This year is different from other years in many ways. The good thing about this is that we are being challenged to think outside the box and to let creativity flow. This has also been the case for our annual IDEAL Resident Programme Manager (RPM) workshop (7-10 September): where we normally get together with the entire team in the Netherlands, this year the workshop was organized entirely online. This meant that colleagues from Burundi, Mali, Rwanda, Somaliland, Palestine, South Sudan and Uganda called in to exchange and learn from one another.

 Printsceen RPM workshops

With Microsoft Teams as our online platform, we kicked-off Monday’s session with an interactive discussion about the effects of COVID-19 for IDEAL and wider development initiatives. We discussed alternative delivery mechanisms such as online Trainings of Trainers or study visits and interactive PDFs to use as training material. See also:

Tuesday’s session was inspired by country initiatives: what kind of social, economic and political changes are we dealing with and to what extent do they influence IDEAL’s design, implementation and M&E? National and local elections as well as high staff turnover are two examples that were shared by the majority of the countries. Below you will find Uganda’s exquisite drawing of their main challenge and solution that fit together like pieces of a puzzle:

Printsceen RPM workshops
Figure 1: when LGs and citizens exchange views and needs proper solutions can be sought.

On Wednesday we organized a Team Quiz and on Thursday we closed the first part of the RPM Workshop with a session on Acquisition and Networking by one of our colleague facilitators Irene Oostveen. The session provided theory and insights on, amongst other, the six degrees of separation, the strength of weak ties, and how to strategically steer your network following 5 steps that are addressed in the figure below (in Dutch: “5B Model”). We were also put to work by jointly mapping our network on the basis of a predefined purpose. Want to know more? Hacking into the power of social network


In the following weeks we will conclude this year’s IDEAL RPM Workshop by a session on conflict-sensitivity and a drawing class to visualize our main programme results.