Gaston's Blog (34)

CLCP in our start-up team

Dear all, 

Together with our team of 8 people, we applied CLCP to ourselves a couple of weeks ago. It was refreshing, insightful and created real enthusiasm and commitment in our team members. 

Here the collection of dreams and the practices. Enjoy! …


Added by Gaston on March 22, 2018 at 4:16pm — 1 Comment

Self-assessment in large groups

Dear community, some time ago I posted my ideas about facilitating CLCP in really large groups. These were some of my experiences which might be helpful if you face that challenge: 

If you have 200 participants, I would aim to get at least 5 facilitators. 10 is even better.

- Brief well together the day before the event with these people. Prepare the room for both plenary (in a circle) as well as 5 or more groups with sufficient A4 paper, markers, flipchart…


Added by Gaston on January 9, 2018 at 1:51am — 2 Comments

Dream building for an organization

Dear all, 

I facilitated a few months ago a great Dream building exercise for a 70 people organization in Singapore. The small group dreams came out extremely well. 

I was cautious of hierarchies, but actually had the team leaders facilitate the various groups and share their dreams in the end. That worked well. I briefed them separately before the event took place and shared relevant questions to ask during the exercise. 

Each group presented their dream on stage and…


Added by Gaston on November 19, 2016 at 4:41am — 4 Comments

Discovering a precious poverty pocket in Mauritius

Wednesday evening. The sun starts to set. Our SALT team is in Citetol, one of the ‘slums’ on the island of Mauritius close to the international airport. ‘Tol’ means the tin material from which most of the houses in this neighborhood are constructed.

The community is one of the ‘poverty pockets’ on the island (less than 7USD for the entire household per day). Poverty on Mauritius often goes hand in hand with drug abuse. Our team of coaches is ready to discover some strengths and… Continue

Added by Gaston on March 1, 2014 at 5:59pm — 5 Comments

Deux histoires de changement a Bibanga

Je partage un message de Celestin Mukala, facilitateur en RDC:
1 Aire de Santé de Cibila
                                     D'une manière générale cette Aire de Santé a connu des sérieux problèmes par rapport à la Vaccination.Une resistance menée par la Secte Religieuse cmmunement appelée BABA.Cette dernière  utilisait l'huile végétal pour le tratement de n'importe quelle maladie et s'opposait farouchement à la vaccination de leurs enfants dans leurs…

Added by Gaston on July 25, 2013 at 1:32am — 1 Comment

Videos of progress on child survival in DR-Congo

Des vidéos de max 2 min sur des progrès des communautés :

  • Accompagnement des femmes enceintes:

  • Inclure les réfracteurs dans l’équipe de facilitation:…

Added by Gaston on July 6, 2013 at 6:00pm — 2 Comments

What a trip in deep rural Congo!

Monday evening, Mbuji-Mayi, the provincial capital of Kasai Oriental, a central province in the vast country of DR-Congo. Once the diamond capital of the world, Mbuji-Mayi is now home to one of the most rapidly growing SALT support and facilitation teams in the world.

I sit in a modest hotel room reflecting back on the last 5 days which were absolutely REMARKABLE. Together with a coach from RDCCompetence, Junior Kalonji, we came to support the ‘equipe de soutien’ in a health zone…


Added by Gaston on July 3, 2013 at 9:20pm — 4 Comments

Food Justice in Asia - using CLCP to let churches plan for action

As a Constellation coach, I have facilitated quite a number of Knowledge Fairs.  I have recorded dozens of stories on video to develop Knowledge Assets and spread the valuable experience of communities around the world. But today was special. Today I actually couldn’t keep my eyes dry during the video recording. The story was too touching. It went straight to my heart. Normally I urge people to stick within 3 minutes, but even though this story went on for 7 minutes, I remained silent. I…


Added by Gaston on November 29, 2012 at 7:00pm — 6 Comments

Measurement and more in DR-Congo

Kinshasa. Dusty as usual, but there are some clear stars shining through the dust. It has been more than 15 months since my last visit. There are flatscreen TVs now in the airport. I feel both a little nervous and excited. The friends of RDCCompetence come and pick me up with their usual hospitality. Already on the way to my Christian guesthouse, I hear some of the impressive progress that is happening over the last months. I feel the excitement takes over and have troubles sleeping under my…


Added by Gaston on August 21, 2012 at 1:24am — 4 Comments

CLCP applied to Food Security in West Africa

There I was, together with Farellia, our coach from Madagascar. My first time Ghana. The challenge: facilitate a 4-day workshop on Food Security in West Africa with prominent church leaders and advocacy experts in the region. And we had to facilitate in English and French! The participants generally visit a…


Added by Gaston on November 21, 2011 at 11:00am — 9 Comments

Evaluation of development projects - Amartya Sen's viewpoint

Dear friends, 

Last month I attended the annual conference of the Human Capability Development Association (HCDA) in the Hague. Their research work is rooted in the 'Capabilities approach' of which Amartya Sen, Martha Nussbaum and others are the major architects. 

I just received their last newsletter and the short article on Sen's view on evaluation was really striking for me.

Although this blog is not a direct experience with a local response, I found that what I read…


Added by Gaston on October 11, 2011 at 8:51am — 4 Comments

Do we really want to engage communities in our research?

Dear friends,

Two weeks ago. I open my inbox. An invitation to a workshop near Chiang Mai. I wasn’t sure what to think when I rwas invited for the workshop of the UK-based Wellcome Trust on ‘Community Engagement: under the microscope’. The main topic was the engagement of the public and communities in bio-medical research. Research was not my area of experience. Would I be able to contribute and get value out of this 3,5 days time investment?

Well, the answer is a solid YES.…


Added by Gaston on June 22, 2011 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

Inspiration from Papua New Guinea

Dear friends, A short update on what’s happening here in PNG. Conditions are still challenging here, but the inspiration is flowing like…


Added by Gaston on April 10, 2011 at 8:44am — 1 Comment

Non-attachment to SALT

I visited three cities in DR-Congo the last 3 weeks. In each city, the AIDS Competence Process, called l’approche SALT’ here has been implemented for 9 months with impressive results.

For example, I was in Matadi in the province Bas-Congo. Facilitators and members of the communities shared beautiful changes in their community. Discrimination went down, people now talked about sexuality and HIV in their family, PLHIV came out in public, large groups went for testing and a general…

Added by Gaston on November 27, 2010 at 2:56pm — 3 Comments

Reponses locales impressionantes a Mbuji Mayi, RDC

Bienvenue a Mbuji Mayi ! Une fois la capitale mondiale des diamants. Maintenant, une des capitales dans le monde en termes de réponses locales face au VIH/ SIDA.

Mbuji Mayi était une des 15 villes en RDC qui fait partie du projet ‘Appui aux Initiatives Communautaires’ avec le PNMLS, RDCCompétence et la Constellation. Plus que 50 facilitateurs étaient formés et accompagnés pendant 8 mois. La majorité fait partie… Continue

Added by Gaston on November 23, 2010 at 4:30pm — 4 Comments

What is the purpose of NGO branding in the field?

“The Constellation? I have never heard of that NGO. And your approach is being used in 26 countries in thousands of communities?” I heard this comment dozens of times and I like it. I like this low profile and want to keep it this way. It is not about us as an organization, it’s about the communities and their progress. If there is one thing useful to brand, it’s the approach (SALT/ CLCP) communities use to progress, but it’s certainly not about some Belgian NGO and its branding.… Continue

Added by Gaston on October 26, 2010 at 11:29pm — 5 Comments

My first SALT visit in a prison -in Guyana

“Maybe it is best to have no expectations”, I was thinking by myself. My first SALT visit in a prison. And not just a prison. A prison in Georgetown, Guyana and on the agenda was facilitation of self-assessment on AIDS Competence. I have to admit that I was excited.…


Added by Gaston on October 4, 2010 at 6:50pm — 2 Comments

The Future for Northern Development Organisations: become a Starfish organisation?

This is a translated version of an article written for a Dutch development magazine.…


Added by Gaston on September 23, 2010 at 9:12am — 2 Comments

What are our day-to-day working principles?

Dear friends, we all have these moments in our day-to-day work where we think: "what option should I choose here? What is more important? Am I crossing a line by doing this?"

Well, recently we developed with the Constellation Support Team (CST) some principles for action that can help us in…

Added by Gaston on April 13, 2010 at 7:52pm — 3 Comments

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