Get to know your participants

In order to be able to design appropriate and relevant training workshops, it is recommended that trainers/facilitators conduct a Training Needs Analysis with their participants. Through this process, the trainer/facilitator can begin learning about the contexts, the expectations, the technical baselines, and the current understanding of the relationships between feminism and technology of their intended/expected participants.

There are various ways to do this process, depending on the time available, access to participants, and resources on-hand. Here we provide guidelines for three different types of Training Needs Analysis:

  • Ideal Training Needs Analysis: There is ample planning and designing time. The trainer/facilitator has access to the participants.
  • Realistic Training Needs Analysis: The trainer/facilitator has limited time to plan and design the training workshop, and limited access to participants.
  • Base-Level Training Needs Analysis: There is limited time to plan and design the training. The trainer/facilitator has no access to participants.

Note: Conducting a pre-training needs analysis does not mean that the Expectations Check during the first session of the training workshop is no longer necessary. It is advised that any workshop should still include that session to confirm and reaffirm the pre-training needs analysis results.

Ideal Training Needs Analysis

  • Preparation time: More than one month
  • Comprehensive Training Needs Analysis Questionnaire (Annex 1)
  • Baseline Interview Questions (Annex 2)

In this scenario, the trainer/facilitator has ample time to plan and design the training workshop, which means they have the time to connect with the participants, the participants have time to respond, and the trainer/facilitator has time to process the responses.

Given that there is proper lead time for the training planning and design, there are three methodologies in the ideal scenario:

Comprehensive Training Needs Analysis Questionnaire for Participants (see Annex 1 for the questionnaire). In this questionnaire, there are questions about the participants' use of technology and tools, as well as their understanding and knowledge of feminist tech concepts and online GBV, and their expectations for the training workshop. Using this questionnaire, the trainer/facilitator will be able to get a better picture of the needs and realities of the expected participants.

Follow-up Interviews with Participants. Based on the results of the questionnaire, the trainer/facilitator can get a sample of the expected participants to take part in an interview. Ideally, the sample should include all the participants, but a minimum of 50% (depending on the number of participants) should be met. Participants who had outlier/unique responses to specific questions (i.e. the ones with the most experience and the least experience in technology; or the ones with the most knowledge and the least knowledge about feminism and technology; or the ones who have very specific expectations from the training workshop) should be part of the interview process. Usually, these interviews with participants take 60 minutes maximum.

Consultation with Organisers. In this stage, the trainer/facilitator meets with the organisers to share the results of the questionnaire and the interviews, and the proposed training plan and design. Here, the trainer/facilitator also confirms that the design and plan meet the organisers' goals and agenda. It is assumed here that throughout the entire process, the trainer/facilitator has kept in touch with the organisers.

Realistic Training Needs Analysis

  • Preparation time: Less than one month
  • Use: Comprehensive Training Needs Analysis Questionnaire (Annex 1) OR Baseline Interview Questions (Annex 2)

This scenario is more common. More often than not, a trainer/facilitator has less than one month to plan and design a training workshop due to resource constraints.

Given the time constraints, the trainer/facilitator will need to short-cut the Training Needs Analysis process, and depending on an initial consultation with the organisers, choose between conducting the Comprehensive Training Needs Analysis Questionnaire, or interviewing 50% of the expected participants (see Annex 2 for Baseline Interview Questions).

Base-Level Training Needs Analysis

  • Preparation time: Less than two weeks
  • Use: 10-Question Training Needs Analysis Survey (Annex 3).

In this scenario, the trainer/facilitator has less than two weeks for planning and designing the training workshop. Here, the trainer/facilitator barely has time to get to know the participants before the training workshop and may distribute this questionnaire at the start of a workshop or as participants enter the workshop. While there are a few ways to make up for this lack of pre-training needs analysis during the workshop itself – Expectations Check, or running a Spectrum of Technology Use Exercise, or the Women's Wall of Technology Firsts, we still recommend trying to have the participants respond to a 10-Question Training Needs Analysis Survey (see Annex 3).


Annex 1: Comprehensive Training Needs Analysis Questionnaire for Participants

linked here as an .odt document

Annex 2: Baseline Interview Questions

The purpose of this interview is to short-cut the Comprehensive Training Needs Analysis Questionnaire for Participants. So it will cover the general topics covered by the questionnaire, but with less detail. These interviews are supposed to be 60 minutes long. Each set of questions should roughly take about 10 minutes.

  1. Tell me about yourself. Your organisation, your role there. Where are you based? Which communities do you work with?
  2. What are the challenges you face in your work when it comes to using the internet? Is this a challenge that the communities that you work with face as well? In what way? How are you or your community members addressing these challenges?
  3. What internet applications do you use the most? Do you use them for work or for your personal life?
  4. Which device do you use the most? What kind of device is it? What operating system does it run on?
  5. What are your top concerns about using the internet and the applications that you use? Do you feel like those applications are secure?
  6. Can you tell me what your top three expectations are about the training workshop?

Annex 3: 10-Question Training Needs Analysis

  1. Name, organisation, position, and description of the work that you do.
  2. What kind of communities do you work with, and what are their main issues?
  3. How long have you been using the internet?
  4. What operating system do you use the most?
  5. What kind of mobile phone do you have?
  6. What are the apps that you use the most?
  7. What are the top three concerns you have about your use of technology and the internet?
  8. What are the top three security tools/practices/tactics that you use?
  9. What do you think are the top three issues around feminism and technology?
  10. What do you want to learn from the training?
Go back to the FTX: Safety Reboot's main page