Reinforcing training skills in Haiti
Groupe URD has been running training courses on Evaluating the Quality of Humanitarian Action since 2007. For the first time, a training of trainers on this theme has been developed and organised in Haiti in connection with the activities of the Observatory. The aim of this course is to transfer skills to national organizations so that they can then train other professionals in methods of evaluating aid programmes. This will help to establish competence in evaluation in the long term at the national level.
Groupe URD opened an Observatory of humanitarian and reconstruction practices in Haiti aimed at supporting evaluation in January 2012. It has three main areas of action: building national capacity in programme evaluation; promoting, analysing, sharing and discussing the main lessons from evaluations ; and exploring certain issues raised by evaluations in more depth.
In 2014, with the Observatory now well established, Groupe URD’s Haiti team is investing in the country’s vital forces, focusing its efforts on building the capacity of national organisations:
- Recruitment of a Head of Training in Haiti who is in charge of this strategic area and will co-facilitate the training courses;
- The running of several courses on Evaluating the Quality of Humanitarian Programmes (March-April 2014), which helped to build the capacity of Haitian actors to commission, run, oversee and make use of evaluations. The participants (around 20 per session) were Haitian professionals and civil servants (Ministries of Agriculture and Planning), national and international NGOs and academics from the State University of Haiti;
- Providing support in organising government institutions (e.g. the Ministry of Planning) with regard to evaluations;
- Creation of a database of people who have been trained. This helps to monitor the competences transferred, gives the trainees greater visibility and creates a network to share experiences and opportunities in the evaluation sector;
- Encouraging trained evaluators to be included in evaluation teams (whether the evaluations are carried out by Groupe URD directly or by other organisations), to consolidate what was learned during the courses ;
- Carrying out two training of trainers aimed at academics, professionals involved in training, managers from Ministries and members of civil society organizations. The training projects in Haiti represent an investment for the long term. The first training of trainers involved creative training techniques which allowed the participants to develop new skills for training adults. The second course on evaluation aimed to allow Haitians to continue the activity of project evaluation and increase the pool of available evaluators.
After these training courses, other activities are planned with the trainees and their institutions. For example, as part of the collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation, there is a plan to run joint evaluation training courses for managers from this Ministry in the ten departments of the country. Groupe URD is also planning closer collaboration with the same Ministry to develop tools and work methods for project evaluation which are adapted to this structure (where there is a very large number of projects to evaluate each year). During the next training courses organized by Groupe URD in Haiti in 2014, the trainees from the courses in May will be invited to co-facilitate the evaluation training course: this will be an opportunity to put what was learned into practice in a favourable environment and to gain confidence in dealing with the ideas that were transmitted. It is also a way of implementing quality control on the trainers starting out in the field of evaluation training. These initiatives were devised in response to requests by participants at the end of the training sessions for support and the opportunity to put what was learned into practice with Groupe URD.