Creative Facilitation & Collaboration, Cameroon
33 staff from 19 organizations in Cameroon focusing on conservation, gender equality and youth development, including Nature Care Cameroon, Pan-African Organization for Research and Protection of Violence on Women and Children, and the Wildlife Conservation Society, convened for their second year of training in Creative Facilitation and Collaboration. These organizations are grantees of CAI partner, New England Biolabs Foundation.
Cameroon is challenged by a host of environmental issues - from deforestation, poaching, desertification, poor sanitation and water services to a lack of government support. In this intensive course, our partners learned to master the primary elements of facilitating and designing participatory workshops.
• Participating organizations reported that 1,238 individuals have been impacted by the new approaches and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
• On average, there was a 43% increase in self-reported creative facilitation skills, confidence and understanding.
• 80% of the organizations have replicated the Creative Facilitation training with their entire staff, and some have included volunteers and other ally organizations.
• Youth are more interested and motivated to take charge of their future
• Fuller engagement of policy leaders in local government
• Breakthrough in sex education to discuss contraception and other family planning topics
• Improved flow of information and productivity among staff
• Improved communication with animals and volunteers
• More long-term thinking with staff and community
• Increased confidence and capability to work with groups
Project Spotlight: CAMGEW
Before training with CAI, CAMGEW attempted to initiate a top-down forest management plan with their stakeholders, sowing mistrust and hostility, resulting in little participation or buy-in. After the training, they shifted their approach to gathering community needs, concerns and input about proposed initiatives. In their meetings, they are now incorporating traditional song and dance, dialogue-based practices and community appreciation exercises. As a result, they have succeeded in co-drafting a new forest management plan with the community, and have seen improved levels of attendance, trust, communication, motivation and participation.