|Guide to Developing Training Strategies (DHA/UNDRO - DMTP - UNDP, 55 p.)|
|2. Objectives of training programmes|
Developing realistic and achievable training objectives requires an understanding of the resources that are available or that can be created. Each objective has to be checked against what it involves to implement them. The most fundamental requirements are:
· financial support
· organisational capacities
· leadership capabilities
· qualified resource staff and an institutional base in training and disaster management
· appropriate teaching materials
Financial support - An organised training activity requires financial support for the trainers, participants, administration and management, training material, venue etc. Although support in training for disaster management is now more available than before it still has to compete with many other priority areas in a country or an organisation for resources. Initial financial support has been available for several programmes (e.g. Philippines case study in Appendix 2) from international agencies, donor countries and other sources. However, many such programmes may be unsuccessful because they lack internal financial (as well as other) commitments to training. In the long run, self-reliance should be envisaged as a programme objective. Thus, the priority for the international community should be to help strengthen national capabilities.
Integrating training into a wider disaster management package, such as part of a preparedness or mitigation plan, may also be more likely to attract funding, since the benefits will seem to be in more than one (and perhaps in more visible) areas. Another alternative might be to begin with a low budget and small-scale training. By setting an example of achieved improvement targets that can be publicised widely, it may be possible to move into full scale programmes.
Organisational capacities - A body or bodies need to create a small organisation to mount a training programme. If a number of Government Ministries or departments and sharing in the overall responsibility they may need to provide a secretariat to undertake the following tasks:
· identify trainees and trainers
· select a training venue
· organise work programme
· organise training materials
· acquire the necessary training equipment - photocopies/audio visual aids/reference books for participants, etc.
· build up a data - base of participants
The organisation needs several characteristics to act effectively:
· clear authority
· adequate resources
· agreed aims
· good leadership
Leadership capabilities - Many successful training activities result from committed and skilled leadership. This role may be undertaken by an individual, a group, a department, an organisation or an agency depending on the nature of objectives and, of course, on who is committed to them. Often the leadership may not come from the targeted change area. This may create conflict and a lack of commitment to the activity as an outsider group, individual or an organisation claims responsibility to achieve the training objectives set for another group.
One alternative can be to start with activities where leadership is strong to set an example. A more laborious, but perhaps more successful way of achieving long-term objectives can be to team up individual groups, institutions or agencies with the leadership capability with those where this capacity is needed. Departing with the leadership role to empower those others who ultimately will own the training activities should be a programme objective.
Qualified resource staff and an institutional base - Training objectives are often set only by focusing upon what to train and who to train. The question of who trains comes into consideration after several decisions are taken and sometimes only when the actual programming of training begins.
Qualified resource staff are fundamental to all training activities whether it is on-the-job training or a comprehensive training programme. Often these training areas which need the most attention are the weakest in terms of qualified resource staff.
Several training programmes have in the past and still do rely heavily on international expertise, which is an expensive solution and creates dependency. Where resources are available, external expertise can be sought, especially on subjects which cannot be covered by in-house or in-country persons. Also, in situations where training is not envisaged as a continuous activity, external institutions and resource staff may be a more feasible alternative to creating an in-house capacity. National programmes in the long run, however, require availability of this capacity and an institutional base for training for self-reliance. It should be remembered that this may be a long process to achieve, as knowledgeable staff are not always good trainers and good trainers may not always be experienced in the disaster management field (see the Guidelines for Trainers Leading Disaster Management Workshops for the selection of trainers and training institutions). There may be a need for investing in training the trainers as a parallel activity.
One alternative might be to seek resource staff from outside (regional, international or other organisations) to run training activities alongside the identified internal resource staff. This will initiate training rapidly and support resource staff development Another alternative might be to begin with objectives where there are qualified resource people and gradually create capabilities. Supporting the training of resource staff should be a programme objective from the start
Appropriate training materials - While there is considerable accumulation of knowledge in the field of disaster management through research, very lime of it is put into a practical format. Sectoral material, such as in the health field, through PAHO and CRED publications are more readily available and a number of UNDRO publications and the University of Wisconsin self study course materials address more general disaster management issues. The current DMTP modules attempt to fill the gaps and will make the state of the art knowledge available in a practical format While these documents will be useful as general course material to begin with, each country or organisation eventually needs to adapt existing material, develop its own case studies, exercises etc. appropriate to its own needs.
One rule of the thumb to remember is that all training material should be as close to the needs, realities and level of the target group(s) as possible.
Review the fire topics listed above and relative to the available resources in your situation, which do you currently possess, which could you acquire and which would be very difficult to obtain? - Who could assist you in this task?