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Training development and facilitation for ICMM

“Great!”, “Empowering”, “Enlightening”, “Exciting”, “In awe!”, “Challenging”, “Optimistic”, “Invigorating!” and “Inspiring”.

-ICMM training participants

A highlight of the training was…

“The insight into application”, “The shared experience”, “Connection”, “Networking”, “Identification of tools to use”, “Generous and open sharing”, and “Learning from expert opinions”.

-ICMM training participants

Training development and facilitation for ICMM

Client:International Council on Metals and Mining
Sector: Mining
Services client used:Training
Our expertise: Expertise on social issues related to mining, partnerships, content development, training

Project description

Synergy supported the International Council on Mining and Metals’ (ICMM) goal to deliver a series of three, 3-day training workshops in North America, Africa and Latin America, with a fourth one being planned for the following year in Asia Pacific.

Our combined, overarching goal was to support the development of healthy, resilient company-community relations. The approach we selected hinged on weaving together four key focus areas, three of which had already been developed by ICMM: assessing community support, human rights, and indigenous people. The fourth focus area, conflict, drew on guidance from International Alert.

The very practical objective of the training was to equip community relations staff with the skills and tools needed to assess levels of community support, understand underlying issues of potential conflict and manage challenging issues around human rights and indigenous peoples. A final objective was to make existing ICMM guidance more accessible and familiar to community relations staff, such that they are able to draw on it across a variety of situations relating to company-community issues.

The training provided a very interactive and creative forum in which participants were able to share insights and lessons learned, and gain some of the skills needed to face the daily challenges of their community relations role.


The first phase of the project required the development of the following training materials:

  • PowerPoint presentations;
  • Guidelines for facilitated, interactive exercises to embed learning; and
  • Training scripts for facilitators.

The second phase of the project involved the actual facilitation of the training. We have been involved with three, 3-day training workshops in Toronto, Johannesburg and Santiago.

Key challenges and successes

The main challenge of the project was finding a way to distil the essential messages across a wide range of focus areas and associated guidance, and to find a common thread to hold the 3-day training together.

Once found though, it created the basis for a training course that integrated all four focus areas together, allowing participants to understand the linkages between the focus areas and their shared impact on company-community relations.

This integrated journey also freed participants to approach the guidance afresh, free to choose different elements of it, as needed, rather than viewing the guidance as needing to be applied from beginning to end.

Key to the success of the training was a commitment to enabling a safe and creative space in which participants could share and engage, and generate solutions to the challenges they all face.