• Philip Dearden presents on Project Cycle Leadership the Caribbean Leadership Symposium

    10 July 2018
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    Philip Dearden with Devon Rowe, Executive Director of the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration CARICAD.

    Above: Philip Dearden with Devon Rowe, Executive Director of the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration CARICAD.

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    Philip Dearden, the Head of CIDT, presented a session entitled ‘How critical is leadership around the project cycle in delivering results in the Caribbean Region?’ at the Caribbean Leadership Symposium in Kingston, Jamaica, 28th – 29th June 2018.

    Over 120 senior leaders in the public sectors from across the Caribbean Region and representatives of key regional and international agencies attended the Symposium with the theme ‘Building Leadership Resilience: From Surviving to Thriving’. The event was organised by the Caribbean Leadership Project (CLP).

    The CLP is an initiative funded by the Government of Canada to support the leadership and economic development training needs of national public sectors in 12 CARICOM countries and key regional organisations.

    The Symposium was opened by the Hon. Dr Nigel Clarke, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and the Public Service.

    Dr Darran Newman, Division Chief (Ag.) Technical Cooperation Division (CDB), outlined the importance of Leadership in the Caribbean in her remarks at the Opening Ceremony.

    They were both joined by Her Excellency Laurie Peters, Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica and Ms Collen Rossiter, Project Director of the CLP, seen here to the left and right of Phil respectively.

    The first day of the event was lead by Dr Wayne Corneil who lead an interactive session on Crisis Leadership and Change.

    On the second day of the symposium Philip (Head of CIDT) and Claire Fischer (DODS Training Associate) presented sessions on the Caribbean Development Bank’s Public Policy Analysis and Management (PPAM) and Project Cycle Management (PCM) Programme.

    This was followed by a session led by Dr Darran Newman, Division Chief (Ag.) Technical Cooperation Division (CDB), examining the Power of Collective Leadership Impact – Can communities of practice nurture leadership attitudes and behaviour in the policy process?

    These closed door sessions were attended by Permanent Sectretaries, Deputy Permanent Secretaries, and others of equivalent rank from across the 19 countries supported by the CDB.

    The specific objectives of the session were:

    • To provide an analysis and stock take of the main issues, drawing from the perspectives of Permanament Sectrtaries and Deputy Permanagement Sectraries who attended PPAM/PCM face to face training.
    • The enhance the practice of bolder leadership in navigating the political and institutional space.
    • To consider the case for a more devolved leadership model where staff (women and men) in all ministries with project and programme respoinsibiliteis are encouraged and coached to take on a stronger and more proactive leadership roles.
    • To debate the power of collective leadership impact – Can communities of practice nurture leadership attitudes and behaviours in the policy process?

    The sessions heavily focused on how to overcome the key insititutional challenges in relation to policy making and delvery that are emerging from the ongoing CDB training programme.

    Philip’s session concluded that Caribbean development projects and programmes need staff teams and individuals who have the confidence and capability to address the organisational and institutional challenges and appreciate and balance the various tensions that can arise. They also need an ability to draw on evidence and prior practical experience to apply context-specific judgement.  He strongly argued that in relation to addressing the regional implementation deficit, project and programme management is now simply not enough.  Project and programme leaders are now required.

    The 7 Simple Steps in CIDT’s experiential Leadership Capacity Development Programme (a programme designed for both female and male leaders at all levels) were outlined and briefly discussed in relation to the perceived needs in the Caribbean region.

    Philip also highlighted the need for sustainability in relation to the needs for further ongoing capacity development across the region.

    A series of suggestions/recommendations were put forward by all speakers. These were discussed in small groups and feedback collected.

    Despite the challenging nature of the many difficult delivery issues discussed during the closed door session, the early feedback from participants is very positive.   All of the participants who completed the evaluation survey forms gave a high rating for the session in terms of its contribution to their learning ( i.e. either strongly agreed or agreed).

    The closed door session was facilitated by Karen Hinds,  Chief Executive Officer, Workplace Success Group seen here leading the final “Call for Action” session (and paying tribute to both Jamaica and Usain Bolt!).

    Please click here on this link to see Philip’s presentation.

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  • CIDT supports development of Macedonia Decent Work Country Programme with the ILO

    26 June 2018
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    There is increasing pressure on policy makers to define tangible and quantifiable results of policy interventions and to monitor them. This holds true for the International Labour Office (ILO) as well as for its constituents including Ministries of Labour, employers, and trade unions.

    Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is an important management tool that helps to track whether programmes are on track or need to make changes.  Good M&E helps to answer the public’s frequent requests to know which programmes work and which do not.  The recently review of the ILO’s last Decent Country Work Plan (DWCP) for Macedonia highlighted the need to strengthen M&E.

    In view of this ILO requested Philip Dearden (Head of CIDT) to provide refresher training on key concepts of M&E applying them to the planning of the Decent Work Country Programme for Macedonia (2018 to 21).  The training was targeted at some 27 specialists and mid-level managers of the Ministry of Labour of Macedonia, the Employers’ Confederation, and the key Trade Union staff in the country.

    The specific learning objectives of the two day event were to provide a refresher on key concepts of results measurement and practice its application in actually preparing the new DWCP for Macedonia.

    Sessions were held on the

    • Rationale for results measurement,
    • Key concepts of results measurement and its application to the planning of the new DWCP,
    • Improving the M&E frameworks of key outcomes proposed under the new DWCP.

    The results of the workshop were that the:

    • M&E skills of ILO constituents in Macedonia were refreshed,
    • Key DWCP outcomes are complemented by solid indicators of achievement and the key deliverables per outcome are clearly defined,
    • There was agreement on the way forward how to complete the DWCP including monitoring mechanisms.

        Some participant comments from the end of Clinic Evaluation:

    • Very good educative training
    • Interesting and useful lessons – excellent lecturer
    • Excellent facilitation
    • Good ways of sharing experiences, knowledge and skills and bringing many thoughts together for improvement of country general
    • Well done – very good!
    • Excellent presentations
    • Very good workshop format
    • Good concrete discussions
    • Comprehensive agenda
    • Motivation – very good!
    • Well-grounded workshop
    • Excellent high quality trainer/facilitator.

    Photos from the training

    Below: Maria Borsos presenting the findings of the Review of the last Macedonia Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP).

    Below: Clinic participants working on planning the new Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP)

    Below: Clinic participants working on planning the new Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP)

    Below: Clinic participants working on planning the new Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP)

    Below: End of Clinic certificates being presented by Markus Pilgrim

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  • CIDT and Palladium deliver a Support Fund Proposal Writing Workshop in Myanmar

    11 June 2018
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    CIDT was invited by Palladium to co-develop and run a 5 day Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) Support Fund Proposal Writing Workshop on the DFID FLEGT Facilitation Project in Myanmar. CIDT’s Rachel Roland teamed up with Palladium’s Marc Pavey and James Pilkington to run the participatory training during the week of April 23rd to 27th.

    The 42 participants on the course came from three major groupings who had successfully expressed interest in a grant from the VPA Support Fund. These were sixteen people from  the civil society organisations involved in forest legality issues from all around Myanmar;  fourteen people from the private sector timber associations and a number of people from other types of non governmental organisations such as small registered NGOs and research institutes and consultancy organisations. Several of the participants also belonged to the Multistakeholder Group (MSG) involved in the FLEGT preparation process. The workshop organisers also welcomed a number of people from the MSG’s Grants Sub Committee who observed the workshop during the entire week. Trainer Rachel was delighted to meet some alumni from the CIDT Improving Forest Governance course, who were part of this group.

    The training workshop was divided up into three sections

    • A first day of information about global and national FLEGT processes, and how to access the grants, eligibility criteria and grant agreements
    • 2.5 days of Results Based Management principles adapted for the prospective grantees to support their proposal writing
    • A day and a half of preparations for presentation to the grants subcommittee and then the presentations themselves.

    The training and workshop was organised at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MNREC)’s International Business Centre on Pyay Rd. All workshop IT and lighting plus catering support was provided from the IBC at a high standard.

    Furthermore, given that the trainers do not speak Myanmar’s language, all materials were translated into Myanmar and simultaneous translation in both directions was undertaken for every aspect of interaction during the timetable. The Simultaneous translation was of a very high quality such that there were few barriers to communication during the week.

    The participation in the training was extremely meaningful and good, especially since participants are not used to this intensive kind of workshop. Whereas at the start of the workshop one person asked if it was really necessary to come all week, there was a tendency to actually increase the number of participants as the week went on and people frequently stayed working after the formal end of the day – in short there was a real eagerness to learn about Results Based Management tools and techniques for proposal writing. In addition some real progress was made in discussions between the various parties about their participation in the national FLEGT process, afforded by having personnel from different parts of the country in the same room together for five days.

    From a level of very few participants having ever had interactive training or training on proposal writing, five very credible proposals were presented at the end of the week. Feedback about what had been learned was very insightful and showed a great appetite for learning. One participant lamented that “I needed this training 20 years ago”. He then revealed his age to be 76!

    The workshop ended and was deemed to be a great success. The grant proposal window will shortly open and the real measure of success is if proposal writing course participants present high quality proposals that can be funded by the UKAid funds available.

    Photos taken by Kho Phyo Htet, FLEGT Secretariat, Myanmar

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  • Project Cycle Management Training delivered across six countries in the Caribbean

    23 May 2018
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    CDB training

    CIDT have provided services to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) since 2013, most recently the design and delivery of Project Cycle Management (PCM) Training in 19 of the Bank’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs).

    Since November 2017 the CIDT team has delivered a suite eight modules in six countries  – Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The next round of training is scheduled to begin in late May 2018 in Belize, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia.

    CIDT pair international trainers with regional associates in a delivery model that has been very well received across the region –  an average of 97% positive participant feedback in the recent quarter. The training modules cover a wide range of tools and themes around the project cycle, including project design, management, monitoring and evaluation to more specific PCM approaches, such as project appraisal, managing technical assistance projects and procurement. Each module is contextualised with regional case studies and examples.

    Participant feedback has been very positive, as quotes from Trinidad and Guyana show:

    “The delivery of the module was exceptional, coming from a background where I had no prior knowledge of M&E and still be able to fully grasp all concepts, tools and techniques relating to M&E in 3 days, speaks to the quality of the materials delivered by the facilitators”.

    “As a graduate of a Masters Degree in Project Management since 2010, I haven’t been using the Project Management tools in my workplace.  So over the years, I have lost my interest in Project Management. The learning experience I have gained from participating in Module 5 has renewed my interest and passion in Project Management.  Now I am motivated and energized to work in a project oriented environment.  And I hope to be soon shifted to work in a department that is project oriented and focused on effective project planning and implementation.”

    CDB trainingCIDT’s project coordinator, David Meechan, visited Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana in April 2018 to deliver the Train the Trainer module, working with Nana Hesse-Bayne, a long standing regional associate based in Trinidad. The training unpicked methodologies of training delivery, encouraging participants to try out participatory style training through peer-based training practice.

    Eight weeks following completion of the face to face modules, participants are invited to attend a follow-up webinar. The webinar serves as a refresher and checks in on progress towards implementation of participant action plans. The ambitious training project has ten more countries to reach before the end of 2018 but is now off to a flying start!

    More on this project

    The Caribbean Development Bank is driving a wide transformation agenda to catalyse the change needed if the Region is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. To enable more effective management of policy, programmes and projects and contribute to addressing the regional implementation deficit, the Bank is executing a Public Policy Analysis and Management (PPAM) and Project Cycle Management (PCM) Training programme, to which CIDT are contracted as the PCM training consultants.

    Related news and media

    Find out more about CIDT’s work with CDB in the following news articles:

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  • ‘Women in Leadership’ workshop makes an impact for African Union staff

    11 April 2018
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    'Women in Leadership' workshop

    CIDT has delivered a first ‘Women in Leadership’ training workshop for the African Union (AU), comprising 22 senior female staff from across the African Union Commission and including two from the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the AU Advisory Board on Anti-Corruption (AUABC). The training took place from March 19-23 in Arusha, Tanzania.

    The AU is concerned about the representation of women in the African Union Commission (AUC). It is well recognized that the Commission must reflect the continent’s diversity, in terms of gender and, of course, geography. Despite Article 6(3) of the commission’s statutes stating that “[a]t least one Commissioner from each region shall be a woman,” women currently make up only a very small proportion of all those contesting positions as commissioners. Moreover there are other internal structural and cultural barriers to women’s leadership that are still pervasive. Overall the staffing in the AU is 65% men and 35% women.

    The ‘Women in Leadership’ workshop was designed to address the unique challenges women face in leadership positions and to create enabling conditions to address them. It recognises the role of the social construct of gender roles in influencing perceptions, creating stereotypes and limiting opportunities for learning and growth into leadership. By catalysing and harnessing the power of women leaders, the AUC can realise the true potential of some of its best people. The ultimate goals of this workshop were, therefore, to:

    • lay the foundation to grow a cadre of strong leaders within the organisation; and
    • identify and start nurturing those with highest potential.

    Over the five day programme participants were exposed to new knowledge as well as having the chance to practice some leadership skills. In particular participants had the opportunity to reflect on their own leadership styles, needs and opportunities. To achieve the unique blend of enquiry and practice the facilitators used participatory approaches to foster meaningful reflection and adult learning, drawing on and valuing participants’ experiences. In working through the programme, real-life examples were used as well as a wide variety of methodologies such as group work, role plays, participant presentations, informal coaching, reflection and personal journal writing and more.

    Participants considered different leadership and management styles and qualities, shared their personal views and experiences on a range of topics and reappraised their own skills in the light of their learning. The range of skills discussed and practiced were:

    • Communication: Listening
    • Communication: Public Speaking
    • Communication: Body language for power and influence
    • Negotiation
    • Assertiveness

    The workshop was co-facilitated by CIDT’s Deputy Head of Centre, Rachel Roland, and Senior Lecturer, Kimberly Kane. The sessions were highly interactive, practical and tailored to the context of the AU.

    During the week an excellent bond built up between participants, many of whom exercised for up to an hour before breakfast each day. Towards the end, a number of hashtags were proposed to help take forward the ambitious programme of work on women’s leadership that is planned in the AU.

    Some feedback from participants included:

    • “Very practical to the context of women in general and at AU.”
    • “There were many group exercises and simulations that made content easy to understand.”
    • “Allowed me to reflect on my current situation.”
    • “The workshop was really informative, educative, practical. The facilitators are really current.”
    • “More time [should] be allocated as the content of the workshop is important.”
    • “The workshop was a very practical one and I am eager to go back and put them in practice.”
    • “I have previously attended a number of trainings on leadership, but none has ever spoken so directly to me as CIDT Women in Leadership. Now I can lead.”

    Photos from the workshop

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  • CIDT delivers a Proposal Development and Resource Mobilisation workshop for the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in South Korea

    28 March 2018
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    Proposal Development and Resource Mobilisation workshop for the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in South Korea

    The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) is an international organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing countries and emerging economies. GGGI sought a service provider to help design and deliver a training program to build staff capacity in results-based management (RBM).

    The training was intended to strengthen staff capacity to produce higher quality proposals as part of the Institute’s efforts to increase earmarked and core funding. CIDT was successful in the competitive tendering process and in late February Ella Haruna conducted a short visit to Seoul to assess GGGI training needs, representing the first phase of work.

    In March 2018, Ella Haruna and Philip Dearden led an intensive four-day Proposal Development and Resource Mobilisation workshop programme based on a bespoke programme developed for GGGI. The 33 participants, (representing 21 GGGI Country Programmes – Cambodia, China, Colombia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Laos, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines Peru, Rwanda, Senegal Thailand, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam) were joined by selected senior staff based in GGGI headquarters in South Korea.

    Many of the participants successfully completed CIDT’s Results Based Management online course before joining the programme.

    During the workshop sessions five teams of staff developed a range of strategic GGGI projects and programmes for future funding and implementation. Ideas were shared, developed, critiqued and then the final proposed programmes pitched and presented.

    In the feedback on the programme a range of very positive comments were made:

    • “Great materials and well presented”
    • “The module was quite exciting”
    • “Excellent”
    • “Dynamic training – well-structured course”

    Photos from the training

    Below: The workshop being open by the GGGI Director General Frank Rijsberman and James Sheppard

    Below: Inter active workshop sessions underway

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  • CIDT supports the development of the Montenegro Decent Work Country Programme with the International Labour Organisation

    20 February 2018
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    Monitoring and Evaluation Training with Montenegro Decent Work Country Programme

    Philip Dearden (Head of CIDT) provided refresher training on key concepts of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) for the International Labour Organisation (ILO), applying them to the planning of the Decent Work Country Programme for Montenegro (DWCP), 2018 to 2021. The training was targeted at some 40 specialists and mid-level managers of the Ministry of Labour of Montenegro, the Employers’ Confederation, and the two Trade Union movements represented in the ILO.

    There is increasing pressure on policy makers to define tangible and quantifiable results of policy interventions and to monitor them. This holds true for the International Labour Office (ILO) as well as for its constituents including Ministries of Labour, employers, and trade unions.

    M&E is an important management tool that helps to track whether programmes are on track or need to make changes. Good M&E helps to answer the public’s frequent requests to know which programmes work and which do not.  The recent review of the ILO’s last DWCP for Montenegro highlighted the need to strengthen M&E.

    The specific learning objectives of the two-day event were to provide a refresher on key concepts of results measurement and practice its application in preparing the new DWCP for Montenegro.

    Sessions were held on:

    • Rationale for results measurement’
    • Key concepts of results measurement and its application to the planning of the new DWCP;
    • Improving the M&E frameworks of key outcomes proposed under the new DWCP.

    The results of the workshop were that:

    • ILO constituents in Montenegro updated their M&E skills;
    • Key DWCP outcomes are complemented by solid indicators of achievement and the key deliverables per outcome are clearly defined;
    • There was agreement on the way forward to complete the DWCP including monitoring mechanisms.

    Some participant’s comments from the end of Clinic Evaluation:

    • “Clear steps in designing the programme.”
    • “Excellent high quality trainer/facilitator.”
    • “A relaxed approach which boosts creativity and new ideas.”
    • “Team work was great.” – “Participants were all equally involved.”
    • “Thanks for the excellent lectures and interpreting.”
    • “Good relationship between the teacher and the participants.”
    • “Keep sending over Maria and Phil!”

    Photo gallery

    To view all of the photos form this training please see the Flickr gallery.

    Below: Clinic participants working the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP)

    Below: Fiona McCluney, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro closing the Clinic with a short speech of thanks and the presentation of Certificates with Maria Borsos, Programme Officer, ILO.

    Below: Markus Pilgrim, Head of ILO, Budapest, giving a vote of thanks at the end of the Clinic. Participants complete the evaluation.

     

     

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  • CIDT support the work of the NDC Partnership in Uganda and Washington

    6 February 2018
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    NDC team retreat

    The Nationally Determined Contributions Partnership (NDC) Partnership Support Unit held their team retreat from 8-12 January 2018 in Washington DC, and this event was facilitated by CIDT. Ella Haruna went on to provide further facilitation support to the NDC Partnership’s Country Planning workshop in Uganda from 31 January-1 February 2018. The workshop attendance demonstrated the great interest in the work of the partnership, with 100+ stakeholders participating.

    The NDC aims to enhance cooperation so that countries have access to the technical knowledge and financial support they need to achieve large-scale climate and sustainable development targets as quickly and as effectively as possible.

    Support Unit Team Retreat

    The retreat was facilitated for 26 staff of the NDCP support unit, including Directors, Heads, Regional Specialists and staff from the Bonn and Washington offices. The overall aim of the retreat was to strengthen Support Unit capacity to work together as a team to implement the NDC Partnership work programme. The retreat agenda was ambitious, with objectives focused on strategic level, team development and training needs. The Retreat was facilitated by Ella Haruna, with training inputs from Prof Philip Dearden; both of the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT).

    Twenty colleagues from the NDCP Country Engagement team successfully completed CIDT’s Results-Based Management online course prior to the retreat. CIDT then delivered an intensive one-day training on Results-Based Management as applied to the NDCP Country Planning Process. This was complemented by a focused training session to consider the key facilitation skill needed by Support Unit staff in the NDCP context. Gender responsiveness is very relevant and important at different levels for the partnership – and a facilitated session focused on gender at the level of the Support Unit team completed the training inputs.

    Country Planning workshop, Achieving Uganda’s Climate and Development Goals

    The NDCP country planning workshop was opened by Honourable Minister of State for Environment, Kitutu K Mary Goretti and Mr Albrecht Conze, German Ambassador. Chaired by the Commissioner Climate Change Mr Chebet Maikut, the workshop hosted 30 representatives of Development Partners and 70 Government of Uganda officials to review Uganda’s NDC commitments and progress to date and the national requests for support from the NCD Partnership. A key function of the workshop was to validate the draft objectives of the partnership plan across four areas: policy and institutional framework; finance for climate change; GHG monitoring and evaluation and strengthened capacity of government, civil society and private sector to integrate climate change actions.

    Photos from the team retreat

    View more photos in the Flickr gallery.

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  • CIDT deliver project and programme planning workshop to ‘Leaders Programme’ in Thailand

    4 January 2018
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    NIMT Leaders Programme

    Philip Dearden, Head of CIDT, was asked to help lead the National Institute for Metrology Thailand (NIMT) ‘Leaders Programme’ course in Bangkok, Thailand. The course took place from 4-8 December 2017.

    The Leadership Programme was designed to provide new or future leaders of National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) with the skills, knowledge and tools to help them fully participate in a range of inter country metrology quality control mechanisms and to develop strategic programmes and projects in their own countries.

    As an integral part of the 2017 ‘Leaders Programme’ the 24 participants (from 10 different countries – Bangladesh, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates) firstly successfully completed CIDT’s online Results Based Management course.

    An intensive two-day technical metrology programme of study was followed by three intensive days of project and programme planning work led by Philip Dearden. During the workshop sessions six teams of staff developed a range of strategic projects and programmes for future implementation. Ideas were shared, developed, critiqued and then the final proposed programmes presented.

    In the feedback on the programme a range of very positive comments were made:

    • The course was really useful – the learning by doing was excellent.”
    • “The course was very practical just what we needed.”
    • “The intensive team work was really good – I learnt a lot from Phil and from my team.”
    • “The step by step course content was great. The handbook was also really useful .”
    • “The on line course was very well structured and the workshop really great.”
    • “This training was very effective and helped us all understand the key steps in Project development.”

    For more information and photos see the NIMT website.

    Photos from the training

    Below: Interactive workshop sessions underway.

    Below: Course participants and tutors all celebrate a sucessful course!

    NIMT Leaders Programme

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  • CIDT facilitates workshop on ‘Strategic Thinking Tools’ with African Union staff

    22 December 2017
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    CIDT delivered a highly interactive workshop on ‘Strategic Thinking Tools’ for participants from across various departments of the African Union, helping the organisation to further embed Results-Based Management (RBM). The workshop took place from 11-15 December 2017

    Like many other inter-governmental organisations and development partners, the African Union has been striving to institutionalise RBM approaches and a Culture of Learning in its various organs. The work of the African Union Commission (AUC) is driven by results that are articulated at various levels: in a 50-year organisational vision, a 10-year plan, and medium-term strategic plans.

    The roll-out of the AUC’s next Mid-Term Plan (2019-2023, with a transition year of 2018) presents an opportunity for the organisation to further strengthen RBM – and Strategic Planning in particular, both in terms of how the new plan is communicated and how it is implemented.

    It is in this context that the AU’s Learning and Development team invited the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) to develop and facilitate a five-day training on ‘Strategic Thinking Tools’ for twenty staff members of the AUC and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR).

    Participants comprised senior and middle management officials with diverse technical backgrounds and were drawn from the Departments of: Trade and Industry, Economic Affairs, Social Affairs, Peace and Security, Strategic Planning, Peace and Security, Political Affairs, and service departments such as Human Resources, Finance and Administration.

    The workshop took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and was co-facilitated by CIDT’s Head of Centre, Professor Philip N. Dearden, and Senior Lecturer, Kimberly Kane. The sessions were highly interactive, practical and tailored to the context of the AU. They covered CIDT’s signature ‘Seven Simple Steps’ for designing a Strategic Plan, a Programme or a Project — and much more, including discussions and exercises on: prioritising focus areas/objectives, communication strategies for the Strategic Plan, linkages and alignment between various results frameworks, mechanisms for continuous learning, promoting a results-oriented culture, and addressing implementation challenges.

    The objectives of the workshop were for the participants to:

    1. Recognise the value of Strategic Planning – especially its participatory, inclusive nature – and the importance of continual Strategic Thinking processes.
    2. Understand the concept of Results-Based Management (RBM) and how it relates to Strategic Planning.
    3. Become familiar with a variety of “Strategic Thinking tools” that are applicable to Strategic Planning, Programme/Project Design and RBM in general.
    4. Acquire a strong foundation for developing a full Project, Programme or Strategic Plan to address their current organisational needs.

    One hundred percent (100%) of the surveyed participants either agreed or strongly agreed that all of these objectives were achieved.  All participants would also recommend that a colleague participate in the course.

    They particularly appreciated the training pedagogy and capacity development techniques as well as the professionalism and skills of the facilitators. “They have rich experience that allowed them to be flexible and adapt situations to all,” said one participant. Another added, “They really know the topic and very well aligned it to our level”.

    Participant quotes (from the post-workshop questionnaire):

    • ‘Exceptional dynamics’
    • ‘Adequate, practical and varied exercises’
    • ‘Easy to follow and understand’
    • ‘Hands on techniques/tools that I can apply to my job’
    • ‘Amazing delivery techniques’
    • ‘Very tailored to our context’
    • ‘Had a flow that was to the point’
    • ‘A lot of fun!’

    Photos from the workshop

    View more photos on Flickr.

    Above: The participants were given several real case studies to read, reflect upon and discuss. Some excellent conclusions came from those discussions and can be applied to their work going forward.

    Above: The workshop covered a set of practical and participatory tools that are relevant to both strategic planning and the design and management of programmes or projects. The participants practiced using those tools by developing their own internal Organisational Development projects.

    Above: Participants in one of the three working groups conduct a participatory Risk Analysis for their chosen internal project. This tool helped them determine the assumptions in their Results Framework as well as propose mitigation actions to reduce the likelihood and/or impact of the identified risks.

    Above: The participants had opportunities to apply the techniques and tools that were taught in the workshop. Here, a couple participants are facilitating a break-out session, with support from Philip Dearden (left).

    Above: Kim Kane conducts a debrief in plenary of the group discussions, highlighting key messages and learnings about the consultation process involved in Strategic Planning.

    Strategic Thinking Tools workshop with African Union staff

    Above: The participants cheer upon completion of the course. This diverse group represented various offices and organs of the AU – including those in Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa and South Sudan.

    For more information, contact Phil Dearden (P.N.Dearden@wlv.ac.uk) or Kimberly Kane (K.Kane@wlv.ac.uk).

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