The Initiative for Leadership and Democracy in Africa (iLEDA) becomes an integral Curriculum for CMD Kenya’s Leadership Institute

The Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD-Kenya) has launched its Leadership Institute with its inaugural trainings being on the Initiative for Leadership and Democracy in Africa (iLEDA) modules. Two iLEDA training workshops were held in Kenya, the first being a training of trainers workshop aimed at building the capacity of a selection of local facilitators to carry out this programme. Subsequent to this, board members of CMD-Kenya underwent training on one of the iLEDA modules notably Democracy and Citizenship.

Speaking at the start of the iLEDA training, CMD-Kenya Executive Director, Njeri Kabeberi, said: “Political party officials should receive some professional training before taking on leadership positions”. This she said was imperative given the important role that political players play in development, nation building, and democracy consolidation. Njeri underscored the need for political players to have the requisite know how and skills to deal with the ever mounting challenges entailed in democracy consolidation. She highlighted how CMD-Kenya’s Leadership Institute offers the platform for political parties in Kenya to acquire this requisite knowledge and skills, with the iLEDA modules being integral to the achievement of this goal.

About iLEDA

The Initiative for Leadership and Democracy in Africa (iLEDA), is a political leadership curriculum that was founded by the Netherlands Institute for Multi Party Democracy (NIMD), IDASA (Democracy Institute for Africa) and the Africa Forum of Former Heads of State and Government (The Forum). The curriculum aims to strengthen the current and future generation of political leaders with the skills, knowledge and values to transcend the challenges of democratic transformation and embrace present and future national, regional and global challenges.  The curriculum covers four core modules, notably: Democracy and Citizenship; Leadership and Politics; Good Governance and Sustainable Development; and Elections and Conflict Management. Each of the modules runs for a period of five days with the training spread over a period of eight to ten months. This should allow participants to not only have breaks in-between but also be able to reflect and apply to their parties on some of the issues what they will have learned through each module.

More about the Training of Trainers by CMD-Kenya

The Training of Trainers (ToT) course which was held from the 26th of January, 2015 to the 31st, saw 10 participants undergoing an intensive course facilitated by a seasoned iLEDA facilitator, Patience Zonge. In this ToT participants were equipped with the knowledge and skills to enable them to facilitate the iLEDA modules. Participants were taken through the philosophy underpinning iLEDA, with both methodological and content issues in the delivery of iLEDA modules. From the second to the last day of the training participants were paired up and allocated sessions from all of the modules which they had to deliver. As much as this was intense with participants initially feeling the pressure, as the week progressed participants took on the challenge and showed commitment and resilience towards becoming competent facilitators. Through peer and self-feedback sessions participants were able to improve with each day and gain the confidence needed to facilitate the iLEDA modules.

On commenting about the effectiveness of the methodology used, one of the participants remarked: “I have learnt the difference between training and facilitation. Through this highly participatory methodology I have learnt and understood a lot more about democracy issues than what I did before”.

Another of the participants remarked as thus: “I am a much better facilitator after this training. I have learnt new ways of diversifying methodology for adult learners”.

Yet another participant remarked that “through this training I was challenged to look at issues I have thought about from a new perspective through the insights I gained”.

These sentiments were echoed by the majority of the participants who commended the programme for exposing them to this type of facilitation methodology and its various techniques.

On the whole participants learnt to master the content entailed in the iLEDA modules, to co-facilitate, to contextualize modules to the audience in question, to be creative in facilitation, to use time efficiently and to effectively deliver on the key understandings.

The CMD-Board Members undergo the iLEDA training

Following from the week-long ToT the board members of CMD-Kenya were trained on the iLEDA module on Democracy and Citizenship. The aim of this module is to equip political players with the knowledge and skills to better understand the critical role of citizenship and citizens within a democratic society and to equip the parties to be able to activate the broad civic energies of citizens in the shared work of solving public problems and co-producing public goods. Two of the facilitators that had undergone the ToT co-facilitated this module under the guidance and mentorship of Patience Zonge. The two facilitators namely Taabu Daniel and Patience Chome rose to the occasion and through their dedication and hard work demonstrated that they had to a large extent grasped the philosophy, content and methodology entailed in the iLEDA modules.

As is the structure of all four of the iLEDA modules, the training exposed participants to relevant content issues whilst using experiential learning experiences. 18 participants took part in this training, representing some of the political parties in Kenya.

As part of the training participants were exposed to a site visit for them to get in touch with ordinary citizens and see how to build trusting and cooperative relationships. Participants did one-on-one interviews with ordinary Kenyan citizens where they were able to get the views of citizens on democracy issues, the state of the country, their vision for Kenya and their views on political leadership. This exercise proved to be profound and jolted all participants into the reality of the widening rift between ordinary citizens and politicians needing to be fixed.

Perhaps an issue that proved to be the most insightful for participants was the democratic notion of power in which power is not necessarily a “winner takes it all” game but that it can actually be shared.

“I felt the most challenged in understanding that power can be shared. I have been brought up in a zero-sum society and my ignorance has been great. I have never considered how this view is contrary to democratic values and ideals”, reflected one participant.

The training was highly participatory and generated a lot of discussion whilst allowing the space for critical reflection to take place on all issues presented. The multi-party setting under which the training was held augured well for a spirit of oneness. The chair of the CMD board, Honourable Omingo Magara expressed how for once they as the different parties had experienced the possibility of working constructively together, as the training set up had shown them that they have a common vision – the wellbeing and progress of Kenya. The training generated much enthusiasm with participants expressing their commitment to go and report back to their parties what they had learned and interest party members in the programme. The same participants will reconvene in April 2015 to go through another of the iLEDA modules, notably Politics and Leadership

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