6. What doesn’t

Supply driven training

You’re an expert in a particular topic. You identified a weakness in a particular area that you can help with. And your deployment is ending soon! Part of your terms of reference was to build capacity… Stop!

CARE needs to focus on the gaps that are most critical for performance. By all means, train the people that need to share your expertise (or who will need it soon). But identify the NEEDS for training, not what you can provide. If they need training on Sexual and Reproductive Health programming and you are a logistician, then work with other advisors to address the gap. Or perhaps tailor training you could deliver so that it meets a PART of that need (maybe medical stock management, if you’re that logistician).

Information heavy training

It is very rarely the right choice or needed. It is often based on the expert’s perspective, not the learners. It can also be a “safe” choice to avoid criticism for not covering a topic. “Covering” something means nothing if people don’t learn.

Powerpoint dominated training

Normally this leads to information-heavy training as it is very easy to keep adding text to slides. It feels safe for trainers, as they have something to prompt them. It is very, very rare to see it done well. The presenter presents, and the information is not learned by the participants. They aren’t being asked to recall what was said, to use it in a meaningful way, and it may not recap the main points.

Overly broad training

If training is for too many different groups of learners, it is likely to not be specific enough on how they need to apply it. It will remain at the level of theory and high-level principles – nice, but not making a huge difference to performance. Learners need to understand how those principles are translated into action in their situation. Break the group up if needed and give it extra context.

Donor guidelines training

Of course, this is important. We see that often issues are not with not knowing the guidelines – people can look them up. If guidelines aren’t followed, it’s more likely because people didn’t know what THEY were supposed to do in a process, and that can lead to policies not being implemented properly. So fine, train people on the donor guidelines – but make sure they’re also trained in how to follow the CARE plans and policies that meet those guidelines.