program idea or a distribution plan.

A workshop is not a strategy meeting

You may have attended workshops whose primary aim was to bring together a group of people to create new networks; discuss ideas; or even ‘brainstorm’. At this kind of event, there might be a lot of group discussions, but no really solid outcome. This kind of event might be better described as a ‘meeting’ and so should be planned and run quite differently to a ‘workshop’.

A workshop is not a training seminar

Skills development and training sessions are also often described as ‘workshops’. For example, an expert presenter might be providing new information and knowledge to an audience of producers or technicians. This kind of event is usually more about a one-way exchange of information from the presenter to the audience; and therefore might be better described as a ‘seminar’ than a ‘workshop’. A seminar will usually require far more extensive written assessment of participants than a workshop.

So are you really planning a workshop? An event where a group of participants will work together to achieve a solid outcome? If so, then this Planning Guide should help you. If you’re actually planning a training seminar or a strategy meeting, then you should probably refer to one of the many available books on these subjects.