January 29, 2020

IOA Brings Foundations Course to Europe

For the first time, the International Ombudsman Association will be offering its Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice course in Geneva, April 22-24, 2020. The course will be hosted by the Office of the Ombudsman at the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Course Description
The Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice Course covers the fundamentals of the organizational ombudsman role by emphasizing the principles of confidentiality, neutrality, independence, and informality. Learn how to work with visitors to the office as well as how to act as a change agent within your organization. Practice key ombuds skills of listening, asking questions, clarifying, generating options, and moving to actions throughout the ombuds process. In addition, an experienced and highly committed faculty of ombuds will share best practices around setting up an office and evaluating and communicating the effectiveness of the office.
The course will be taught by José Martínez-Aragón, the Director of the Office of Ombudsman and Mediation Services of the World Health Organization; Marvin Neal, Independent Consultant and former Ombudsman at Coca-Cola Enterprises; and Thomas Zgambo, Ombudsman for the International Monetary Fund.

The course is limited to 24 participants and registration closes April 17, 2020. (IOA Event Info.)

Related posts: UN Magazine Introduces New World Health Organization Ombuds; IOA to Offer Ombuds Training in Colombia in October 2019.


  1. Scratching my head over this... A European Foundations training, but no European instructors? And no instructors from Higher Education despite the many Ombuds in that sector and the vibrant ENOHE? Is this a class targeted to UNARIO? (Noticed it's at a UN headquarters location.) While I'm on this; there were no female instructors available??? And aren't there Ombuds currently in practice who could have taught?

  2. Dear Anonymous,
    Don’t scratch too hard….one of the facilitators is in fact European! And though IOA strives and has succeeded in creating diverse facilitator teams- it’s just not always possible. In this case, the original teaching team (two of whom were female) required adjustment due to a schedule change in training dates. The main criterion was international experience, and this was achieved. Also, any interested organization is welcome to propose a hosting opportunity and UNARIO simply, graciously offered. Lastly, if a previously approved instructor is operating in a consultant role, they are qualified to continue teaching for IOA as long as they meet the remaining criteria. …. The good news is this course has exceeded the minimum participant requirement to date, which must mean the current facilitator team hasn’t deterred interest. Hope this information is helpful. If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out directly- we'd be happy to discuss! - PDC