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Applying Economic Recovery in Regional Contexts – The Minimum Economic Recovery Standards Trainings in Beirut

by on Jun 18, 2013  |  posted in Post-Disaster  |  0 Comments

The Minimum Economic Recovery Standards, Second Edition (MERS) hosted a training session in Beirut, Lebanon from June 3-6, 2013. Thirteen participants came from various NGOs and different parts of the country, filled with expectations of how this would help them as humanitarian practitioners and livelihoods programmers. Building on the progress made from the first MERS training sessions in Bangkok, the training consisted of a 2-day General Practitioner Training, followed by a 2-day Training of Certified Trainers for those who wished to become trainers of the MERS to deliver the standards to their colleagues and beneficiaries.

Participants saw this as an ideal opportunity to relate their work to the standards, which present an organized and comprehensive set of key actions, indicators, and guidance notes for practitioners to abide by when promoting economic recovery in areas recently affected by crisis. While opinions were divided on whether to include government agents in economic recovery operations, all participants agreed that there should always be time to assess the market and include the beneficiaries in the process of economic recovery. 

Figure 1: MERS Training Participants working to put together presentations to describe specific aspects of the standards to their colleagues

Group work was lauded as extremely beneficial for learning the standards, as different groups were assigned various sections of the MERS to explain to their peers for further understanding. Formal presentation was followed by questions surrounding the applicability of the MERS and how participants could use the specific technical elements of the standards in their work. A unique aspect of this training was the ability of the participants to show how the standards could directly apply to their work. Examples of how the MERS were needed in Lebanon were exemplified through participant accounts of working in Palestinian and Syrian refugee camps, linking disadvantaged communities in southern Lebanon with supply chains on production of basic agricultural products like olive oil and honey, and creating better opportunities in Akkar for children looking to move past the destruction happening just on the Syrian side of the border.

Figure 2: The Training of Certified Trainers participants look into varying styles of learning and behavior to better themselves as future trainers of the MERS.

The Training of Certified Trainers gave participants an opportunity to learn more about the standards and gain access to the training materials so that they could deliver the training sessions to their colleagues and beneficiaries. Sessions dealt more on presentation style, learning to accommodate different learning styles, and coping with various behavioral patterns from participants. Their final presentations concentrated on presenting a part of the handbook to their peers, followed by a critiquing session on their delivery, presentation skills, and ability to comprehensively describe the MERS to practitioners. To accommodate for our new class of Arabic-speaking trainers, we translated the MERS handbook into Arabic, along with English, Spanish, and French!

Figure 3: MERS Training of Certified Trainers participants, trainer Tony Dines, and SEEP facilitator Nakul Kadaba pose after receiving their certificates for completing the Training of Certified Trainers course.

As we grow our pool of certified trainers, we are eagerly awaiting more news of interest in hosting training sessions and presenting case studies of the MERS in Action. Thank you to our training participants, our local partner World Vision-Lebanon, and the Tamar-Rotana Hadeth Hotel staff for their support in hosting the training sessions. We would also like to give a special thank you to our trainer, Tony Dines, for a terrific job delivering the training in Beirut! To find out more information about upcoming MERS training sessions and other related information, please visit our website on the MERS here or contact William Wallis!

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