EASUN Board Training Gets New Energy in Uganda

14 civil organisations in Uganda to conduct board training facilitated by EASUN between August 2014 and January 2015

Awareness of the need for NGO board training was raised in a workshop organized and facilitated by EASUN. The workshop was held in Mukono (25 from Kampala) and attended by 16 (13 men 3 women) board members, Executive Directors and senior programme staff of civil society organizations in Uganda. EASUN Board training Sensitization workshops (BTSW) are held each year as an institutional development and networking event for CSOs in East Africa. The learning and board training needs identification in the BTSWs is directed mostly at Board members and Executive Directors of CSOs in the region. Indeed, as noted by one participant in the Mukono workshop: “These normally are the people who don’t normally want to let go. They die on the organization—‘on the vine’”.

Wide scope of civil society interests represented in the workshop is visible in the profile of participants, which included: 1) Mayor of Kasese Municipality, 2) Minister of Rwenzururu Kingdom and adviser to Bishop, 3) Personal Assistant to His Majesty the King of Rwenzururu Kingdom, 4) Head of community of women living with HIV; 5) Programme Director, Women’s Global Empowerment Fund.   

The 2014 Board Training Sensitization workshop marks the first time that EASUN organized its own major civil society institutional development (ID) activity in Uganda. Its success was made possible by good collaboration between EASUN, DENIVA (Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations) and Uganda NGO Forum (UNGOF). Many of the participants in the workshop came from organizations that are members of these two national level NGO networks in Uganda.  

NGO board members trained by EASUN see need to “break structure”

Board members participating in the Mukono Board Training Sensitization workshop noted and appreciated the participatory training methodology used by EASUN facilitators, which enabled them to see questions and issues embedded deep in their organizational cultures and structures that often create stuck situations in their leadership and organizational processes. They recognized how NGOs unconscious embrace of hierarchical structures tends to negatively impact their capacity to manage organizational transitions, as well as organizational values and institutional identity that may lead them to creatively lead civil society organizations in Uganda to become places of human growth and development

EASUN evaluates process to create new knowledge in training situations

Evaluation methodology used in the Board Training Sensitization Workshop is a practice of EASUN that includes surfacing the learning process itself. In Mukono, it enabled participants and the facilitators to assess the impact of group learning activities and to consolidate the knowledge generated from the interventions. Such learning based M & E in Mukono, for instance, supported knowledge creation about 1) relational qualities of leadership” 2) leading to sustain collaboration in organizational teams and networks;  3) active leadership to facilitate shared purpose in organizations and communities. The knowledge generation was achieved through creative learning processes such as “the garden walk”, “cooperation game” and “listening at 3 levels exercise”