just do(ing) it better

A colleague of mine, who’s just started blogging as ‘nobody is perfect’, writes:

“The development community is often plighted by high cost trainings, where people all get paid transport fees and have accommodation and expensive consultants to train us. Often the training gets squeezed into 4 or 5 days. The results of these trainings are rarely reviewed, and by that very fact, we could assume not always very positive in terms of change.

And then comes the exception.”

He’s referring to the three-country trial of some different learning approaches on project management that I kicked off and wrote about back in February. You can read part one, part two, part three and part four. My colleague is in Tanzania, the ‘condition 3’ country – distance learning support only, no face to face workshop. He continues:

“The training was done through a series of on-line sessions over a period of about 8 weeks, but in total, we were together (virtually) for only about 12 hours, so the equivalent of 1.5 days.  This training came with no real additional costs to our organisation.  And the thing that I personally liked, there was no certificates for participation, only for passing a test.  Adding to that, a pass mark was set at a level of at least 70%.”

At the six month mark (in August) I’ll be doing an end line survey of all participants and discovering what the impact has been in each country – have people actually learned and changed the way they work for the better? But I’m very pleased to be beaten to the punch on this with what he writes next:

Recently, I was with some members of the team that took part in the training in a general meeting, which was bringing together people from the private sector, universities, research institutes, government and fellow NGO’s to review and confirm the allocation of responsibilities under a newly awarded donor contract. 

Impressive it was to see some of the familiar slides from the training up on the projector.  But that would be easy, just copying and pasting.  What was impressive is that the team had learnt and adapted the training tools to the piece of work that they were sharing.  More than that, in the process of the meeting they were training others on what they have learnt so that their work is improved as well (and doing this in a low cost way).

Here’s the whole post.