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We agreed that we need to have discussion with participants – timeline need to be agreed but we propose the following

discussions need to be conducted by the facilitator

a. Pre conference discussion –


 Purpose – to invite the participants, clarify objectives, clearly state requirements to be met by the
participants (finding quite place -noiseless location, if available earphone, sending documents either
traditional means or electronically).
 Inform participants of the conference call date, time, and expected duration.
 Remind participants to becoming familiar with muting their phones in prep for the call
 Facilitators should use a meeting room/location where it is quiet or where he/she can close the door
to avoid background noises.
 SMS – focus area questions – the facilitator need to send focus area questions that the participants
will be presenting during the actual training
 SMS reminder a day before and hours before the training starts
 If participants have language problem, they need to be paired with one who speaks good Amharic or
English
 Airtime must be requested 2 days before conference call. British Council staff need to arrange the
airtime 24hours before the conference call. Facilitators need
 BC to provide and deliver all printed material to participants in advance
 BC to inform facilitators details of participants 2 weeks before the conference call
 Plan for enough time to test the phone equipment before beginning the call. Battery, Airtime, health
of your phone
 TEST BEFORE YOUR CONFERENCE – facilitators need to be comfortable with the tech as well as the
modality. So we recommend facilitators TEST BEFORE YOUR CONFERENCE, TEST BEFORE YOUR
CONFERENCE again and again. You have small chance to recover, if for some reason your battery is
low and your call drops, you have another 10-15 minutes to recall everyone and resume the
conference
 Try to provide participants as many alternatives as possible to send their case stories. So facilitators
need not say “Oh I don’t have that one”. So you need to register in as many social media platforms
as possible. Whatsup, Telegram, Facebook, dinkTalk, etc.

b. Conference Call
 Conference calls need to be started 15 Minutes before the training time. On average it took 10-15
minutes to join all 5 participants to the conference during testing the modality amongst the
facilitators
 Ground Rules need to be clearly set. The most important ground rules we agreed up on are
i. Participants talk only when they are asked by the host
ii. When they have a questions or idea they would like to contribute they need to say “their
name and a word” before speaking a single word – like questions, idea, suggestion, etc. and
not start talking without the facilitator’s permission. For example I would say “Yonas here,
Question”
iii. Mute themselves until they are ready to talk or are given by the facilitator to talk
iv. Address people by name when they are speaking to them.
v. Pause for others to comment when speaking
vi. Respect other people’s opinion
vii. Be active participant
viii. Be precise on the point of discussion
ix. Be constructive on discussion and focus on what to do next to be productive
x. Speak loudly and clearly – using tone to express interest or enthusiasm
xi. Pay attention (avoid doing other things or other side conversations with colleagues). Taking
notes is allowed
xii.Include protocol on how participants should notify the facilitator should they have any
challenges with the call (i.e. call droped or disconnected, etc. – they need to text )
 Facilitators need to run the conference call for about 1:30 – 2:00 hours would be ideal not overdo it
in one go
 Facilitators must record all conference calls
 Participants need to Introduce themselves formally briefly
 Facilitators need to prepare all the necessary materials beforehand. Any reference need to be
checked amongst participants. This includes baseline, PPTs printout, Booklet, End course survey.
Anything relevant that is required to complete the training need to be checked. This is kind of
housekeeping
 Facilitators need to provide fair amount of time to participants to forward their ideas and prepared
presentations. When a participant is taking longer time, facilitators need to intervene politely.
Participants should be treated equally and with respect.
 The main medium of training should be Amharic with English code switching when required. If there
are participants with language difficulty they should be indented during the preconference
preparations. Facilitators should arrange to pair trainees with language problem with another who is
good at Amharic or English.
 During Training Follow the Remastered Training Module (To be developed from the main modules)
with flexibility
 Finish the discussion on time. Don’t hold participants for longer than planned
 Always take 5-8 minutes of reflection on the day’s conference call with participants and ask for any
improvements they might suggest. Remind next conference call, issues to discuss and their role in
the discussion before the day’s conference closes
 Facilitators need to PAUSE TO LET OTHERS SPEAK of their questions or idea or suggestion. Go slow
as people might have
 Direct questions, discussion points and comments to specific individuals or locations.
 Encourage participation and keep things moving
 Prepare relevant energizers and ice-breakers
c. Post Conference Call
 Report in brief to BC
 Send the conference recording to British Council
 Collect case stories as much as possible through electronic means and use the traditional postal
service when all options are not available

Technical Notes

 One host can dial and merge only 5 other participants


 Put the phone where it is comfortable to see the screen.
 It is recommended that facilitators use earphone. But in this case the mute function is on the earphone.
Most earphones do not have. But the noise from earphone is very small compared to without earphone
 Some smartphone software versions may not have the capability to merge calls (conference call), or record
options. So check if your phone is capable of doing both. Remember I did not use any special phone or
android version during the testing phase. It is just a simple techno mobile with android. No special
application was required to make the conference call and record the conference.
 It takes some seconds for participants to unmute and speak. So give them some seconds when their turn to
speak
 It is not recommended for the facilitator to Mute and Unmute as he will be speaking frequently. A good
location is important.
 Start recording immediately after the second participant joined the conference
 Immediately after all participants are on the conference change your screen to the see all participants. In
case there is a call drop on one of the participants you will be able to see who is missing from the list
 There is no central mute and unmute facility
 Cost is 5 times the minute rate. If I held a conference for one hour for 5 participants, I will be charged
5X60=300 minutes of Airtime by Ethiotelecom

Procedure:

i. Phone the first person. After the call connects and you complete a few pleasantries, touch the Add Call icon. You
might need to press those three dots at the end if you don’t find the add call button. The Add Call icon is shown.
After touching that icon, or a similar icon, the first person is put on hold.
ii. Dial the second person. You can use the dialpad or choose the second person from the phone’s address book or the
recent calls log. Say your pleasantries and inform the party that the call is about to be merged.
iii. Touch the Merge or Merge Calls icon.

iv. The two calls are now joined: The touchscreen says Conference Call, and the End Last Call icon appears. Everyone
you’ve dialed can talk to and hear everyone else.