Content delivery is the most basic and familiar way to teach new concepts through lectures or presentations in a classroom style environment. It is about communicating ideas, frameworks, models and other information in a way that is understandable and digestible.
Using this mode
Content delivery is usually the backbone of any market systems development training. There is a wide range of techniques within this mode that include more active learning techniques. Trainers will use a set of presentation slides (or hand-written flip charts) to explain concepts, pose questions and give examples.
Guidance for trainers
Try and link content delivery with another teaching and learning mode to emphasise the practice aspect of experiential learning.
Beware the tyranny of content and getting stuck trying to squeeze in all the material you had hoped to deliver. Take your time, gauge participant understanding and learning frequently. Less is more.
Use visuals to convey complex concepts. Return to core visual frameworks repeatedly to make sure participants understand how to apply them to different contexts.
Test your audience understanding and level of background knowledge at the beginning of a session. You may be able to adapt your approach to focus on what is new and gain credibility with an audience by tailoring to their needs. Of course this is more difficult when working with a highly heterogeneous group.
Example competencies for content delivery
Donor relations and compliance: competency B5
Use a short presentation to explain different organisational roles and mandates in the ‘aid delivery’ system. Provide practitioners with context-specific knowledge about donor priorities, organisational structure and accountability (e.g. to a Board vs to Parliament/Congress)
Systems analysis for economic inclusion: competency A1
Definitions and terminology to describe a market e.g. transactions, supply and demand, prices, value chains, competition.
Present framework for political economy and give examples that are relevant to local context. Learn to define different types of power: financial, political, prejudice and privilege.
Definitions and frameworks to understand types of systems (ordered, complex, chaotic). Address what a complex adaptive system is and how it relates to creating change in a market or social context.
Business and financial analysis: competency A2
Definitions and application of business terminology, both strategic (value proposition, target market, marketing channels) and financial (costs, revenues, cash flows, financing, return on investment). Discussion on how these concepts apply, and can be adapted, to civil society organisations and government.
Critical thinking, foresight & vision: competency A6
Lead a workshop on assumptions, systems and mental models to equip practitioners with core terminology and concepts. Use exercises (see Confirmation Bias Game) to help practitioners recognise their own assumptions and become comfortable challenging them.
Coordinating multiple interventions: competency B3
Frameworks on how change spreads in complex systems. For example: Donella Meadow’s leverage points; the innovation adoption curve; crowding in of business practices; institutional norms. Application of these ideas to how a combination of programme activities could be designed to create change synergistically.
Monitoring and learning: competency B4
Concepts such as hypothesis-testing, the Kolb learning cycle and other iterative methods of learning - how they are applicable to market systems programming. Exposure to design thinking and toolkits such as IDEO and Stanford design. Also the use of ‘good enough’ data and indicators during rapid prototyping.
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