Training of Trainers Workshops (Orissa, India)

As the panchayat (village council) elections were held in Orissa in February 2007, the year 2008 is the first year of the five-year election cycle. In Hunger Project-working areas in Orissa, there has been a significant increase in the number of elected women representatives to 45 percent, and this has necessitated proper guidance and training. Many women have been elected for the first time and have never been in positions of leadership before. They, therefore lack confidence and require proper guidance to dispense their duties ably. In order to build their sense of self-worth and confidence and to equip them with the necessary competencies, The Hunger Project held a Training of Trainers (TOTs) for Women's Leadership Workshops (WLW) in Gopalpur-on-Sea, Orissa, from the April 13-26, 2007.

In addition, this served as a follow-up to trainers and participants who had attended a WLW in Orissa in 2005, and it incorporated lessons learned to be used in future training programs. Existing trainers reinforced their skills, and newer participants got insight into their valuable lessons and experiences.

Another feature of these ToTs was to enhance leadership qualities and build capacity in former panchayat leaders so that they become trainers for other women leaders. These leaders served to create a local resource pool from which present leaders could draw inspiration and support.

In short, the Training of Trainers program broadly served these objectives:

  • To discuss and analyze experiences ;
  • To involve elected women leaders (especially former representatives who may not have been re-elected) as ‘trainers' in the leadership building process;
  • To chalk out plans and training methodology for future WLWs;
  • To reinforce lessons learned and add new skills for future action; and
  • To create a model training manual for trainers for integration in future training programs.