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3- DAYS SPECIALISED TRAINING WORKSHOP IN PROJECT PROPOSAL FORMULATION AND GRANTS MANAGEMENT For civil society actors in Ghana
WORKSHOP EVALUATION REPORT
Trainer: Daniel Andoh
WACSI Secretariat, Accra, Ghana 15th – 17th September, 2010
INTRODUCTION As part of its strategic mandate, the West Africa Civil Society Institute supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa organised a 3-day specialised training workshop on “Project Proposal Formulation and Grants Management” for civil society actors in Ghana. The overarching goal of this course was to enhance the ability of trainees to write winning proposals to solicit funds from international donors and, to manage and control program and project funds effectively. This targeted workshop had the following core objectives: To deliver specific knowledge and skills to trainees including planning, strategizing and implementing fundraising approaches; To define the structure of a project proposal and its main elements; To identify main funding sources and appropriate techniques to secure such resources; To enable trainees to be able to appropriately allocate funds and judiciously utilise them; and Task trainees to write a draft project proposal.
To achieve these objectives, the content of the training was tailored to address strategic themes focal to the work of civil society actors. These themes were broadly categorized under project proposal formulation and grants management respectively, to facilitate the understanding of the unique differences that exist between these two subjects. This categorization approach also enabled the specialized training content to be disbursed in a piecemeal approach, allowing for a better understanding of the micro aspects that determine the macro achievements within the civil society sector. The broad and specific themes that were elaborately exhausted to the satisfaction of all stakeholders at this training are enumerated below. Project Proposal Formulation The concept of project proposal formulation; Understanding specific needs of proposal formulation for different types of projects; Project proposal formulation process; Developing a logical framework matrix that will help you define your objectives; and Practical Session: Project proposal writing.
Grants Management Defining and achieving project objectives; Strategic planning efforts; Establishing and respecting specific timelines; Explicit funds allocation and utilisation ; Programs/ project implementation, monitoring and evaluation ; Project risk management ; Ethics in grants management.
Expected Outcomes of the Training Workshop Tailoring this well oriented specialized training, WACSI expected to achieve the following after the successful completion of the workshop: Increased understanding of major trends in fundraising; Understanding and enhancement of project proposal techniques and skills; Improvement of CSO capacity to conceptualize and write successful project proposal; and Improved capacity to manage program/project funds.
Course Methodology The training workshop was delivered using interactive, learner-centered methods, visual tools, experiential learning, and practical exercises. Participants were given the opportunity to use real life/ organisational experiences to proffer their project proposal formulation and grants management skills. In the practical exercise sessions, participants were opportune to address burning issues within contemporary Ghanaian society which calls for urgent civil society intervention. This enabled participants to practically exploit their strengths and realize their weaknesses which were immediately addressed by the facilitator of the training who gave a clear understanding of the challenges participants faced with concepts pertaining to project proposal formulation and grants management, to the satisfaction of all participants.
Target Audience The training brought together civil society actors of different functional positions in their respective organizations. This included project team members of different categories responsible for designing, managing and delivering successful projects or keen to learn more about project life cycle and improve their project management skills. The training witnessed the active participation of eleven (11) dynamic civil society actors. Course Materials The course was delivered in 3-days and it included the following package: lunch, refreshments, reference materials and a course certificate. PDF copies of funding agencies directory and civil society directory for West Africa were given to all the participants. This evaluation report provides qualitative and quantitative information of participants’ perception and appreciation of the training workshop. The analysis captures their individual levels of appreciation as well as their opinions which give room for improvement for further trainings. The report contains the opinions of all the participants who took part in the training. Number of participants = 11 Number of respondents = 11 Percentage of response = 100% This evaluation embodies the following core areas of the training.
A: OVERALL COURSE DELIVERY Areas of Assessment
Percentage Rating of Outcomes of Participants Very Satisfied Not Satisfied Satisfied 1-What is your overall impression of the 100% 0 0 workshop? 2-Were your objectives for this workshop met? 82% 18% 0 3-Rate your satisfaction with the course training 45% 55% 0 materials. 4-Taking into account your knowledge of project 82% 18% 0 proposal formulation and grants management before the workshop, did the workshop help to build your knowledge and skills in this area? 5-How effective was the The 64% 36% 0 methodology used in the workshop? discussions The 73% 27% 0 exercises B: EXPLANATION FOR RESPONSES 1. OVERALL IMPRESSION The workshop provided participants with a detailed understanding of project proposal formulation. The workshop was very educative, had a rich content and was very interactive. Participants had a problem understanding and utilizing the logical framework matrix but this training provided a comprehensive and simplified understanding of the log frame. The training was well organized. Participants were generally very satisfied with the training workshop because of the excellent organization, quality food provided, qualitative and elaborate presentations, discussions and strategic materials provided during the entire 3-day period. Participants were very pleased with the organized schedule of the training and the dynamic facilitation of the training. Participants noted that the themes delivered during the training simplified the proposal writing concept and process. The training content and mode of presentation were very good. The trainer did a good job.
The resource person made the whole course interesting due to his knowledge in proposal writing and implementation. The training approach was very practical and enhanced understanding of the training content.
2. TRAINING OBJECTIVES Participants now understand what is needed in writing a project proposal. Participants noted that their training objectives were met particularly because the training content met their specific needs and the facilitation skills appropriately addressed the themes on the agenda. The training has greatly improved on the knowledge of participants and has enabled them to be more confident about writing project proposals. All the topics in the training manual were treated thus widening participant’s scope of understanding on project proposal writing. Participants have acquired a better understanding of how to develop a logical framework. Participants pointed out that the workshop was not only elaborately presented, but the practical training approach provided a deep understanding of a mor feasible approach towards preparing and formulating winning proposals. The training renewed participants’ confidence in writing winning proposals. Participants’ knowledge on project writing was greatly enriched. (2) The training also provided a good platform for networking. 3: TRAINING MATERIALS Participants affirmed that the training materials are excellent. Although participants appreciated the materials to be of satisfactory quality, they equally wished they could have been given earlier for preparation prior to the training. Participants also acknowledged that the training materials are very informative and concise. They also stated that the training materials are very good and pointed their optimum satisfaction towards the rich resources. Some participants noted that some of the printed documents were faint and not easily readable. Participants attested that the materials are adequate and comprehensive enough. Some participants expressed their satisfaction towards the training materials but also requested for more.
4: KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS ACQUISITION Acquired skills in understanding and developing a suitable logical framework. (5) Some participants earmarked that they have had no previous experience in project proposal formulation, thus, the knowledge gained from this workshop will be very vital to their work. The training content enhanced participant’s project writing and management skills. Participants affirmed to their enhanced acquisition of knowledge and skills, much so because the workshop content, particularly in the area of grants management was an added value to their project proposal writing skills. The training empowered participants with more effective project writing skills. 5: COURSE DELIVERY The training was very participatory. (3) The discussions made the entire training programme to be very interactive. The discussions were good though they witnessed a limited participation and contribution by participants. The discussions were very fruitful as they provided avenues for participants to share experiences from all angles of their work. This effectively engaged participants and enabled them to be very involved in the entire training and to efficiently contribute to the workshop. The discussions were fruitful and objective. The discussions were clear, effective and explicit. The discussions provided a platform for experience sharing which enhanced learning. 6: METHODOLOGY The exercises enhanced a comprehensive assimilation of the content. The exercises provided tactical spaces for broader learning. They were highly participatory and practical. (2) The practical work was satisfactory. It enabled participants to reproduce what they learned, thus making it a superb experience. It allowed for varying views and more experience sharing. It was well tailored.
B WORKSHOP CONTENT Project Proposal Formulation and Grants management Very useful 1- Introduction to Project Proposal Formulation 100% and Grants Management 2- Project Proposal Formulation Process 91% 3- Targeting Donors and their Requirements 100% 4- Marketing the project proposal 91% 5- The Logical Framework Matrix 100% 6- The Logical Framework Matrix 100% 7- Designing and Utilizing a Monitoring and/or 100% Evaluation Tool based on the Logical Framework of the Project 8- Fundraising 73% 9- Funds allocation and utilization 91% 10- Ethics in Grants Management 100% 11- Risk Management 100% 12- Project Implementation: Code of Conduct 82% 13- Practical exercises and discussions 91%
Percentage Rating May be May not be useful useful 0 0 9% 0 9% 0 0 0 27% 9% 0 0 18% 9% 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
C: RECOMMENDATIONS After lunch break, energy level should be increased. More exercises should be coined for the training. The trainer should inculcate more creative jokes to keep audience alive. More practical narratives should be used for illustrations. Such practical approach should continually be used which shifts training from the conventional theoretical approaches to practice based training. In developing future agenda for training, the starting time should be such that it would allow all participants to arrive before the commencement of the training. Training could be rescheduled to hold from Monday to Friday. The approach is good enough and highly encouraged.
D: COURSE DURATION Too long 0 Percentage Rating Too short 36% About right 64%
E: ASSESSMENT OF FACILITATOR The facilitator was excellent. (3) He delivered the training very well. The facilitator was very good. The facilitator knows his stuff. The trainer was very cordial. The trainer was warm and effective. He intervened appropriately and managed participants very well. The facilitator’s delivery and engagement of participants was very good, cordial and he ensured the full participation of participants. The facilitator did extremely well by getting every one involved in the process. He also tailored every aspect of the training to be very practical, and taught for the better understanding of participants.