So, what are the contents of the clear-language Results-Based Management training?
Focus of the Training
Using practical, jargon-free language in Results-Based Management training for field staff, managers and partners, the introductory training focuses initially on demonstrating how Results-Based Management can be useful to them as a workable tool for improving their own development effectiveness -- a tool that can be implemented with the language they, their colleagues and the people their programmes are designed to help, already use.
The introductory RBM training covers 10 issues that have proven to be essential, in many different fields, to enabling the effective and sustained use of results-based management:
1. Motivation: How identifying results can simplify policy making, field work, monitoring and evaluations.
2. Four primary types of results: What we all work for every day in development programmes and practice.
3. Clear examples of what are not results
4. Examples of results from case studies of development projects, relevant to the work of participants
5. How results chains and logic models can be built, using straight-forward language, to test participants' own theories of change - of what works in development, and why it works.
6. Understanding how our basic assumptions relate to risk and results, and how we can build both into planning for results.
7. A practical guide for developing workable performance indicators for identifying and tracking results.
8. Guidelines for planning, reporting on or evaluating results of individual activities.
9. A simple, clear format for results reporting.
10. Understanding results-based scheduling.
This overview usually lasts between 6-10 hours, depending on the facility of the participants, in English. Sequential interpretation takes time. [The training can also be provided in Thai.]
There is no reason why Results-Based Management should be boring, and learners enjoy the PowerPoint presentations used during the initial training. Learning materials and guides provided during and after the training, are all in simple, user-friendly language, suitable for translation into any language.
To date a number of different versions of these RBM guides and training materials have been developed, are being used and adapted to local and specific institutional needs, in Thai, Vietnamese, Khmer, Bahasa Indonesia, Swahili and Russian. Participants are free -- with citation -- to adapt, copy, translate and use the materials in any way that suits their needs.
Testing simplified RBM concepts against reality
While the review of the ten basic elements of Results-Based Management is a necessary step in establishing the context for the training, the most important and relevant learning takes place as the participants test the ideas through case-studies of their own work, applying the concepts to what is immediately important to them, to design of needs assessment, rapid appraisals, to their strategic or annual work plans, their own project reports, activity or project designs, or their evaluations.
For this reason:
Participants are encouraged to bring current examples of their work (project planning documents, or reports) to the workshop, where they are analysed, applying the RBM concepts introduced earlier in the workshop.
The optimum size for this discussion phase of the training is 4-5 people. For this reason, if a group of 20, 30 or 50 people, for example, is to be trained, the overview is covered in the first 8-10 hours with the group as a whole, with smaller groups then formed for three hours each of case-study work with the trainer. For a group of 50, the training then would take approximately 6 days,although any individual participant might require only a day or two of time for participation in the overview, and the more detailed case-study application.
In some cases the training has been integrated into an annual work planning process, with the trainer working on-site, after the initial orientation, as a mentor during the planning process
Off-site mentoring on results-based planning and reporting, and establishing working results-based monitoring and evaluation systems using email, has also proven effective.
The immediate objective of the initial training is to overcome resistance to the whole idea of Results-Based Management and its use. This is particularly important for those who have had a bad experience with RBM, or who might be intimidated by the apparent complexity of the terminology used by different agencies.
This is often the case for smaller, domestic NGOs in partner countries, for example, with staff in rural schools, or development offices, but these dysfunctional experiences with Results-Based Management also occur frequently even in large government agencies.
Resistance to using RBM can be, and has been, overcome:
Target Groups for the initial training
The target groups for this initial training are any group of practitioners, professionals or managers involved in policy making, planning or implementation of development activities who are either not familiar with Results-Based Management, or who have been frustrated in their previous attempts to use it productively.
To learn more about the training contact email@example.com .
Introducing basic concepts, and providing participants with the opportunity to apply them to immediate work priorities and users' experience.
Overcoming participants' resistance to the use of Results-Based Management
Providing practical tools for participants to use in their work in results-based planning and reporting.
There are three ways this user-based language has been applied successfully to Results-Based Management capacity development:
1. At the end of the introductory training:
Participants will understand what a theory of change means in real terms, what it looks like in their work, and how it applies to their project, and to their results.
2. At the end of onsite mentoring:
3. With remote assistance:
©Greg Armstrong 2012 All rights reserved.