This is a reference for Bob McDougall

Risk 'n' Role

The training activity took place
in Tbilisi, Georgia
organised by FRSE, British Council, SALTO

Aims & objectives

The aims were to increase the quality of international projects in the Youth in Action Programme through the development of participants’ competence in protecting young people in projects realised in cooperation with organizations from EECA region, due to the fact that:
• risk management is often dealt with on a national level; there’s no jurisprudence on European level
• national-level legislation is constantly evolving
• partners do not necessarily interpret the legislation in the same way
• risk assessment has a cultural dimension (perception of risk is influenced by one’s cultural environment)

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

There were 24 participants from 11 different countries.
This training course was meant for youth workers and youth leaders who:
- work directly with young people;
- have experience in international project management (at least one project that s/he coordinated);
- value the subject of risk management and have an interest in discovering it;
- are motivated to work on the topic in their youth projects afterwards;
- are from an organisation that is in a position to implement future youth projects or has their projects approved by the National Agency (we will work together to improve the quality of future projects);
- are committed to attend for the full duration of the course;
- feel confident to express themselves and work in English;
- are 18 years old or older;
- are residents of the Youth in Action Programme Countries and EECA region (we invited 15 people from Programme Countries and 15 from EECA region).

Training methods used & main activities

The course was based on the principles and practice of non-formal education taking into account participants’ needs, motivations and experiences. The activities and working methods were designed to encourage full participation, and were based on participants’ existing knowledge and experience. In the context of non-formal learning the working methods included: theoretical inputs, games & debriefing, group building, small group & pairs work, experiential learning, discussions, experimentation, sharing, questionnaires, input from experts, plenary work, creativity, research, exercises, analysis, working groups, workshops, case studies & role plays.
Communication between participants and mutual understanding was encouraged in order to enable participants to exchange their knowledge and competences and reflect upon them. The group was used as a resource for the learning process taking into account individual and group learning. The input from the trainers was timed in such a way as to compliment the stage of the learning process so that the contributions from the participants were reinforced or clarified by accurate summaries and observations. Room was given for regular feedback, reflection and evaluations and the trainers ensured that the programme was adjusted according to the needs of the group and the issues identified from the reflection groups.

Outcomes of the activity

Participants are able:
• to write a risk assessment for Youth in Action projects (before and during implementation);
• to identify potential threats and dangers during international projects;
• to manage identified risk;
• to involve young people/participants in the process of identification and reduction of risk in projects;
• to implement various tools and methods that can facilitate risk management;
• have a greater knowledge of good practice in risk management and differences in national realities in Europe.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

I worked alongside Hranush Shahnazaryan (Armenia) and Agnieszka Szczepanik (Poland). We were three co-trainers and shared the roles of delivery and support equally between the three of us. My key role was to represent the United Kingdom where Health & Safety and Risk Assessment are paramount and therefore I was able to bring an extreme perspective of a nation's risk aversion.

I worked on this training for 6 days as a full time trainer.

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