It is important for practitioners wishing to use this material to have a firm understanding of popular education concepts based on dialogue and emancipatory learning, a deep understanding of the essence of participatory rapid appraisal (PRA) as a process for learning from and with members of society and the awareness of their role in the development and learning process.
Starting with an orientation session, the approach allows participants to share their previous experiences, to analyse their current situation and learn from it. By doing this, beneficiaries are able to identify their personal challenges and turn those into opportunities. They develop critical thinking skills and learn how to address their knowledge and skill needs – those that are required for the labour market. Immediately after starting the training, participants are enrolled in post-orientation sessions (dialogic sessions) organised by qualified facilitators. The aim of those sessions is to analyse the reality people live in, using tools that combine Paolo Freire’s educational philosophy, which is characterised by participation, dialogue and emancipation with participatory rapid appraisal tools for social learning. That way a learning process from and with the community is initiated which enables participants to understand the causes of poverty and marginalisation based on daily urgent needs.
Through these sessions, certain topics need to be discussed collectively, for example problems and obstacles in meeting their urgent needs in daily life, as well as how to perform to achieve a better future. The situation analysis and diagnosis process widens participants’ understanding of issues like marginalisation, which they weren’t aware of before enrolling in the training. This is partly due to missing knowledge and skills required to compete for opportunities in the labour market and to get access to existing public services. DUNE enables participants to develop their own training pathways and become better involved in the socio-economic life of the community.