The World Education Laos TEAM project is a USAID-funded project that intends to develop and strengthen the disability and physical and rehabilitation medicine sectors in Laos. The goal of the TEAM project is to enable people with disabilities, especially women and girls, to attain and maintain maximum independence to fully and equally participate in all aspect of life. TEAM does this by working with 15 partner organizations, who each contribute to this overall goal through their own activities.
Capacity-building is one of the core components of the TEAM project, and one approach is formal trainings for sub-recipients. So far, TEAM has conducted compulsory trainings on USAID Regulations, World Education TEAM Finance Procedures, and Monitoring and Evaluation. In addition, some training is provided on an optional basis, allowing the sub-recipient to choose topics which are most relevant or needed for their organization. Last year, TEAM provided trainings on Curriculum Development and Psychosocial Support, and in 2016, trainings were offered on Training of Trainers (ToT), Project Cycle Management (PCM), and Gender Inclusive Development. TEAM encourages sub-recipients to send an appropriate staff member to the training, and all trainings are open to any staff member as relevant, not just project staff who are funded by TEAM. All WEL-TEAM trainings are participatory, reflective and allow as much time as possible for ‘learning by doing’ and practical application of skills and knowledge.
The ToT training was conducted on 22-29 June 2016 and attended by 21 participants (7 women) from 9 organizations. The TEAM Lao project engaged Kristi Ley, an international consultant to develop a training curriculum about the principles and methodology of how to organize training and follow up coaching for beneficiaries. Furthermore, the 2 day training followed up with a half-day session with each partner to allow them to deliver a short, real-life training from their work, followed by self-reflection through videoing and receiving feedback and coaching from Kristi. This encourages participants to apply new knowledge and skills and continue to grow as trainers when implementing training in their respective organization.
Project Cycle Management (PCM) training was conducted on 28-29 July 2016. There were14 participants (8 women) from 7 organizations and the training was designed and delivered by a local consultant. The objective of this training is identify the main steps necessary for smooth preparation of project proposals and a sound management of awarded projects. PCM Training reinforced key messages of project preparation, Assessment & Planning, Implementation & Monitoring, Evaluation, and Adaptation.
TEAM also plays a vital role in raising awareness of gender, particularly focusing on the inclusion of women and girls with impairment. Therefore, the training on Gender Inclusive Development (GID) will be provided to all sub-recipients with trainers from a local non-profit association (NPA), Gender Development Association (GDA). The first round of GID training was organized in late August 2016 with half of the TEAM partners (total 16 attendees (8 women)). The second round will be conducted on 12-13 October 2016. The goal of the GID is that after this training, sub-recipients will create and implement a specific action plan outlining their gender inclusive programming efforts. The Gender consultant will be available to work individually with organizations to provide advice and recommendations specific to the organization on ways to tailor their action plan to make their approach more inclusive as needed.
Khamphout, the livelihood co-coordinator and trainer at the Quality of Life Association (QLA), joined the TEAM TOT training on 30-31 August 2016 and stated, “My teaching experience in the past was not perfect in terms of using posters and visual aids. After the ToT training from the TEAM project, I now know the techniques of using visual aids to illustrate things, the use of auditory aids and the need to explain things clearly as a trainer, and the importance of learning by doing. After you teach something, you need to give participants a chance to practice as much as possible.” TEAM staff observed Khamphot putting his learning into action in the field when they conducted a monitoring visit to Xieng Kuang in July 2016 and observed Khamphot delivering financial literacy training to QLA beneficiaries in Khoun District.