5. Types of Trainings

Film 6: Epicenter Training Courses:


There are different in which knowledge, information and skills are transferred to the community in the Epicenter Strategy;

  • General Training Sessions
  • Animator Training Courses
  • Informal Training Sessions
  • Village-Based Workshops

5.1 General Training Sessions

General Training Sessions are led by Implementing Officers or, more commonly, External Facilitators, mainly from local Government departments. These training courses transfer knowledge or skills directly to members of the community to assist them with their development activities. The main courses are those in improved farming practices, delivered to all interested farmers and those in SACCO or VSLA management, delivered to respective group members.

5.2 Animator Training Courses

Animator Training Courses are delivered by Implementing Officers or External Facilitators to Animators, who are trained in how to effectively pass on what they have learned to their communities, through conducting Village-Based Workshops. The first part of any animator training is on the community mobilization principles of ‘vision, commitment and action’, with the second part focusing on specialized content relating to their thematic area.

Implementing Officers may facilitate entire courses themselves, or only just certain components, or it may be fully delivered by an external facilitator, with Implementing Officers present to check quality. Though all Animator training courses contain an element of training on ‘vision, commitment and action’, only the VCA Animators are trained in depth on conducting VCA workshops with their communities.

Animator Training Courses are the primary focus of this toolkit.

  • Informal Training Sessions

Informal Training Sessions are mostly conducted by EPOs. These are arranged when some aspect of a training has not been fully understood or to address a specific issue that has arisen in the community. Typically, these sessions last about half a day and have no budget allocated.

  • Village-Based Workshops

Village-Based Workshops (VBWs) are primarily led by Animators and delivered to the members of their community at the village level. Animators conduct VBWs to mobilize their communities and pass on the training they have received. Unlike the formal training courses, which last several days, VBWs should last for a maximum of two hours and aim to cover only one topic at a time. Experience has found that is does not work well for animators to attempt to cover all aspects of a training in one go when conducting the VBWs.

Process of Conducting a VBW

The relevant traditional leader for the village where the workshop is to take place should be informed in advance for each workshop. This allows them to inform and mobilize the villagers to attend the workshop. Animators may also be required to go from door to door notifying villagers of the workshop too.

The workshops take place within the individual villages at a communal location, this should be somewhere with minimal distraction. It is recommended to have a fixed venue and time or date of the month – for example: “every 1st Tuesday of the month at 2:00pm at the village headman’s house” for the community workshops, so that the villagers know where and when to meet. Animators should keep a record of participant attendance.

DLOs or EPOs meet with Animators and go over their plan for conducting the VBW, to ensure they are covering the correct topics and sessions have been scheduled sensibly. DLOs/EPOs also hold feedback meetings, where the Animators share their experiences and lesson learned for the future. Animators should also ask the local traditional leader whether he/she can assist in facilitating the planning process if appropriate.

In terms of materials requirements, the Animators should be given pens and signing sheets to allow them to record attendance. Animators should also be given copies (in the local language) of the training manuals that are used to train them in the respective Animator Training Course, to use for reference when they then conduct VBWs on the same topics.

An example timetable for an Animator-led VBW is given below:

Figure 7: Example of Animator-led Village-based Workshop Agenda

No. Agenda Item Duration (Mins) Notes
1 Opening remarks and workshop agenda 10
2 Introducing Participants 10 Complete participant registration sheet
3 Summary of previous workshop 5
4 Course Content 30 Refer to relevant manual provided from Animator Training
5 Group Discussion 30 Use questions from relevant manual provided
6 Activity 15 Use suggestions from relevant manual provided
7 Plan for next workshop and closing 5 Set expectations and encourage participation