Regional Communication Forums series debuts with Suriname

April 29-May 2nd 2010, Paramaribo, Suriname marked the beginning of the second series of Regional Communication Forums organised by the External Relations department of the World Scout Bureau.

The Regional Communication Forums aim to provide support to National Scout Organisations (NSOs) in establishing and implementing communication strategies, as well as to train national leaders who are responsible for communication, public relations and marketing within their NSOs. Another goal is to train spokes people for the movement and equip them with tools so that they may be better able to represent the movement. All this with the greater goal of building NSO's capacity in 「telling the story」 of the movement.

The Interamerican Regional Communication Forum, hosted by the "Boy Scouts Van Suriname" brought together 15 Scout Leaders and NSO representatives from the english speaking Interamerican Region who are responsible for the external relations or communications in their respective NSOs for a three day intensive training module on communications, branding and representing the movement.

Raul Sanchez, Regional Director of the World Scout Bureau, Interamerican region, was also present for the duration of the forum, this being his first official regional event in his newly appointed capacity as Regional Director. He engaged the participants on the issue of effective communication strategy implementation with focus on stimulation of growth in the movement especially in the Interamerican region.

In the opening ceremony held on the Friday 30th of May, Mr Humphrey Schurman, Chief Commisioner of Boy Scouts Van Suriname, urged participants to take advantage of this opportunity to increase their knowledge on the subjects being broached. He also recommended that the participants share this acquired knowledge with their respective NSOs upon their return home.

A unique addition to this series of Forums is the inclusion of an interactive evaluation process. The process allows the participants to rate their satisfaction with the material being presented and to gauge whether the participants expectations of the forum are being met. Completed by participants daily, the tool also gives feedback to the trainers at the end of every day. It enables trainers to assess the forum's progress, adjust the sessions contents and tailor make the information to maximize the participants experience so they leave having had their expectations satisfied. Finally, it allows participants to objectively rate the overall forum from organisation to material provided. The results from this feedback process will allow the team organising the Forums to take forward the best practices from previous forums and adjust for the up-coming ones.

Preliminary results show that the first Communication Forum was a success. The team intends to carry this success to the next Forum which will be held in Swaziland from 19th to 23rd May.



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