How to Facilitate Writeshops – a two-day course in the Hague by the Barefoot Guide Connection

Approaches & tools for writing stories and learning from practice

15 to 16 May 2017
International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Hague, Netherlands

Facilitated by the Barefoot Guide Connection –
Based on the experience of facilitating Writeshops for the development of Barefoot Guides

How can social change and development practitioners write interesting and thoughtful stories and case studies, to learn from and to communicate to others? How can they do this in collective ways that improve reflection and learning practices? A “Writeshop” is a creative and disciplined method for reflection, learning and documenting stories that are worth sharing. This workshop offers training to facilitators to design and facilitate such Writeshops.

Social change and development organisations and practitioners struggle to tell and to learn from their own rich stories and to communicate these to others. The few tools they have, in the dry formats for reporting to donors, are usually too simplistic and dry. Through the collective processes of writing the Barefoot Guides (see we have developed an approach and tools that enable, encourage and support field practitioners to reflect on stories collectively and to become writers of their own stories. In Writeshops, practitioners write to learn, and learn to write.


This is a two-day course for inhouse facilitators, who support, or wish to support, learning processes in their teams or organisations, using writing as an approach to collectively surface, deepen and share practices in any field of development or social change, including key experiences, lessons and implications for the future. From this it becomes possible to develop written products for wider education.

Who should participate?

This Writeshop is for practitioners who (wish to) facilitate collective learning and writing processes in the teams they work with. They should have some experience in small group facilitation.

Our Course Approach

The participants will take home ideas and skills of how to effectively use several writing process designs and tools, like the Action Learning Cycle, the Outside/Inside Story, Listening at Three Levels and Free-writing, f
ocused on helping others to write stories and case studies. They will also learn about how to help practitioners deal with writer’s block and to more effectively learn and co-write with their peers.

A detailed toolkit will be provided to each participant, in hard and soft copy, containing guidance and handouts for use in their own Writeshops.

The Facilitators

Doug Reeler from the Community Development Resource Association (CDRA)
Akke Schuurmans from MCNV
Cristina Temmink, independent facilitator

The Date

15 to 16 May 2017

The Venue

Classroom 4.25
International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Kortenaerkade 12, 2518 AX Den Haag, Netherlands
Google Maps link

If you would like to participate please click on this link to register.


The fee is 400 Euro, payable on registration.

The earlybird fee is 350 Euro if paid by 15 April 2017.

The fee money can be paid to:
Account Holder: MCNV
Number: IBAN NL90 TRIO 0338 5367 60
Reference: Writeshop

Inexpensive lunches can be bought at the cafetaria. Lunch is not included in the fee.