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Grants:MSIG/Examples/Skill Development/Guidance

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This page contains extended guidance to applicants who wish to develop new skill development resources or activities. It is meant to supply the examples of skill development implementation grants, a part of Movement Strategy.

Types of Skill Development Activities[edit]

Skill development activities are the method(s) one uses to help learners develop skills. If we think of the skill as the “what,” the skill development activity is the “how.” Below is a list of learning activities that you are encouraged (but not mandated) to select from. You can select one or multiple. Because many of the activities listed can have multiple interpretations based on local context or language, when writing your proposal, please define the skill development activity you have selected. For example, if you select “online course,” describe what exactly that means and provide as much detail as possible.

Determining The Appropriate Skill Development Activity[edit]

There are several factors to consider when selecting a skill development activity. Is it online or offline, one-time or continuous, learner-centered or teacher-centered, active or passive? These are just a few questions to ask as you determine the most suitable learning activity or activities. The selection you choose should be based on your target learners (their needs, contexts, abilities) and the skill(s) you aim to develop.

To help you reflect on the best-suited skill development activity for your objectives and learner needs, we have included a short, self-guided exercise below. This exercise is optional, and is only meant to help you think further about your skill development activity selection. Each row of the table describes a learning trait and its opposite(s). Each row can be viewed as a spectrum, from one pole to the other. To complete the exercise, read each row and decide the most fitting choice. Keep in mind that your end result may not involve all of the traits, nor lie firmly on one side of each spectrum.

Individual learning Group learning
Self-guided Instructor-led
Online Blended Offline
Local International
Learner Focus Topic Focus
Learner-led Peer-led Instructor-led
Interactive Passive
Informal Formal
Synchronous learning Asynchronous learning
Theoretical Practical
Spaced-out (time) sessions Condensed (time) sessions
Continuous Fixed-term
Similar ability learners Mixed ability learners
Motivated learners Unmotivated learners
Low intensity High intensity
Monolingual Multilingual


Types of Skills[edit]

The skills needed to enable sustainability and growth in our movement are wide-ranging and diverse. They depend on a variety of factors, such as a volunteer’s role, aspirations, or cultural context. A movement organizer who focuses on organizing events may need a different set of skills than someone who focuses on editing a Wiki project.

While we acknowledge the definition of “skill” is not singular, static or universal, for the purpose of facilitating a common understanding, we classify skills into two categories: sustaining skills and growing skills. Keep in mind that the skills of each category can and will overlap. The purpose of categorization is only to help provide framing, not to declare a sole definition.

Sustaining Skills[edit]

Sustaining skills are the practical and everyday skills of movement volunteers. When these skills are applied, they allow volunteers to contribute to projects and organize initiatives. Sustain is about continuing and maintaining the everyday work we are doing. They can be both technical and non-technical skills. Below is a non-exhaustive list of sustaining skills:

  • On-wiki technical skills (editing, tool use, templates use, working with API, etc.)
  • Governance
  • Writing
  • Grant writing
  • Project management
  • Fundraising
  • Advocacy and public policy
  • Financial management
  • Strategic thinking
  • Organizational development
  • Event planning
  • Succession planning
  • Community management and outreach
  • Partnership development

Growing Skills (Leadership Skills)[edit]

Growing skills are skills we apply to help our movement grow. While it can be argued that sustaining skills are also growing skills, growing skills have a keen focus on growth. Growing skills are what we refer to as leadership skills in the Skill and Leadership Development recommendation summary. These skills are often related to social, interpersonal, and personal skills or qualities. Below is a non-exhaustive list of growing skills:

  • Communication
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Facilitation
  • Mentorship
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Deep & active listening
  • Empathy
  • Humor
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-care and resilience
  • Flexibility
  • Purpose
  • Self-confidence

Helpful Resources[edit]

Some helpful resources on learning design: