Abuja, 20th January, 2020. In collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development’s Reacting to Early Warning and Response Data (USAID REWARD), the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has trained relevant officials on joint analysis, response planning and learning.
The 4-Day training workshop which ended in Abuja on the 17th of January 2020 in Abuja, Nigeria, imparted facilitation skills on the recipients drawn largely from the ranks of the components which make up the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) as part of the capacity building efforts in aid of conflict prevention and greater stability of the region.
Going forward, apart from initiating a crisis training system for staff, the exercise is expected to foster long-term in-house capacity to facilitate inter-Directorate strategic discussions such as collaborative response planning, After-Action Reviews (AAR) and retreats.
At the start of the Workshop, the Chief of Party of the USAID-REWARD Mr. Diallo Alimou stressed the need to continue the engagement with the ECPF giving its formalized institutional arrangement that brings together the 15 ECPF Focal Point Directorates for collaborative peacebuilding and conflict prevention in ECOWAS.
Noting that the current phase of the USAID REWARD project supporting ECOWAS is slated to end in March 2020, he emphasized the importance of ECOWAS taking ownership of the Early Warning and response tools the project has helped develop to improve human security.
According to him, bridging the gap between crisis and response has become imperative especially as conflict trends are dynamic. He stated that the manuals developed for the training are meant to help assimilate best practices that the ECPF FPDs can use in synergizing their work.
The Ag Director of the Directorate of Political Affairs Peace and Security Dr. Emmanuel Okorodudu stated that he was excited about the facilitation training owing to its relevance in building team inclusivity.
He stressed the need to build on the dividends of the engagement resulting from the collaboration between the ECOWAS Commission and USAID-REWARD.
He also urged that training manuals should be simplified knowing that in building skills on planning and response, facilitators should have the cutting edges on their fingertips while seeking deliverables, just as understanding the dynamics of response planning is very key in the evaluation of interventions.
Using the ECOWAS guide to joint analysis and response planning, the training workshop threw up issues emerging from the Joint Analysis and Response Planning (JARP) Process. This involved improved practices for strengthening early warning responses, assessment, analysis, response planning, implementation as well as After-Action review, among others.
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