Before CD4D2 participants go on their assignments, IOM offers a pre-departure training focusing on effective ways to transfer their knowledge. ‘If you want your assignment to have a sustainable impact, it is important to create empowerment and ownership,’ says trainer Wim Nijssen.
This year, 25 participants took part in sessions to prepare them for their CD4D2 assignments in Somalia. Since the COVID-19 pandemic all pre departure training sessions are given online. This has the additional advantage that the participants can practice on how to present online since for the foreseeable future most assignments will occur on a virtual basis.
The online pre-departure training is delivered in two sessions and gives the participants tools and a deeper insight on how knowledge can be transferred and the ability to discuss expectation management with other participants. Wim Nijssen, who has many years’ experience in training people who go on missions abroad: ‘As CD4D participant, you are an expert in your field, but transferring knowledge requires very specific expertise. Also, the people you will be training, and their host organizations have high expectations of you, which will be quite challenging.’
With this training, Wim prepares the participants to be true ambassadors for CD4D2 with a focus on obtaining concrete results. During the training, participants learn what is expected from them during their assignments and how they can achieve their objectives. ‘Cultural awareness is another important issue as well as gender-aspects,’ says Wim.
The training requires interactive involvement from the participants, who are encouraged to share what they think are the most effective methods for knowledge transfer aimed at achieving optimum results. ‘Depending on the aim of your training, the country and the general setting. Sometimes teaching in the traditional way may be best; an alternative is discussing possible solutions together. Your aim is sustainability: will the people you train be able and willing to carry on without you?’
Since COVID-19 most CD4D assignments take place online. ‘Participants can practice their skills during the online pre-departure training. How can you make your virtual assignment a success? Know the platform you want to use. Define your personal presentation style and create a very clear storyline. And that is what the pre-departure training is all about: how to get your message across aimed at a sustainable impact.’