You are on page 1of 12

DATE: 20 – 23 SEPTEMBER, 2011

VENUE: SAINT THOMAS HOTEL, LOME, TOGO.

BY FRANCK ARTHUR SOMBO

Specialised Training Workshop on Policy Advocacy and Engagement Strategies for Civil Society Actors in Togo.

20-23 September, 2011 Evaluation Report

Evaluation Questionnaire Compiled Introduction The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) organized a Specialized Training Workshop on Policy Advocacy and Engagement Strategies for Civil Society Actors at Saint Thomas Hotel in Lome - Togo, from 20th-23rd of September, 2011. The main goal of the workshop was to build the advocacy capacity of Civil Society Actors in Togo, and deepen their knowledge and skills in planning and conducting effective policy engagement strategies, influencing and advocacy. The workshop was structured around three thematic areas: understanding the context of policy advocacy and writing; structuring and developing a coherent public policy paper; and developing a targeted Advocacy Planning Framework. This report presents the participants’ post-workshop related to organisational aspects as well as the delivery itself. SECTION ONE I: Overall Course Delivery Table 1.0
Percentage Rating Outcomes of Participants Areas of Assessment Very Satisfied What is your overall impression of the workshop? Were your objectives for this workshop met? Rate your satisfaction with the course training materials Taking into account your knowledge of Results-Based Management before the workshop, did the workshop help to build your knowledge and skills in this area? How effective was The Discussions the methodology used in the The Exercises workshop? 79% 71% 50% Satisfied 21% 29% 40% Not Satisfied -

75%

25%

-

46% 50%

54% 50%

-

1

Specialised Training Workshop on Policy Advocacy and Engagement Strategies for Civil Society Actors in Togo.

20-23 September, 2011 Evaluation Report

II: Participants Response to Rating 1. Overall impression of the workshop The following sums up participants’ answers to the ratings outlined in the above table. The participants’ impression about the workshop is documented below:                Content adapted to our work, practical enough; I am very satisfied with the workshop but I would have wished that the training lasts longer; It came up at the right time to strengthen our capacities (2); The workshop is interesting because of the pedagogy used; The training took place in a good mood; My impression of this workshop is that the number of CSOs is inadequate; The workshop was interactive, good explanation; Workshop successful as a whole; Good; Facilitators were clear enough and precise, the atmosphere was good and warm; Interesting workshop, very interesting, friendly atmosphere; Mastership of the training delivery by the trainers, easy co-facilitation, actual participation of participants; Very practical, interesting and lively; Good organization, good methodology, serious and flexible as well; All went well; the training was well organized and participatory.

2. Objectives for the workshop Below is a summary of responses to the percentage ratings on whether the participants’ expectations were met:  Able to prepare an advocacy paper;  Completely and more;  Of course, I wanted new knowledge I have got a lot;  All the concepts were defined;  Yes, because I discovered and obtained practical knowledge on advocacy including advocacy tools;  Yes, because I considered sensitization as advocacy;  The Training was not targeted to cover just a specific area, it was designed to suit all areas;  My goals are largely achieved because I wanted to know how to be a policy knowledgeable, and now I do;  Yes, of course;  Yes, the objectives are achieved (3);  I learned about advocacy paper methodology;
2

Specialised Training Workshop on Policy Advocacy and Engagement Strategies for Civil Society Actors in Togo.

20-23 September, 2011 Evaluation Report

 

I had almost no knowledge in advocacy and now I am proud to have learned things that never end; I realize the mistakes of the past and the need to preparing to advocate.

3. Level of Satisfaction with the Course Training materials The participants’ responses to the above question include:               Not too much as it was said at the outset by the organizer, however the Training materials were well-developed; The Training materials of the course were very good although we would have liked to have all the materials used by trainers (2); The manual had all what was used during the Training; Good pedagogy participation-based, technical and computer-assisted presentations; I expected to have the power point presentation, at least on hard copy; Materials provided; All materials were available and were adequate; Satisfaction 90%; Well; Very Satisfactory; The materials were well-prepared and not too difficult to use; The workbook is well developed; and Eoin and Lisa’s book on soft copy is very useful; Material adapted for both theory and practice with a content where Advocacy basic concepts are available; We would like to have more Training materials.

4. Did the workshop help build on your knowledge and skills in this area? Participants acknowledged the relevance of the workshop and indicated how beneficial it was in terms of knowledge acquisition and skills enhancement. Below are a summary of their responses:  It helps me to be able from now to develop an advocacy document, analyze the context of a policy advocacy, succeed in advocacy on the based on the three (3) aspects learnt; I realized that I had a lot to learn in comparison to what I already knew; I clearly understood that the old advocacy methods were ineffective and needed to be improved now;
3

 

Specialised Training Workshop on Policy Advocacy and Engagement Strategies for Civil Society Actors in Togo.

20-23 September, 2011 Evaluation Report

           

This workshop helped us to structure and organize our organisations for the advocacy process; I am strengthened in terms of advocacy process; In all areas, because I had not such knowledge; This workshop enables me to participate in advocacy in all areas; Before the workshop, I really had no knowledge of advocacy. After this workshop I know what advocacy is; I am now able to prepare an advocacy paper; The workshop helped me to distinguish between policy advocacy related concepts and know how to prepare, initiate and conduct advocacy; This workshop helped us to understand some aspects of advocacy which were unclear to us; This workshop provided better structure and tools for our approach in advocacy; In a large extent my capabilities were strengthened during the course; This Training Workshop is very satisfactory because I have had the chance to meet very good Trainers; I had an experience on the job, but now I have acquired a more methodological approach; This workshop gave us a valuable tool, now we must refer to the Advocacy Planning Framework.

5. How effective was the methodology used? The workshop employed theoretical and practical delivery approaches. In the assessment the participants indicated that: a) Discussions        It helped everybody to participate to the debates and discussions; The methodology helped us actively participate to the activities; Participatory and inclusive; Efficient because it took into consideration the concerns of each participant; Was very friendly at such a point that we hardly accepted to get back home at the end of each day session; It is really impeccable, we applied andragogical approach, but some participants did not really understand the methodology; Lot of interaction;
4

Specialised Training Workshop on Policy Advocacy and Engagement Strategies for Civil Society Actors in Togo.

20-23 September, 2011 Evaluation Report

       

Yes, public speaking respected, equitable distribution of speech; Yes; Effective, of course; Yes, efficient with pooling; It was effective but apparently difficult because participants had different level of understanding; Sharing experiences in the field of trainers was very helpful; Everyone participated and deserves to be commended; Yes, very effective, there were interesting discussions. b) Exercises

               

It helped everybody to understand and convey to others. The methodology helped us actively participate to the activities; The exercises were very practical and useful to understand the presentations; Participatory and inclusive; Efficient because the methodology arouses personal reflection; Very effective, the methodology was precise and accessible to everyone; Good, but sometimes the exercises are not clear, perhaps because of the instructions; Exercises were practical; Yes, every group was active; Yes; Well; Yes, but the return was not always obvious; The level of some participants did not enable them to actually participate to group exercises before the plenary; The supervision and direction by the trainers were perfect; Regarding the limited number of participants everybody exercised either alone, with one or more other participants; The group works were sharing moments.

5

Specialised Training Workshop on Policy Advocacy and Engagement Strategies for Civil Society Actors in Togo.

20-23 September, 2011 Evaluation Report

Session Two Course Content How effective were the workshop components (listed in the box) in building your knowledge and skills. Table 1.1 Percentage Rating Outcomes of Participants Very useful, am Satisfied with Not satisfied, very satisfied this topic, may may not be be useful useful 75% 50% 75% 25% 50% 25% -

Policy Advocacy

Session 1: Understanding the context of policy advocacy and writing Session 2: Structuring and developing a coherent policy paper Session 3: Developing a targeted advocacy plan using the Advocacy Planning Framework (APF)

What will you do differently in your policy planning/ practice following this Training?            I will consider all steps of advocacy, the use of Advocacy Planning Framework (APF) is fundamental for success, then should not be neglected; Use the APF and strictly follow the policy cycle; Develop an advocacy paper in good and due form; From now we have the tools to drive from end to end Policy advocacy planning's process; I will better define the context, improve the design and especially take into account all stages of the process; I will develop projects in the area; Apply the rules in Session 3; Follow the normal process as learnt during the workshop (2); I will adjust them to the contexts and realities of the policy community; Implement tools acquired and stick to the Advocacy Planning Framework (APF); Join an existing network or build alliances with CSOs partaking in this training to work on how improve our practices;
6

Specialised Training Workshop on Policy Advocacy and Engagement Strategies for Civil Society Actors in Togo.

20-23 September, 2011 Evaluation Report

 

From now follow all the steps that are problem statement, developing solutions, chose the best policy option, implementation, monitoring & evaluation; I will henceforth follow the APF.

Session you consider as the Strength of the training  The whole moment was important. Contextual analysis, policy advocacy paper development and the Advocacy Planning Framework all constituted the strength of the Workshop. In addition, trainers were able; The last practical exercise where we were actually planning an advocacy plan, we would have just wanted to go a bit further; The Advocacy Planning Framework, the reference to concrete appropriated examples The variety of background of participants; Session 2: structuring and developing a coherent policy paper (2); The Day 4 session; Policy Analysis; Session 3; All sessions are equal; The mobility of groups is a good thing; The meeting of September 22, 2011; Advocacy Planning Framework; The third session; Sessions 1, 2, 3.

            

What you consider as the Training Weaknesses    Lack of time to go deep into the topics; Failure to clarify the concepts from the beginning: policy paper, policy studies, policy analysis; The fact that concepts were not well clarified. We must clarify concepts and context of their use from the start; do not give too many examples from Europe (Lithuania, Bulgaria...); We could always expand the training to 10 days or 6 for fruitful exchanges; Interludes sometimes too many or too long; Nothing; Training intensity: no break;
7

   

Specialised Training Workshop on Policy Advocacy and Engagement Strategies for Civil Society Actors in Togo.

20-23 September, 2011 Evaluation Report

  

Lack of time, another day could be spent on more practical exercises; Insufficient time to discuss all the points in depth; Duration, no tea in the afternoons.

Any recommendation for eventual improvement of next Advocacy Trainings             Better formulate and translate certain terms from English into French; Plan for more days, but keep the methodology it is perfect, congratulations to the trainers; Continue with a focus on diversification of participants coming from different areas; Expand training to several days, six (6) days for example; Reduce interludes; Teach us; Reduce claps; Proofreading materials for small correction. There is a need for making trainers’ materials available to participants for a good understanding of the courses; Give the paper to prepare forehand, write in advance an advocacy paper for to correct; Extend the training workshop to five (5) days to enable practical case study as an advocacy planning submitted by a group; Design a Policy Advocacy course for beginners, extend the duration of the Training Workshop; Allow more time for discussions, i.e. increase the number of days of the training.

Other Topic/information you would suggest to include in this kind of Training         Make a clear distinction between what civil society should do and what the government must do; Specific case studies and advocacy applied to areas such as NGOs, syndicates, farmers’ associations, private sector, etc; Negotiation skills; Information on advocacy that are or have been global or sub-regional models; Further development of the section on implementation and evaluation; Negotiation technics and personality styles would be very useful in the context of policy advocacy; Develop lobbying, coalition and networking concepts; Monitoring and evaluation of achievements of an advocacy activity - how to build strategic alliances or coalitions;
8

Specialised Training Workshop on Policy Advocacy and Engagement Strategies for Civil Society Actors in Togo.

20-23 September, 2011 Evaluation Report

 

Practical case study in the country where the training takes place which will help the host country’s participants an identic analysis of advocacy context in their country; A module on the topic of Lobbying as a whole component of relevance in influencing decision-making process and actors; The main obstacles we may face while conducting advocacy.

Write a sentence to describe what you learned          The advocacy process is a policy cycle – the Advocacy planning framework helps to succeed in your advocacy; Identify key stakeholders, the good timing, the right messages and other good elements to succeed in your advocacy; Advocacy is a process based on a societal problem. Actors in an Advocacy Planning Framework should use a policy study or policy analysis paper; I learned that advocacy is an effective way to cause social change; The different steps to make a good advocacy; Beyond the acquired content, I learned to work in peers and in groups and to respond on short notice for activities; The policy study more detailed, Policy analysis more brief; The difference between policy study and policy analysis, advocacy, the APF; Political advocacy is an action which is organized with a well-structured paper directed to decision-makers in order to update a societal problem alone or in coalition; I have understood The context, methods, tools and technics of advocacy, both papers used to Advocate; I have learned to distinguish policy study from policy analysis and how to write each; There are two kinds of paper in advocacy : Policy study and Policy analysis; We learned that there is a planning framework which eases our advocacy work.

   

Advice for the training team    Support the networking and the writing of advocacy plans by participants, congratulations to WACSI and the Trainers; The workshop is perfect, I have no suggestion. Plan a Section on the next step which is advocacy monitoring & evaluation, insert an exercise for instance;
9

Specialised Training Workshop on Policy Advocacy and Engagement Strategies for Civil Society Actors in Togo.

20-23 September, 2011 Evaluation Report

    

Very nice; Review a little bit the time allotted for exercises; Suggest that groups be created as a result of the Training Workshop to writing an advocacy paper which will be reviewed or supported by organizers; Hold the training for five (5) days duration; organize tea break in the afternoon, allow at-least one group to present the last exercise of the Training; More time; Network participants from different Policy Advocacy Training Workshops in order to create synergy.

About the Workshop Table 1.2: Percentage Rating of Participants’ Impression about the Workshop Percentage Rating Outcome of Participants Impression of the Workshop (form lowest to 1 3 5 highest) 1 The difficulty level was about right 25% 68% 6% 2 Applying the information and skills in on-going/ future advocacy planning 3 Presentation met professional educational needs 6% 4 Information, strategies, and instructional methods 6% shared were helpful 5 Facilities and amenities were suitable for the 6% workshop 6 Confident in my capacity to engage in practical 6% policy advocacy 7 The workshop was well organized 25% 75% 37% 56% 18% 75% 43% 50% 37% 56% 18% 82%

10

Specialised Training Workshop on Policy Advocacy and Engagement Strategies for Civil Society Actors in Togo.

20-23 September, 2011 Evaluation Report

About the Trainer Table 1.3: Percentage Rating of Participants’ Impression about the Trainers Percentage Rating Outcome Impression about the Trainers Trainers expertise in all sessions Trainers clarity in delivery Cultural appropriateness of trainers Trainers time management Trainers responsiveness throughout the training Did trainers actively involve you in this training Would you say the trainers were well prepared of Participants 1 3 25% 50% 25% 62% 5 75% 50% 75% 37%

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

12% 87% 18% 82% 6% 93%

Assess duration of the course in Percentages Too long Too short 50% About right 50%

50% of respondents thought that the time allotted for the Training was ‘about right’ while 50% stated that it was ‘too short’.

11