Lessons from the NRNs
Capacity building and training
The knowledge gained through sharing of good practice and experience is complimented through the delivery of training initiatives. These actions are highly diverse as they are tailored to the specific needs of each group and can be broad in nature or highly specific. Various, innovative models for delivering training have also been developed, which themselves are examples of good practice.
Both the Maltese [PDF ] and Latvian [PDF ] NRNs have delivered generic training on specific themes to their LAG managers and, in some cases, to the managing authorities. This has helped new LAGs to better understand the RDP and facilitated more effective delivery. Actions can also focus on specific areas of need, with the Hungarian [PDF ] NRN delivering thematic training to improve the LAGs knowledge of and capacity to communicate. This training covered communication techniques and channels, effective presentations, and using the internet, with a particular focus on social media.
For more examples of how NRNs have supported stakeholders to learn the skills they need to enhance their ability to deliver measurable and sustainable results within both a professional and personal context, see the case studies below and the relevant experiences here.
Case Study: Building the capacity of LAG managers - Austria
In many cases, different LAG managers experience similar challenges in their everyday work. However, these often occur at different times, often depending on the maturity of the LAG, and consequently seminars and workshops are not always the right means of addressing them.
The Austrian NSU began looking for a learning tool that would enable knowledge transfer from experienced LAG managers to those with specific challenges or issues. Intervision, a tool for ‘cooperative counselling’ was already working very well in systemic consulting in professional organisations, so it seemed to be an appropriate mechanism to achieve this.
During an Intervision session, one LAG manager describes a problem or issue they have encountered and the other participants take on specific roles and review the situation by asking questions or interpreting the information provided. These roles can either be in relation to the problem or can also simply be the role of an observer, who gives feedback and provides new viewpoints to the person presenting the issue.
The Austrian NSU established a number of Intervision groups involving between four and five LAG managers, who were trained in the use of the tool. These groups have helped LAG managers to gain new viewpoints on their problems and to develop their own competences, sometimes through their own, self-organised Intervision groups. Currently there are several independent groups who regularly work with the Intervision tool or use it occasionally when a special need arises.
For this innovative approach to be successful there must be continuous and committed participation, openness, and mutual trust between all the participants in the Intervision session. The members must be willing to bring forward actual cases from their own professional lives and have a good understanding of the roles they take on without judging other members of the group.