Leadership Training

Leadership training is key for anyone working in the refugee rights movement. This may be directed at your leadership staff, or at entry-level colleagues in order to ensure they become refugee rights leaders in any sphere of work they are later involved in. equipping workers with the skills they need to become powerful and effective leaders should be a priority, given the relatively small size of the refugee rights movement globally – compared to humanitarian aid approaches.

Leadership training can be both a continuous and one-off learning experience. Increased responsibility on the job can be coupled with mentoring by existing senior staff, and many of the tips outlined in the professional development section apply equally to supervisors as they do to volunteers, interns and other employees.

Organizing leadership workshops, retreats, trainings or conferences however, can have added benefits for staff. If these are internal events, the act of bringing co-workers together facilitates a space in which to collectively brainstorm new directions or solutions to problems the organization is encountering; to celebrate institutional successes together, and to iron out any management or internal issues in a goals-oriented environment.

Residential or longer trainings, whether internal or external, may provide a bonding experience between staff and counterparts, and present particular networking benefits.

In deciding what topics to cover, consult staff on their needs and concerns, particularly regarding gaps in their knowledge that have implications on their work.

Below is Asylum Access’ learning guide for a leadership training held in 2012 which can be used for inspiration regarding possible training topics for your team. Topics covered are both operational and legal. It is good practice to provide a program including trainers’ biographies, contact details and areas of expertise. The manual also contains space for participants to note down their major take-aways, lessons learnt and questions from the session.

Training modules from early Asylum Access leadership training sessions: