This is a reference for Arsen Simonyan

TOGETHER HAVE YOUR SAY! “50-50” training course

The training activity took place
in Ijevan, Armenia
organised by Council of Europe
Nov 1-6, 2018

Aims & objectives

The course aims to improve participants’ competences to develop youth participation in youth policy processes in Armenia, especially at the local level, and to implement projects for youth participation in line with the Council of Europe Revised European Charter on Youth participation and the Recommendation on Young People’s Access to Rights.
The course objectives are:
1. To develop a common understanding of the rights-based approach towards youth participation and youth policy;
2. To discuss the current context, recent initiatives and developments in the youth field and analyse the actual state of play, roles of different stakeholders including local authorities in youth policy in Armenia;
3. To explore, analyse and to reflect on existent forms, tools and methods for youth participation, on their accessibility, efficiency and relevance for diverse groups of young people in Armenia, particularly in rural areas and contexts;
4. To develop participants’ knowledge about the European Revised Charter on the participation of young people in local and regional life and Recommendation on Young People’s Access to Rights and to reflect how to apply them in their contexts in Armenia;
5. To develop participants’ competences to facilitate youth participation in decision making process and in strengthening cooperation between different stakeholders of the youth field at local, regional and national levels;
6. To contribute to improving dialogue and cooperation among participants for new initiatives that sustain and strengthen youth participation, notably in rural areas;
7. To improve knowledge about and strengthen cooperation between the Council of Europe and youth policy actors in Armenia.

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

There were 4 trainers and Educational Advisor from CoE.

Training methods used & main activities

non-formal methodology was bases for the training.
Have Your Say! Manual, 8 Key Standards of Youth Policy, RBA and other frameworks, tools were used.

Outcomes of the activity

The training course underwent recurrent evaluation, and as a baseline for it, on day one the up-to-date expectations of the participants were collected.
The expectations were mostly in line with the objectives of the course. Nonetheless some of the ideas of the participants were reflected in the updated programme of the course and some were referred as not realistic to be addressed during the training week (such as broader community development and youth work support). The full list of expectations can be found under Annex 3.

Apart from the on-going debriefing of each activity and the verbal/dynamic assessment of the training process on daily bases, we carried out a short written mid-term evaluation of the training on Day 4, focusing on three essential questions:
- What do you still need to further investigate on your own or within the course?
- What will you store and use later? What was not relevant for you at this point?
- What did I learn until now? What will I take with me?
The Mid-term evaluation results gave some interesting insights to the learning process by then and gave further confidence in the need of the raised topics and the choice of the methodology.

On the last day of the training, prior to departure the final evaluation of the training course took place, which consisted of two elements: 1) a final round of main learning and wishes to the group, using the Dixit cards for inspiration, 2) a written evaluation of the course using an e-form, which participants could also feel in after getting home, within a week of training’s completion.
The written evaluation was filled in by 22 of the participants, which can be considered an almost 100% result given the fact that the participants who had resigned during the course were not obliged to will in the form.
Overall the participants were very much satisfied by the training course, its content, methodology and the work of the team, very often mentioning that it gave them an additional push for moving forward in their work and motivating them for cross-sector cooperation. The only minor complains were regarding the training venue (hotel rooms and food) and some concerning the participant selection.
A quite high disproportion of scores for the written evaluations can be explained by the huge differences of experience and background information possessed by the participants. Some of the participants (2-3 at least) had close to no baseline information and connection to the field which resulted in the difficulty to understand a non-formal learning process and methodology.
As per verbal evaluation, it was held in a positive and enabling atmosphere: most participants found the training useful and applicable to their professional work, there were many ideas and a lot of motivation related to the planned follow-up activities and recommendations.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

- To attend the preparatory meetings of the training course;

- To contribute to development of the programme, contents and methodology according to the conclusions of the preparatory meetings and guidance from the Council of Europe educational staff;

- To support the preparation of the programme of the training course including, but not limited, to preparation of the session outlines and timely feedback; 

- To implement the programme focusing on safeguarding the principles and practices of non-formal education and making links with the approaches and practices of revised European Charter on the participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life and the “Have Your Say” manual; 

- To lead, facilitate and co-facilitate the running of plenary sessions, workshops and working groups in the respect of the co-ownership of the programme by the cooperating parties 

- To attend daily planning and evaluation meetings 

- To prepare and attend the evaluation meeting at the end of the training course 

- To fill in a trainer’s evaluation form which will be used for the evaluation of the training course one week after the residential part of the training course. 

- To complete and finalise session outline with the learning outcomes and main conclusions of the learning process. 

- To prepare two e-learning modules that will support the learning flow 3 weeks before and 4 weeks after the residential part of the training course. 

- To support participants in development of the follow up ideas. 

- Any other task agreed with the Secretariat of the Council of Europe 

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

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