WoodCluster progress on teaching component: Conceptualization of Training of Trainers


Dr. Menfese Tadesse and Alexander Koch presenting ToT concept (©K. Hintz)

The WoodCluster project deliverables consist of two components: Research and Teaching. One of the outputs in the Teaching component is the “Training of Trainers” module. The following reports the progress, the process of which integrates recent empirical research and expertise of our team members.  

As part of the WoodCluster project, Dr. Menfese Tadesse (Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources of Hawassa University, Ethiopia) and Alexander Koch (Hochschule Rhein-Waal, Germany) met in Tharandt and commenced to conceptualize a Training of Trainers (ToT) to be applied in Hawassa, Ethiopia. The ToT will train extension units, such as local development agents or enterprise trainers from diverse training institutions. The goal is to demonstrate new training material and approaches that will ultimately help small-scale enterprises along the wood value chain develop their independent as well as collective solution-seeking capacity.

Dr. Menfese Tadesse is responsible for coordinating the proposed TOT as part of the training and education module of WoodCluster project at the Wondo Genet College. In the development of the TOT concept, he is mainly involved in the overall design and structure of the training, identification of stakeholders, modes of delivery, and how the TOT should be aligned with the Ethiopian government strategy in the forestry sector.

Alexander Koch, who conducted fieldwork on small-scale carpenters for his master thesis in Hawassa, contributed some insights about the situation of small-scale enterprises and development policy in Ethiopia. Even though many small enterprises have access to trainings through Technical and Vocational Training and Education (TVET) colleges, these trainings often lack a practical and participatory component, leading to many of the acquired skills not being applied effectively. An opportunity exists to help enterprise trainers enhance their participatory teaching skills.

The ToT will take shape in form of a workshop and will incorporate important teaching aspects such as effective communication, target-group adapted training and knowledge transfer strategies. The methods will be demonstrated with content that has already been partially produced within the WoodCluster project related to value chain analysis and upgrading methods, especially linked to collective action and innovation.

After being able to propose an initial ToT-concept and gather valuable feedback during a colloquium at the Chair of Tropical Forestry in Tharandt, the team will next develop a more detailed work-plan. The project component aims to have a Trainer Manual by the end of this year and apply a test ToT in early 2021.

By Alexander Koch and Menfese Tadesse

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