2018 Cross partner paralegal refresher workshop


(Mustafa Mahmoud) #1

Have you ever had a challenge of bringing all partners together for a refresher? How do you manage the different levels of skills that all the partners have? How do you make a refresher as interactive as possible for a group of 38 participants?

From the 7th to 9th August 2018, Namati citizenship team in Kenya arranged the 2nd cross partner paralegal refresher at a hotel in Kwale county. Bringing paralegals from the three partners together to share their experience and refresh their legal skills. One partner had over 4 years of experience in implementing the paralegal work while another had not more than a year of implementing experience.

The biggest challenge we had as a team was balancing the two level of skills. In order to balance, we distributed reading materials to all partners at least two weeks in advance and encouraged the teams to read through the materials as a group and promised the best team an award. The other challenge was how to evaluate the winner and how to make the process as competitive as possible while at the same time being as fair as possible.

Luckily @vivekmaru shared with us the idea of using jeopardy game. Since it was the first time we were using case laws in our training, we decided that it was the best fit for the game. We divided the questions into:

  • Details of the case
  • Arguments of the parties
  • Reasoning of the court
  • Lessons from the case With more points being awarded to the most complex questions. We did not follow the exact TV version of the game due to time constraints and also we wanted to customise it.

Above is an image of me explaining how we were to award the points.

This ensured that all the teams were at equal level and the team that won ended up being the one with the least years of experience. Though the Nubian Rights Forum team @zena @Zahra et al are yet to accept defeat and the winning team @kasida_abdul @Nasteha et al are yet to receive their gift. :wink:

Happy faces from the refresher. @amoory @AndrewOchola @Lore @yussuf @yasahkym @Mwanatumu

Despite the challenges of planing and logistics, we were able to achieve our goals for the training and we are now planing for the next one and would love to try new ways of training. We would love to know how you do your trainings. Please share the methodologies and any insights you have on how you do your trainings and refreshers.

(Nkechi Ugwuanyi) #2

Thank you for sharing.

(Berna Bakkidde) #3

Peace and Blessings Mustapha,

Thanks for sharing your experience. Merging different levels of experience in a refresher is usually difficult however it is possible as you have explained. One way which may not work is to conduct a pre- training assessment of the Trainees to enable you tailor the training as meet your objectives. it may be conducted through a questionnaire sent in advance or over the phone.

The training also has to be practical in nature that involves all parties.

I would like to read more experiences shared on this matter. Thanks

Berna B

(Khasida Abdullahi) #4

The refresher was well organised putting into consideration all aspects of learning and team building activities which fun. @Bakkidde there was an online survey where all the partners were suggesting the topics to be discussed before the refresher program

(Berna Bakkidde) #5

Thanks for the information Abdul. Is it possible to share some of the tools to enable me enrich ours. I have faced some challenges especially in simplification of the content for grassroots paralegals.

(Mohamed Abass Sankoh) #6

Many thanks to @mustapha. The Refresher workshop information is very educative and good to follow-up. I am very much happy to learn a lot from this forum.

(Boubacar FAYE) #7

Very intesresting ! appreciated.

(Khasida Abdullahi) #8

@mustafa_mahmoud can share more on that

(Ali Hassan) #9

Great program Thanks for sharing, this is the lesson to my Organization and my country.

(Teboho Mashota) #10

This is is great insight, i am currently working with community advice offices who provide legal services to marginalized/vulnerable communities, in making sure that they know about their rights and with the hope that national and non nationals can work and live together. Especially now that looting of non national shops is going on in my community. This is not an easy task as some national are xenophobic, however i am hoping that through training they can change their mind sets.

This is helping is learning how to achieve my goal through training.

(Mustafa Mahmoud) #11

Thank you all for the complements. Some of the sessions we used case studies to simplify the laws so as to make the paralegals think out of the box. The session was led by @aishakhagai and @Naima_Rajab. Here is their case study exercises Nationality Laws case studies.pdf (62.5 KB).

For the Jeopardy exercise we used a case from the Kenyan High court and the case can be found in the Kenya law website here. We came up with questions from the case and if one had not read before the session then they would not be able to answer the questions. Here are the questions, how we categorised them and the second page shows the grading system for the game. Case law Jeopardy.pdf (236.3 KB). @davidarach @jaronvogelsang you might also want to customise the game to fit your area of work and the time you have.

(Jaron Vogelsang) #12

Hey @mustafa_mahmoud - this is a great idea. We will adapt the jeopardy game for our next community land protection convening. Thanks!

(Gloria Acayo) #13

Thanks for sharing your experiences, another way of handling this is to make the training very interactive, use of discussion groups and presentation of what the group has discussed can help all the members participate and keep at per.

(Sahr Nouwah) #14

Experience and a good combination of new thoughts make a great team. Refresher trainings suppose to stage a practical application of the ideas taught in the original training where a good deal of application and experiences gathered are shared and revisited if necessary. The challenge though is that one will not always get the first team trained as a whole.

(Vincent Otieno) #15

Kindly include me in the next training. I am based in Nairobi

(Bindu Ansumana Fofana) #16

Mine is a little different. In my work, i do the planning based on results from infield assessment of partner paralegals (12 persons) i am supervising. Based on the field assessment results per paralegal, i draw out an agenda with smart paralegals serving as facilitators and our own staff including myself also as facilitators. I also finance the entire refresher workshop which last for at most 2 days. These refresher are discussed and the dates are included in individual paralegals monthly work plan. I got this experience from years back when our program had different partners. What we did back then was to discuss our results from partners field activities to their supervisors at which time we recommended to them that in order to over come challenges observed from our assessments, there was a need for refresher workshop since we use to conduct 2 general partners training during a given grant period. As stated above, smart paralegals were used as facilitators, at times our staff and some facilitators from other institution. If supervisors are in the know of the date and location of the refresher workshop, and holding supervisors responsible for their staff readiness and present at the workshop.


Thanks for sharing your work. I’m Yah Parwon form Liberia. I work for medica Liberia an organization that provides sexual gender based violence response and prevention services to survivors of sexual violence. In our approach we conduct legal trainings for court and police officials. For refresher trainings we often invite more experienced paralegals and legal practitioners we have trained in the past to serve as co-facilitator so as to avoid a major competition or domineering challenge. Your method also sounds great, though our trainings focus may be different , I may share with my team here. Thank you.

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