Sunday, December 26, 2010

Marry Christmas and Happy 2011!

We wish you a Marry Christmas and Happy 2011!

The Youngsters from Ulmu village made a nice video message sharing their Christmas and New Year wishes:

The Youngsters from Ulmu village, Moldova are participating in the Youth Development program 'Youth in the Center', which is facilitated by Procommunity Centre with support from Kontakt der Kontinenten, Proni Centre for Social Education and Hogeschool Windesheim.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thinking through about a capacity development intervention!

Which activities to select on how to guide an organisation in its process of development? 1. Exchange, 2. facilitation, 3. coaching, 4. research, 5. training, 6. advise, 7. management or 8. implementation?

Two Young Professionals from Togetthere met for a one-day training on the 21st December, 2010 to think through about their capacity development intervention. Both Young Professionals will be assisting for a period of 6 months local development organisations in Peru and Rwanda in the area of communication and micro-finance. Part of the training was to gain skills on how to plan for a capacity development intervention based on their job description and some basic principles of capacity development.
The training was led by Simon Koolwijk, professional in the area of facilitation and capacity development. Some useful information and literature about these topics can be found at the ICCO CAD tookit site and the UNDP CD site. The training was a combination of theory, practicals in planning, presentations and discussing about dilemma's Young Professionals are facing in these kind of interventions. Some interesting stories are shared at the blogspot "Everything you always wanted to know about Capacity Development" and the Barefoot guide.

The training was useful, interactive and dynamic, commented the participants the end of the course. It was actually a bit too short. We would have loved more stories about the challenges and dilemma's in capacity development interventions and on how to tackle that.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Developing capactities of local organisations

'Build informal contacts', 'build good contacts with your supervisor', 'organise a cultural exchange party to build cultural understanding', 'conduct a participatory meeting with your colleagues guided by an external facilitator', 'consult a coach or a local mentor', 'plan monitoring and evaluation moments with your supervisor', and 'get clear about the conditions which your partner organisation can fullfill to make your capacity development intervention to a success'. These were some of the recommendations which were shared on how to tackle dilemma's and build ownership during a capacity development intervention.
Dilemma's and how to create ownership in organisational development was one of the sessions during the training Project Cycle Management & Capacity Development of organisations which was held and organised by the Hendrik Kraemer Institute. The training was attended by Development professionals from World Servants, Mensen met een Missie and Togetthere - ICCO. The 3-day training conducted by Simon Koolwijk delt with the principles of Project Cycle Management, Organisational Analysis and capacity development. A compilation of literature can be found at the ICCO-cad toolkit website.
Participants presented their cases from Ukraine, South-Africa and Guatemala on where they are planning for a capacity development intervention. Applying the theoretical principles and practising with tools in organisational development, it helped the participants to get their plan of action clear on how they will assist their partner organisations. The barefoot guide and the blog 'Everything you always wanted to know about capacity development' provide deeper insight on what is involved in capacity development.'The training was a good combination of theory and practise. There was a balance between our experiences and this from the trainer' commented the participants at the end of the course. 'It was an eye-opener on how to work with our partner organisations.'

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Formulating indicators at policy & strategic level; Project Cycle Management

The training was a mix of 'deepening understanding' about our strategic plan, teambuilding and receiving professional feedback on how to optimize our relations with our project partners. This training gave us new insights and tools on how to further develop our 4-year strategic plan. It was useful and practical! These were some of the comments from staff from Kom Over and Help after participating in the training Project Cycle Management & Partner Relations. KOEH is a development organisation supporting NGO's and churches who are assisting poor and disprivalaged families and children in Eastern Europe.
The 3-day in-company course was conducted by Gerard Verbeek and Simon Koolwijk. The training was focused at reviewing the strategic plan, formulating key indicators at project, policy and strategic level and gaining tools for project visits to project partners.As most development organisations, KOEH is applying the Project Cycle Management approach for monitoring & evaluating its projects. Main purpose of the PCM method is to optimize the effectivity, impact and efficiency of projects. The role of Gerard Verbeek and Simon Koolwijk was to assist KOEH in optimizing the key indicators for policy formulation and to review the existing procedures for monitoring & evaluation, reporting and partnerships.

The first day of the training was focused on the theoretical principles of project cycle management and formulation of project indicators. On the second day a role play was exercised to get a deeper understanding about the existing partner relations with project partners in Eastern Europe. The exercise provided some useful tools on how to optimize partnerships in helping deprived and poor groups. Some tools can be found in the Barefoot Guide. On the third day the strategic plan was reviewed and key indicators were formulated for the strategic plan.

Finally participants shared their excitements about the course. The perspective from 2 outsiders and specialists gave us some useful hints optimizing in helping poor families and children in Eastern Europe. The training was welll prepared! It was practical! And the open atmosphere gave space for gaining new insights in improving our work!