OL 332 Assignment Three Homework
Online Learning: OL 332 Water Conservation & Management
Center for Sustainable Development.

This week’s resources:
Assignment Three Discussion
-Magee Example Project Assignment Three
-Resources listed in Assignment Three Discussion
-Lesson Plan for Forming a Community Project Management Committee

Assignment Three.
A Simple Introductory Overview of Water Conservation and Management Project Activities

Download a document called “OL 332 Lesson Plan – Forming a Community Water Conservation and Management Committee” a consciousness-raising exercise in the value of forming a Water Conservation and Management committee or subcommittee.

Forming a Community Project Management Committee or Subcommittee
Very Important. If you’re entering this course from OL 342, then you may need to facilitate the formation of a community project management committee. Begin the step one below.

If you formed a community project management committee in OL 343 it’s possible that you only need to set up a subcommittee so skip to step three below.

Step One
Activity 1. Researching background materials

You will need to make a preliminary decision about how the committee should be structured based upon the complexity of the project that your committee will oversee and the level of education and experience that your community members have.

Perform a quick Internet search to find resources about developing community committees focused on one of the specialized components in your project. This project component should be one that will continue into the future and will need long-term oversight and maintenance. Examples could be a community water management committee, a community forest management committee, or a community health and hygiene committee. A lot has been done with forest and water management committees; if you’re having trouble finding something on your program’s specific field, you can research forest and water committee materials and adapt them to your project. Links are available in OL 332 special links.

Activity 2. Organizing the workshop
Discuss with your community representatives the idea of developing a project oversight committee made entirely of community members. Explain how they will have the responsibility of overseeing the community’s participation in the launching, implementing, and ultimate takeover of their project. Introduce the idea of setting up this committee in a short participatory workshop. Ask them to schedule a workshop, and to put together a list of people who should attend. They should be sure that the list includes representatives of different subgroups within the community—especially women and representatives of marginalized groups.

Begin organizing the workshop itself more than two weeks in advance. Make sure that you have all of your materials together—like large sheets of paper, and pens and markers. As this is a three hour workshop you may also need to plan snacks and drinks. My suggestion would be to have two to three colleagues accompany you to help with the workshop. Be sure and put someone who knows how to take photographs in charge of documenting the workshop.

Activity 3. Developing a workshop plan
A very simple version of a workshop lesson plan for developing a committee has been included in assignment three resources and can be downloaded from download course documents. Adapt this lesson plan to your project by using the information that you researched on the Internet about specialized committees. A lesson plan will make the workshop much easier for you to facilitate. The plan should include the following key concepts:
1. Consciousness-raising about the importance of having a committee
2. Going through a step-by-step procedure of forming a committee
3. Electing or appointing committee members
4. Asking the newly elected committee, for their first task, to choose project activities to participate in

One suggested addition to the lesson plan might be to propose appointing an interim, volunteer committee who over the course of six months would develop the committee’s structure, establish member selection criteria, ensure gender inclusiveness, set goals, and develop a 12 month plan. Let them know that you will be there to foster this process. At the end of the interim period, the interim committee could be elected for a second term—or they could be replaced by new members. This approach might make it easier during the workshop for participants to volunteer to be committee members if they realize it’s simply for an intern basis.

Step 2: Forming a Community project Management Committee
Activity 1. Facilitating the workshop

Make the workshop as participatory as possible by keeping the exchange of information as conversational as possible—this isn’t meant to be a lecture. The first thing to do for your workshop is to make sure that you are well-prepared. That you have people to meet with, you have a place to hold a workshop, and you have the materials that you will need. Hopefully you have colleagues to help you facilitate the workshop. Your lesson plan will be very helpful in telling you what to do at each step so that you can stay on track. It would be good to begin the workshop with an icebreaker (sing a song or play a game). You want to make sure that everyone is comfortable being there, that they feel safe enough to say what’s on their mind, and that there is a certain amount of enthusiasm in the room in order to encourage participation.

Take notes right onto the lesson plan to remind you about things that went well, things that didn’t go well, and how long the different activities took. For example, you might find that the workshop only took two hours to do rather than the three hours you estimated. Large sheets of paper and markers are also a good way to take notes. As your community members say interesting things you can jot them down on the newsprint and use them later as reminders of what was said and what people’s reactions were. They will also allow you to draw organizational charts as visual aids if necessary.

I know that you will be tired at the end of the day but I would take a few minutes when you get home to go through the lesson plan and make a few more notes. The next time you give this workshop you can clean up the lesson plan to reflect what really happened. I would also recommend meeting with your team the next day to get their perceptions of how the workshop went and to see if they saw any improvements that could be made the next time that you give it.
Be sure to take photographs. Put someone in charge of photos. Have them take:
-close-up detailed shots of participants
-close-up detailed shots of the materials that you use
-photos of interesting drawings that you might have done on the newsprint
-shots of the whole group
-a few shots if you facilitating the workshop

Step 3: Forming a Community Project Management Subcommittee
If you already formed a community project management committee in OL 343, then chances are that you simply need to form a Water Conservation and Management subcommittee. In fact, this may have been discussed with the committee beforehand.

In this case, all that you will need to do is to ask for 45 minutes at the next committee meeting to introduce the concept of establishing a Water Conservation and Management subcommittee. Begin your presentation by discussing how important a subcommittee can be in developing a water conservation and management plan.

The first thing to do will be to elect a member of the project management committee to be the chair of the subcommittee. Ask for nominations or for volunteers to chair the subcommittee. Let the committee know that this person will be in charge of the community’s involvement in the program in the project.

Once a person or several people have been nominated or have volunteered let the committee president call for a vote to select the new chair of the subcommittee.

Schedule a 6 hour workshop for three weeks from now to introduce the concept of developing a Water Conservation and Management plan.

The homework to turn in will be:

1. If you held a committee formation workshop, a short one paragraph summary of how the workshop went and how it was received by the community members.
2. A few photographs of the workshop.

3. If you formed a sub-committee instead, one paragraph summary of how the meeting went.

Go to Magee Example Project OL 332 Assignment  3 to see what this could look like.