The MIEUX+ team has leveraged the wealth of proven methodologies for successful training, facilitation, and adult learning to create a unique capacity development tool.
The "Vocational Train the Trainers" course (VTT) stands out as a comprehensive package for facilitation, training, and adult learning. It equips trainers with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively transfer their expertise to colleagues, fostering sustainable growth and human resource development. Throughout the recent rollout of the VTT course among MIEUX+ partners, valuable lessons have been learned. Three key insights have emerged.
Firstly, while the VTT course maintains a standardised competency-based structure with clear learning objectives, the team recognises the importance of adapting it to meet the unique needs of each participant. This implies understanding as much as possible the needs of the specific target group.
As Alfred Woeger, Senior Project Manager for MIEUX+, explains: <<One size fits all may work with rain ponchos but not with professional training, in particular the VTT>>. This realisation emphasises the need to tailor the approach to accommodate the specific preferences and requirements of individual partners.
Secondly, the blended learning approach, which integrates self-paced e-learning with traditional face-to-face classroom instruction, has demonstrated its effectiveness as a valuable method for preparing participants in the context of the VTT course. By allowing participants to engage with content at their own pace before the face-to-face component, it optimises learning outcomes, catering to diverse learning styles and ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the material. Due to the challenge of translating the online learning component into the various languages in partner countries, the MIEUX+ team is developing condensed versions. This adaptation aims to ensure accessibility and inclusivity across diverse linguistic backgrounds.
Ultimately, it is important to not only deliver the VTT content but also to accompany the initial application through replica training sessions. These follow-up sessions play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical implementation. The first replica training sessions serve as a crucial feedback loop, enabling continuous improvement and ensuring that participants not only grasp the concepts but can effectively integrate them into their professional roles.
Brazil: the first training course as a game changer
The first training session held in Brazil for public defenders in 2022 was a crucial pilot of the theoretical work developed by the MIEUX+ team. It was an important "test" to determine whether the learning objectives and practical models of knowledge transfer work in practice with an adult audience.
This VTT session allowed the MIEUX+ team to identify the strengths of the course and areas for improvement.
The session was delivered in Portuguese by two experienced training experts from Portugal and Brazil. It represented a significant move from online to onsite learning, bridging the gap between these two training modalities, after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic preventing activities from being held onsite.
Cameroon: standardised yet unique
In Cameroon, the course was implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in French and English, as requested by the partners, making it bilingual for the first time.
Partner authorities actively participated and shared their insights, resulting in a training course that was not just implemented but entirely co-created. This collaborative approach promoted a sense of ownership and alignment with the project's objectives, making it a true embodiment of shared expertise and commitment to capacity development.
Several training participants expressed their positive feedback, stating, <<This is the most effective training we've ever received. I now have greater confidence in my capacity to oversee participants and coordinate training programs>>.
Uganda: bringing the training game to the next level
As part of the Uganda III Action the team adopted a strategic approach to the VTT course, by emphasizing not just the enhancement of training skills but also the strengthening of thematic knowledge.
This integrated training programme was offered to public officials of the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) to equip them with the necessary skills to successfully train their colleagues. As a result, these participants are now well-prepared to pass on their knowledge on data management and other topics as part of the pool of trainers of the Immigration Training Academy, contributing to a culture of continuous learning within their organisation.
As highlighted by one of the participants, <<I am glad I was a part of the VTT. It was an amazing experience where I gained great knowledge and skills. It will go a long way in building the capacity of Uganda's Immigration Training Academy and DCIC>>. The key to success was to accompany the initial application of the VTT through the first replica training session.
In the upcoming months, the team will be conducting VTT sessions in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Kyrgyzstan. To build stronger ownership and ensure the sustainability of the VTTs, these training sessions will be organised in partnership with local training institutions.
Therefore, stay tuned for our next article on VTTs in February 2024, when we will be able to share additional insights!