Promoting Positive Workplace Development & DEI-A through WI-HER’s iDARE Methodology and Customized Training Programs
February 2024

By Liz Hall, WI-HER Communications Manager, and Eileen Liang-Massey, WI-HER Senior Associate

A company’s culture makes a difference in just about everything that impacts the success of an organization, including employee engagement and increased productivity. “It makes sense that businesses focused on building their culture and creating a clear mission stand the best chance of retaining employees and attracting top talent,” according to Forbes.

Utilizing WI-HER’s iDARE Methodology to Build Stronger Organizations

Since 2011, WI-HER has been known for driving locally-led, inclusive practices that transform the way organizations, institutions, and communities operate and work towards achieving shared goals and objectives. For example, this has included work with stakeholders dedicated to optimizing the capacity of healthcare workers and governments—such as on USAID-funded projects like Nigeria IHP, Uganda’s SBCA, and ASSIST—to equitably serve the most vulnerable and marginalized populations.

WI-HER’s innovative, results-driven, and human-centered iDARE™ methodology has underpinned this work in more than 55 countries. Beginning in 2022, WI-HER expanded the use of iDARE to support various stakeholders in the development and implementation of customized, evidence-based, and participant-driven capacity development trainings that address workforce challenges in a wide range of organizations, institutions, and agencies. All organizations benefit from assessing their workplace culture and identifying ways of improving how they engage with their staff and navigate sensitive internal processes.

Specifically, iDARE is used to develop customized training programs by:

  • Identifying the needs of a client/organization by conducting a needs assessment.
  • Designing and delivering a curriculum that takes into account various learning styles. The tailored curriculum includes sensitizing participants on the training’s purpose and goal.
  • Assessing the participants’ knowledge following the training and ensuring participants can Apply the knowledge gained through, for example, organizational change action plans.
  • Recording and collecting feedback and other data from participants before, during, and after the training, establishing a reflexive and iterative learning environment.
  • Expanding on what the participants learned through follow-up support and coaching, and integrating lessons learned into tailored support tools and approaches.

The trainings developed by WI-HER using iDARE strengthen institutional capacity and promote positive workforce development in meaningful ways, from how to ensure gender equality and inclusivity are mainstreamed and institutionalized, to identifying and addressing structural biases that influence workplace discrimination.

Moreover, iDARE is not just at the core of how our customized training packages are designed, but also in how they are delivered and lessons sustained. For example, iDARE is used within the trainings with participants via root cause analysis and solution identification. By invoking the principles of iDARE during training, participants are active leaders in creating sustainable solutions and measurable results within their organizations. With this approach to training, in 2023, WI-HER was selected to help senior leaders, managers, and emerging leaders in government agencies, like the Department of Education, receive certification in various disciplines, including diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA).

How the USIBWC is Harnessing WI-HER’s Training to Build Leaders

The U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) contracted WI-HER to design and execute a leadership training program to strengthen leadership practices, improve workplace relationships, and enhance staff productivity. The multi-year partnership is focused on building a cadre of highly skilled and effective leaders capable of steering the organization through change and constructively navigating conflict. Following a rapid assessment to understand USIBWC’s workplace culture and employee-manager relationships and to identify USIBWC’s staff’s needs, WI-HER designed and executed a leadership program that is comprehensive, effective, and responsive. Throughout the training, WI-HER used iDARE and, as a result, USIBWC managers and leaders brainstormed solutions faced by the organization and began implementing them together. Consequently, IBWC staff are contributing to an organizational culture that promotes cohesion, teamwork, and in the long run, improved organizational efficiency and productivity.

WI-HER’s Training and Capacity Development Offerings

WI-HER offers customized training and coaching services on various topics such as DEIA; workplace sexual harassment prevention and response; leadership; and gender, equity, and social inclusion (GESI) mainstreaming, among other areas. WI-HER’s growing client roster includes U.S. government agencies, companies in the private sector, and international and local non-government institutions.

No matter the industry or sector, WI-HER utilizes iDARE to develop and deliver customized training curricula, ensuring that the precise needs of a workforce are met through capacity building and optimization initiatives. These initiatives put organizations in a better position to build sustainable, long-term organizational change that benefits employees and employers.

When employees are given the tools to succeed as leaders well beyond the life of a training, organizations experience a cultural shift, allowing them to implement processes and solutions that foster continuous improvement at all levels of an organization. As a result, new leaders—and, in turn, companies—thrive.

“iDARE is inherently a methodology founded on flexibility and customizability, making it uniquely suited for application in multiple contexts—as we know, no workplace is exactly the same—and in a variety of areas, from gender, equity, and inclusion, to tackling sexual harassment and workplace misconduct. By using iDARE, we customize curricula and the training approach in which we coach and support organizations and their staff. Our approach is driven by the workplace itself, ensuring the solutions to workforce challenges are owned and operationalized by our clients. This will ensure accountability and effective change. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to workplace cultural change and iDARE embraces that.” – Dr. Taroub Harb Faramand, WI-HER President and Founder

“iDARE necessitates both active participation and constant reflection and customization, on the part of both the participant and the trainer, often within the training itself in real-time. This creates a unique and active learning environment that even the most reserved of participants can tap into. And the best part? We see results, we see behavior change, we see institutional shifts. For me, that is one of the joys of seeing iDARE in action.” – Eileen Liang-Massey, WI-HER Senior Associate

WI-HER’s iDARE methodology is a user-driven, step-wise approach that can be applied in multiple contexts, including in the development and implementation of customized, evidence-based, and participant-driven capacity development trainings.

WI-HER’s roster of clients for customized positive workforce development offerings include U.S. government agencies, including USIBWC; private sector companies; and international and local non-government institutions.

In 2022, WI-HER formed a multi-year partnership with the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) to design and execute a leadership training program to strengthen leadership practices, improve workplace relationships, and enhance staff productivity.

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