The World Vision Local Value Chain Development (LVCD) Project Model helps producers increase their incomes through better engagement with markets and by building relationships with service providers that can help them overcome market barriers. A key component of the LVCD project model is the position of the market facilitator.
The programme supports many groups in African, Latin American and Asian countries, with new groups/localities being added constantly. The geographical distribution, the remoteness of the projects and the multiple time-frames of the supported groups are some of the most important challenges to providing continuous training and assistance to the market facilitators.
The application of the skills is very context dependent. This training can never be about sharing a set-in-stone process to be followed across the world. Many trainees have many years’ experience and this training serves to help them improve some of the approaches they might be using.
It is therefore important to give each learner a ‘voice’ – that the training is truly participatory and an opportunity for groups of practitioners to share their experiences and how they implement the new skills.
We started by listing the action-oriented learning objectives. We then decided on a backbone of tasks that reflect the day-to-day reality of a market facilitator, with a focus on what we call ‘pain points’ – the decisions people find hardest to make or actions they find most challenging. These informed our learning task design. The approach used is (collaborative) problem-based learning (PBL).
We helped the subject matter expert with structuring and organising the content in a way that would best support the activity-based learning journey. We also re-wrote a lot of the content in plain English – this is particularly important for English Second Language target groups. The content was developed in Articulate Rise, with Articulate Storyline components (for increased interactivity) and Vyond (for graphic storytelling, explanatory videos or dynamic infographics). Here is an example of one of the explanatory videos. All videos are on You Tube (linked out of the course) to ensure easy access on low bandwidth.
The training is in the form of an eWorkshop, facilitated by a team of 3 e-facilitators (trained by DynaMind). Some of the tasks are done in teams of 6-8 people; other tasks are done with the whole cohort of 25-30. There is a strong focus on the e-facilitators providing very rich feedback which connects their own experiences and expertise with the participants’ contributions.
The training takes 14 weeks and the learning time commitment is 5 hours per week. In the workshop schedule there are 2 breaks (one 3-week break and one 2-week break) where participants do field work. During these weeks there are no team tasks or whole group activities. Participants use a workbook with pre-designed templates to help them with their individual workplace-based learning.
In the eWorkshop, participants follow the journey of Alice, a fictional market facilitator who goes through the LVCD process. She encounters typical challenges and needs to make a whole range of decisions. The learners are asked to ‘help’ her with this – often in teams. The team tasks are developed in Moodle with the forum and wiki tools. The ‘case study’ is in the form of an animated video in 7 episodes which are accessible on You Tube for easy access: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6 and part 7. These videos were developed with Vyond. We also provide text versions of these videos for learners who prefer to read instead.