How important is Critical Thinking?

We work in communities through the Action for Equality Programme with the objective of creating leadership so that men are collectively raised, to end violence and discrimination against women.

The ECF mentors are in a 5-day workshop to understand how can we maximise three elements: critical thinking, active participation and collaboration when they are working with men and wider communities. This workshop is organized with three simple objectives:

  1. To move from a focus on content to a focus on a participatory process
  2. To understand the importance of facilitation
  3. To adopt a critical thinking approach to training


With a uniquely skilled and fun facilitator like Aravind Chittawale, the team of mentors have been learning with visible zest. Starting with an introspective session has helped them identify the existing corpus of strength and skills – a solid foundation which is a good place to start building almost anything. Aravind has crafted the sessions so that the art of Critical Thinking is neatly woven into each segment, facilitating better grasp of the principles.

Practical sessions have been used to emphasise facilitation skills, how to engage participants in the community, identify what is missing in our training sessions and build on ways to address these challenges. ECF’s curriculum focusses on the inside-out approach which taps into the existing resources to create change in perceptions, ideology, behaviour patterns and worldviews.



How is this training going to be translated into action? Here are three solid steps:

  1. Over the next two days the team will have an intensive review of the current curriculum, to integrate the learnings from this workshop into every module.
  2. The output of the two days will be tested over the next three months in the Action for Equality Programme. In the weeks ahead, an hour will be dedicated to analysing and reporting the effectiveness of the updated curriculum during weekly meetings. Based on the implementation and feedback, the revised version of the curriculum will be released towards the end of 2014.
  3. The Monitoring and Evaluation framework will also go through the enquiry to assess how to measure the progress due to this inclusion.


Even though this workshop was meant for mentors, it was beneficial for the entire Programme team. The team is now armed with more practical ways to first develop competence and then strive for excellence – ready to translate the ECF mission statement into action.