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Implementing a Training of Trainers (ToT) in West Africa: A case study of Nigeria

From energypedia

Introduction

By Olatunde Isiolaotan and Toju Micheal Ogbe. Unit: Capacity Development, NESP

In international development, across all sectors, training trainers who are expected to be the champions of a new idea, process or technology is a recurring theme.

Whilst planning for a Training of Trainers (ToT), various issues, such as security, trainee diets and health issues, need to be considered before proper implementation.

This article seeks to provide support and clarity for planners and implementers of any ToT with key considerations which must be carefully analysed for successful implementation identified. These considerations vary in complexity and occur at various stages, before, during and after the ToT. If used properly, any ToT should be successfully implemented.

The methodology used to plan and implement a ToT is developed by the Unit: Capacity Development of the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP).

This implementation plan is centered on 4 “EPIC” principles:

Experience

Professionalism

Interest to expand

Commitment


*Disclaimer: This Plan takes into consideration the differences in language and other interactive measures of relevant participants in the West African sub-region. The preparation and delivery of the training of trainers and the relevant training packages, we recommended to present a common understanding in both English and French languages as permitted by available resources for adequate knowledge dissemination.


Pre-ToT

The quality of a ToT is greatly dependent on the detail put into planning the ToT. A ToT that is well-planned, in which all relevant stakeholders are consulted is more likely to succeed than one which is poorly planned.

Venue

The planner should determine the venue for the ToT at least 3 months in advance. To achieve this they must:

  1. Invite possible hosts to express interest.
  2. Evaluate interested hosts based on EPIC – Experience, Professionalism, Interest to Expand and Commitment
  3. Inform the Risk Management Office (RMO) of the selected host and its location


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Host Institution

The planner should:

  1. Invite the selected host for the ToT to confirm readiness.
  2. Agree with the selected host the period (dates) for the ToT
  3. Inform the host of equipment to be provided by them. These are:
  • Teaching aids
  • Technical materials
  1. Visit the host institution/location ideally two (2) weeks to the training. Here, relying on both objective and subjective assessments, the planner:
  • Makes necessary first contacts for site visits
  • Ascertains conduciveness of training rooms/faculties
  • Ascertains conduciveness of accommodation facilities
  • Ascertain identifies important places of interest within close vicinity of the training centre. The planner shall:

- Take note of local environmental laws/practices
- Identify eateries, restaurants, shopping malls/supermarkets
- Identify and establish contacts with security (within and outside the institution)
- Identify and establish contacts with medical health facilities (within and outside the institution)
- Identify financial institutions such as banks

  • Finalise catering agreements
  • Assess local travel options (road, air). The planner shall

- Identify various inter-city and inter-state road networks
- Reconfirm price of petrol if own car is used
- Negotiate alternative transportation arrangements as fall back option in case of emergencies


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Security

In the run-up to the start of the ToT, the planner should:

  1. Inform the RMO of any security related news that is gathered about locations close to and within the vicinity of the training centre
  2. Continuously assess, evaluate and monitor, using online tools such as Google Alerts® as well as periodic following up with on-the-ground personnel at the host institution, the following:
  • Conflicts arising in the location and neighbouring towns and cities
  • Travel warnings and bans in place


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Communication/Visibility

Once the host institution has been decided on, the planner should:

  1. Send out official invitations to
  • The host institution (including request for CVs of prospective participants)
  • Other institutions subscribed (including request for CVs of prospective participants)
  1. Prepare of the following with adherence to required communication and visibility guidelines of all relevant institutions especially the sponsoring organizations:
  • Agenda/training programme which should categorised daily and weekly
  • Briefing notes containing information on security, medical and miscellaneous facilities
  • Press releases
  • Registration forms
  • Attendance sheet/list
  • Training evaluation forms
  • Certificates of participation
  • Acquire a high-tech digital photographing/video production equipment and/or secure a photographer
  1. Identify and make arrangements to procure suitable telecommunication equipment such as internet dongles or mi-fi for internet connectivity (for trainers)
  2. Prepare name badges for trainers and trainees
  3. Secure the necessary institutional visibility items such as:
  • Flags
  • Roll-up banners


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Equipment

Equipment to be used during the training should be identified and procured based on agreements between the host institution and the development agency. The planner should prepare a checklist which clearly spells out:

  1. Equipment to be procured by the host institution. For example, stationery, pin boards metaplan cards, etc.
  2. Equipment to the procured by the development agency
  3. Equipment to be loaned by the development agency


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Trainees

The planner should:

  1. Screen CVs of all nominees submitted by participating institutions
  2. Send a reminder to confirmed nominees and their institutions of dates and duration
  3. Where possible, despatch letters of acceptance to the accepted nominees


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Trainers

The planner should ensure that all trainers:

  1. Are familiar with the training package
  2. Prepare their presentation slides in advance of their arrival ToT


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Travel (Local Logistics)

The planner should:

  1. Finalise travel arrangements of all trainers within a reasonable time before commencement of the ToT. 6-8 weeks is ideal if entry clearance visa is not necessary. If required, 3 months should be the minimum time
  2. Prepare vehicle disclaimer forms if necessary
  3. Reconfirm all relevant travel procedures and processes (air and road)
  4. Organise bus for excursion/site visits


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Training Packages

The planner should ensure that the training package, if available, is complete, final and printed prior to commencement of the ToT.

  1. The contents of the training package should include:
  • Manual or handbook for quick reference during the ToT
  • A list of resources for further learning

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Finance

The planner must:

  1. Make arrangements for payments to be made to all local vendors or service providers. Issues such as accommodation, transportation, etc. should be sorted out well in advance.
  2. Make plans for movement of cash to the team of trainers if the situation arises.


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Hospitality

The planner should:

  1. Identify and engage with a reliable caterer for the provision of catering services for the entire training duration. It is important to:
  • Be aware of culinary preferences and needs, possible allergies and religious obligations.
  • Request for time table for meals from the caterer to avoid deviation from agreements during the ToT.
  1. Identify suitable accommodation for both the trainers and trainees. To achieve this, the planner could:
  • Liaise with the host institution to identify cost effective options
  • Use institutional arrangements by donor.


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Field Trips & Eexcursions

The planner should:

  1. Identify the total number of trips (training and leisure) that will be made during the ToT
  2. Identify possible locations for excursions (training and non-training)
  3. Go on a reconnaissance journey to the location for the field trip


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ToT

Depending on the duration and subject of the ToT, the planner’s role whilst the ToT runs, is a fluid one. The planner should maintain the following:

Registration

Participants should be registered on the first day

Security and Communication/Visibility

The planner should:

  1. Distribute the agenda, name tags and information briefing to the trainers and trainees
  2. Monitor the media for the training reported in the news


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Public Holidays

These can be a potentially volatile issue especially if the holiday is religious in nature. The planner should

  • Understand that participants have a right to take this day off.
  • Request for an open vote with the participants to agree on activity to undertake during the holiday.


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Equipment

The planner should:

  1. Deploy relevant training equipment accordingly and adhere to proper maintenance.
  2. Liaise with the host institution for storage of training equipment


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Trainees

For successful completion of the training, the trainees

  1. Have a responsibility to attend at least 50% of the training with active participation
  2. Will be evaluated subjectively based on the trainers’ opinion


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Trainers

The trainers should:

  1. Share the printed hardcopies of the training material prepared.
  2. Conduct the training according to designed agenda.
  3. Assess the participants subjectively based on 3 criteria namely:
  • Willingness to learn
  • Pedagogical capacity
  • Technical/technology knowledge


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Travel (local logistics)

The planner should:

  1. Ensure that a vehicle belonging to the ToT sponsor is with the trainers for the duration of the ToT
  2. Ensure vehicles are always supplied with petrol/diesel
  3. Follow all rules and regulations governing partners using vehicle belonging to sponsor. E.g. using vehicle disclaimer forms as necessary
  4. Make arrangements for alternative transportation. E.g. car hire service


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Training packages

The planner should:

  1. Make arrangements for the hard copies of the training materials
  2. Note feedback from the trainees on topics that were included or omitted from training package
  3. Put the soft copies of the relevant training packages on the USB flash drives and distribute to the trainees


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Feeding/accommodation

The planner should:

  1. Review the quality of the meals provided
  2. Review the preferences of the participants


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Post-ToT

Communication/visibility

The planner should:

  1. Engage with participants on new developments with respect to training activities

Equipment

The planner should:

  1. In accordance to the principle of equity, fairness and agreed framework, distribute the training equipment to the participating training institutions

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Trainees

The planner should:

  1. Ensure that certificates of participation are issued to the trainees
  2. Trainees provide evaluation of the training through the feedback evaluation forms


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Training packages

The planner should:

  1. Implement the review changes proposed and agreed on the training packages during the ToT
  2. Finalise and publish the latest edition of the training package


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Trainers

The planner should:

  1. Conduct training evaluation
  • Compile and finalise evaluation of participants
  • Include lessons learnt from ToT
  • Make recommendations for upcoming ToTs


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Reference

  • Contact the author for further information.

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