Passion for oceans and coasts meets trainer skills: Blue training of trainers in Bali

Passion for oceans and coasts meets trainer skills:
Blue training of trainers in Bali

Written by Carolin Hoffmann, Blue Solutions Initiative

It is our mission to foster capacity development in the field of coastal and marine management. For that reason, we have just spent 9 days with a diverse group of marine professionals who underwent an intense training program on various elements and skills that constitute a blue trainer. There is one thing we are sure of – what happened in Bali will not stay in Bali!

What were the objectives of this training of trainers?

We would like to see a group of skilled trainers out there who are motivated and able to tackle some of the most pressing challenges in the marine space through the moderation and facilitation of stakeholder processes.

This training course was dedicated to familiarize future trainers with the concepts and methodologies of the training courses “Integrating Ecosystem Services”, “Climate Change Adaption” and “Blue Planning in Practice”. The workshop gave future trainers the opportunity to make their own experiences as trainees and to enhance their capacities related to participant-centered training, moderation, facilitation and visualization techniques.

Also, we encouraged our participants and their affiliated institutions to incorporate blue trainings into their training portfolios.

Who participated in this training?

We were joined by a wonderful group of people from all over the world who created a strong sense of companionship and mutual support throughout the course. The participants consisted of 17 members of different international institutions, including NGOs, universities and entities dedicated to development cooperation.

These people brought an amazing mix of regional perspectives and professional backgrounds to the table, while sharing the drive of wanting to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of marine ecosystems.

Who conducted this training?

The blue training of trainers was jointly organized and conducted by the Mami Wata project and the Blue Solutions Initiative of GIZ. The trainer team consisted of Christian Neumann (Blue Solutions and Mami Wata Project), Jan Kleine Büning (Blue Solutions) and Britta Heine (independent consultant).

What happened during the 9-day training program?

The training of trainers first focused on content and concepts of the blue training courses, and participants went through conceptual introductions as well as several exercises of the case work and role plays in order to experience the courses from a trainee’s perspective. The group went on a journey to the fictitious country Bakul and conducted, for instance, a climate risk assessment as well as a stakeholder meeting for defining a joint vision for Bakul coast.

The second half of the course was dedicated to a diverse range of training methodologies. Some of the many questions we tried to answer included:

How do adults learn most effectively?

What does it mean to be a trainer?

How do you design a training program?

How do you balance very vocal and rather introverted participants in a training?

Why is visualization important, and which techniques are there ready to be applied by anyone?

Moreover, the group identified potential cases for future trainings within their working contexts. For four cases, one group of participants simulated a training session with the remaining participants as trainees.It was impressive to see how the groups put the learnings and inputs of the previous days into practice and guided their fellow trainees through interesting and challenging sessions. The simulations dealt with stakeholder mapping, identifying potential conflicts between stakeholder groups, identifying spatial incompatibilities of different kinds of sea use and discussing the benefits of consulting GIS analysts in a spatial planning process.

Eventually, we would like to congratulate our group of future trainers on their fantastic work during these 9 intense days, as well as our hardworking trainer team for being such inspiring examples and adding a good portion of fun and humor to the whole experience.

What happens next?

We are looking forward to several upcoming national and regional trainings on Blue Planning Practice, for which we seek the collaboration with our new group of blue trainers. Without any doubt, there is much work to do, as marine spatial planning processes are just about to kick off in a number of countries and regions.

It is in our interest to support and strengthen these processes through capacity building and the exchange of existing experiences. Of course, solution-oriented approaches can be found and browsed on our PANORAMA – Solutions for a Healthy Planet platform.

Stay tuned!

For more information and impressions, check out our Impressions Report. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and stay informed about our ongoing activities, including future training courses, our participation at international science-policy processes and the promotion of solution-oriented best practices in the ocean realm!

If you have any questions regarding our training courses, please contact Jan Kleine Büning ( For further activities of the Blue Solutions Initiative, get in touch with us via