Under the agreement with APMAS-AIT, IFAD Vietnam Country Office and Development and Policies Research Center (DEPOCEN), mentoring and on-the-job training was designed and implemented for M&E officers in Bac Kan province in conducting their first annual outcome survey and at the same time improving the capacity for Bac Kan M&E officers and officers from other 5 provinces (Cao Bang, Ha Tinh, Dak Nong, Tra Vinh and Ben Tre). The kick off of this programme was held in Bac Kan in the form of Training on “Annual Outcome Survey” between 5 – 11 April 2011. A total of 33 M&E delegates from 6 provinces participated in this training course.
The approach taken in conducting this capacity building programme is lecture cum hands-on practicing. The participant M&E officers will first attend the training lectures, perform the exercise and finally actually carry out the survey themselves. For this purpose two days were spent in four selected districts of project area in Bac Kan. As such, the DEPOCEN had to develop a very practical survey training materials so that the participant M&E officers could understand and perform the survey after the training.
A selective number of key topics in survey implementation were discussed first in the Bac Kan context and then the participants were asked to participate in linking the training materials to their project context. For example, after the trainers discussing the population identification and sampling frame construction, each participant was asked to replicate the same exercise for their own provinces. The key selective topics include:
During training DEPOCEN encouraged active participation by the trainees. Theoretical lectures were closely integrated with the exercises. To deal with complex concepts or issues, trainers usually stopped to discuss with students and used practical and specific examples to clarify them. This approach allowed participants to gain new knowledge quickly and effectively.
Participants were encouraged to present their opinions, raise questions and discuss and debate matters. This gave participants the opportunity to share their ideas and actual experiences with trainers and other members. Moreover, after each class, the study environment became increasingly open and engaging due to exchange activities outside the classes.
After three days training in a class, on the fourth and fifth days all students was divided into four teams. They conducted survey in four selected districts. Some key learning points in these field activities are:
On the sixth day, CSPro software was provided to facilitate data entry. On the last day, the data on beneficiaries (the treatment group) and non-beneficiaries (the control group) households was entered and organized.
At the end of the training, it was confirmed that all participants were satisfied with the seven day training course in Bac Kan. Our “Training Evaluation Survey” was conducted immediately after the course, during the last day of training. The survey revealed very positive attitudes from trainees regarding the content and design of the training course. Most importantly, most participants feel that they can apply this knowledge of this training to their work, with 100% of trainees answered that they can apply the knowledge on sampling methods, data collection and data entry they have learned when their own surveys.