Throughout many of our projects, there are opportunities to build capacity within the organisations we help. Sometimes, this capacity building comes in the form of formal training while other times, it is through actively participating in the process that we’re able to share and build skills with our clients.
Over the past two years, we have delivered training on Results Based Accountability, evaluation methods, strategic planning, and survey development, among others. When we work with clients to build their in-house skills through formal and specialised training, our goal is always meaningful and targeted engagement. This means truly understanding the base skills of those attending a training, what they hope to get out of it, and how they would like to receive this training. Training and capacity building can be fun and we always strive to deliver information and resources in ways that engage and mobilise participants. Recently, we delivered a training on the use of a survey platform in the development of a large provincial survey. We worked with the client to understand what they would like to get out of the training and developed an online virtual training to meet their needs. Participants had an assignment to complete individually after the training and we met again two weeks later to review any issues that came up and any additional questions that they had. Participants are now able to build and modify their own surveys, extract the data and create visual reports at the click of a button.
As a consulting firm, we rarely work in isolation on projects so skill building among our clients is a positive outcome of the work that we do. We thrive when we work on projects and with clients who want to learn, grow and develop their skills. Several of our projects over the last year have involved the development of key performance indicators (KPIs), for programs, services, or strategic plans. We’ve worked with agencies and their partners to identify KPIs, set targets and collect and manage the data. We use tools like Mural and activities like Liberating Structures to keep the process interesting and ensure that clients have the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to continue this work when the project is complete. While our KPI development work is not formal training, it enables participants to experience and influence the process so that it can be utilised in other areas of their work. In a sense, we act as a coach by laying the groundwork and sharing the skills our clients need to continue the good work that they do.