This is a reference for Hranush Shahnazaryan

Risk’n’Roll - Risk Awareness in International Youth Projects

The training activity took place
in Tbilisi, Georgia
organised by National Agencies of the Youth in Action Programme from Poland and the United Kingdom in the cooperation of SALTO Eastern Europe and Caucasus
07-12 October, 2013

Aims & objectives

The aim of the training course was to increase the quality of international projects in the Youth in Action Programme through the development of participants’ competence in protecting young people in project realized in cooperation with organizations from EECA region.

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

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

There were 24 participants from 11 different countries residents of the Youth in Action Programme Countries and EECA region.
Team was composed by Hranush Shahnazaryna (Armenia), Agnieszka Szczepanik (Poland), Bob McDougall (UK), Karolina Suchecka (Poland) and Georgi Bukia (Georgia).

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, inputs from experts, plenary work, creativity, research, exercises, analysis, working groups, workshops, case studies & role plays.

Outcomes of the activity

The programme was designed to support participants in recognizing the way they perceive risk and to apply the learning into their work with young people in their organisations. The participants were coming from various levels of understanding of what risk is so the programme was designed to ensure that from an early stage they would have a common understanding of it. The programme focused on the various elements that shape people’s reaction to risk i.e. legal dimension, customs, attitudes, life experience, reactions to new environments, the use of power and how abuse is defined in different cultures.
Once the foundation was set in terms of people’s understanding of risk and how they think about risk it was time to build ways to manage risks when they appear. Risk management on day three challenged the participants to manage the risks that they could be faced with during all the stages of an international youth project i.e. idea creation, partner finding, application, implementation, final report and follow up. Once the risks were identified the process for assessing the risks was introduced.
Despite all the planning, things can go wrong when working with young people so the programme focused on managing crises situations in international youth projects by using real life scenarios asking the participants to agree how they would react and manage this situation that was presented to them.
The next part of the programme focused on developing ways of including young people in managing risks. Many times there are opportunities missed by organisations to involve young people in controlling risks so this is an ideal opportunity to explore the learning of new competencies and skills at a young age.
The final part of the programme enabled the participants to process their own learning during the training course and to focus on the educational dimension of risk. They were asked to reflect on what they learned and to record practical steps that they can take to improve their practice in their work ensuring that risks can be identified and controlled. There was an input on SALTO.
The programme included daily reflection groups where the participants discussed aspects of the day’s learning and a representative from each group reported the main issues arising to the trainers ensuring a flow of information throughout the programme. The final evaluation consisted of a form and interactive methods capturing the mood and atmosphere of the participants. The feedback from the evaluation process indicated that the participants now have a greater understanding of what risk is and how to manage it in their work.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

Full team member, co-responsible for preparing, running and evaluating the course.

I worked on this training for 5 days as a full time trainer.

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