Home | 2011 Workshop

Participant Training: Working Smart-Action Planning Part 1 & 2
August 20, 2009 – 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Presenters:Ethel Brooks, USAID Office of Education
Jim Nindel, USAID Office of Education
Ron Raphael, USAID Office of Education
Jeffrey Shahan, Sayres & Associates/USAID Office of Education
Linda Walker, USAID Office of Education

This session focused on the theme “three generations of capacity building,” incorporating materials on traditional participant training and international travel, training for results, and Human and Institutional Capacity Development (HICD). Presenters discussed how the paradigm is shifting in participant training from focusing on the number of participants trained to a needs-based model, and participants shared how HICD programs have been working in their countries.

Presenters reiterated the importance of forming alliances with technical officers as they can offer the technical expertise needed to sponsor units and implementing partners. Participants were also reminded that policy changes recommended by the previous administrator are still in effect. Additional topics discussed included: stakeholder coordination, training and retention, pre-departure orientation and evaluating participant training. The differences were clarified between regional trainings, where participants use regional funds, U.S. trainings, and third-country training/in-country trainings, where participants use bilateral funds.

Actives based in Southern Africa were then showcased as specific examples of regional programming. These regional activities spanned 14 member states and provided support to CTOs, financial management and contracts assistance, monitoring and evaluation, and training implementing partners in TraiNet. Related to TraiNet, participants noted that Missions do not always collect appropriate indicators, and that indicators should to be created and tracked to monitor activities better. Participants shared their experiences in running two TraiNet systems concurrently, one regional and one at the national level with in-country and third country programs. This led to a debate about the usefulness of changing the system so that, rather than entering information for participants individually for nationals and foreigners, the system could be set so that data are not entered separately. It was also noted that USAID Missions should recognize borders according to the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of State.

Following the presentation of regional activities, the session ended in a roundtable discussion of the importance of ensuring that all those involved in the pre-departure process communicate appropriately and that pre-departure orientation provides participants with a complete program overview, highlighting the cultural aspects and explaining administrative and policy lines. Participants’ experiences with centrally funded activities were also shared.

Key take away points from these sessions included the evolution of participant training models and the new focus of providing needs-based training. When travel is required for training, sufficient preparatory materials should be provided to help travelers maximize the benefits of their in-country training experience. Funding sources for training sessions were also clarified: regional trainings are financed through regional funds, while U.S. and third country trainings are bilaterally financed. The final take away from this session included the intricacies of the TraiNet system and the need for improved indicator data collection.

To view the presentations, please click on link below:
Part 1 : Open
Part 2 : Open

    For questions related to the 2009 Education Workshop,
    please contact Rebekah Levi at rlevi@jbsinternational.com