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close this book Community Nutrition Action for Child Survival
close this folder Part III - Project management systems
Open this folder and view contents Unit 1: Training community nutrition workers
Open this folder and view contents Unit 2: Evaluating progress
Open this folder and view contents Unit 3 - Supervising community nutrition activities

Part III - Project management systems

 

Unit 1: Training community nutrition workers

SESSION 1: Introduction

SESSION 2: Identifying Training Needs/Writing Objectives

SESSION 3: Choosing Training Methods

SESSION 4: Scheduling Training Content

SESSION 5: Preparing a Training Session

UNIT OVERVIEW

Managers of community nutrition projects are frequently called upon to help workers and community members meet their needs for new information and skills. As such, they must often plan and participate in training workshops and in-service training activities. In larger projects, they may be responsible for training project supervisors as well as field workers and community volunteers.

This unit introduces a step-by-step method for planning training activities. It also reviews some of the techniques that are useful in the training of adults and presents guidelines for choosing techniques to meet training needs. By the end of the unit, participants will have planned a training program for community nutrition workers, complete with training objectives, schedule and sample lesson plans. The methodology introduced can be used by participants during or after training to develop training plans for their own community projects.

Session 1: Introduction

Purpose:

Trainees discuss the functions of training and the instances where training is necessary for the implementation of community nutrition action projects. They also discuss the composition and qualifications of training teams.

Time: 1/2 hour

Materials:

- Newsprint and marking pens or chalkboard and chalk

Steps:

1. What is training? Begin by writing the words "training" and "education" on newsprint or on the chalkboard. Ask participants: " Is there any difference between training and education?" If they say yes, ask them to describe the difference. Or, ask them to say what they think of when they hear each of these words. Allow five or six responses.

2. Stress the unique characteristics of training:

- Training prepares a person for specific kinds of action

- Training deals mostly with developing skills or teaching "how to do" something

- Training improves performance in an activity

- Training motivates or changes attitudes

- Training should lead to sustained, self-generating development

(Adapted from Training Manual for Helping Professions by Kiron Wadhera)

3. Ask: "When is training necessary in community nutrition action projects?"

Answers should include:

- before a project to raise community awareness about nutrition programs;

- in the early stages of a community action project for training community volunteers or workers;

- periodically throughout the life of the project.

4. Ask: "Who should plan and carry out project training?" Discuss with participants the role of the manager in guiding and organizing training to meet community needs

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of enlisting other technically-trained resource specialists to work on training activities.

5. Ask: "What are the desired characteristics of training team members?" Ask participants to write down the kinds of individuals they would ask to work with them on the training of community nutrition volunteers. Make a master list of the types of individuals on newsprint, i.e., nutrition worker, agricultural worker, artist, health education person, trainer, family planning specialist, etc.

6. Ask: "What personal characteristics would you look for in training team members?"

List the answers:

- Training experience

- Understanding of local problems

- Good rapport with community members

- Reliability, willingness to work

- Etc.

7. Summarize: The size of the training team depends on the length of training, the number of participants and, of course, resources. The training team should be involved early on in the planning process.

Tell trainees that we are going to use a step-by-step process in this unit to plan a training activity. The process includes the steps below. It can be used by teams or individuals for planning training workshops, in-service training and on-the-job training. The same process can be used to plan training for community nutrition workers, supervisors, and a wide variety of individuals and groups from other types of programs.

8. Write the steps in planning training activities on newsprint and display:

a. Assessing training needs

b. Writing training objectives

c. Choosing training methods and content

d. Preparing a schedule

e. Preparing session plans

f. Planning how to evaluate trainee knowledge and skills

Session 2: Assessing training needs/writing objectives

Purpose:

In this session, trainees use the job description for a community nutrition volunteer to list the information and skills the volunteer will have at the end of training. Using this list, they work in small groups to write training objectives for a three-day workshop. (An actual job description for a project worker can be substituted for the hypothetical description provided.)

Time: 1 hour

Materials:

- Trainer's Reference - "Sample Job Description"

- Handout - "Writing Training Objectives"

Preparation:

- Write or select a description of the work of a community nutrition worker.

- Make copies of the Handout - "Writing Training Objectives."

Steps:

1. Introduction: Tell participants that their task is to plan a three-day training seminar for a nutrition worker. The seminar is to be held during the first month of a year-long project and will be followed up with monthly in-service meetings.

2. List knowledge and skills required: Distribute or display the job description for a typical community nutrition worker. Review the job description together. Then, divide participants into small groups and ask them to list the information and the skills that the worker will need in order to perform the job as it is described. Have groups present their lists when they finish. Or, you may want to work with he entire group to brainstorm the information and skills the worker will need. This requires less time than working in small groups.

Summarize: "Listing the skills and knowledge a worker must have is the first step in assessing training needs."

3. Assess existing knowledge and skills: The next step is to consider what skills and knowledge the nutrition workers already have. We can do this by interviewing them before planning the training to find out about their knowledge, attitudes and especially their expectations for training.

4. Read the passage below to the trainees. It describes the nutrition workers they will be training.

In the village of (name of village), the community nutrition volunteers are women group members. All of them are functionally literate, and most have had from three to six years of formal schooling. They are mothers, and each has had a lot of experience taking care of her own children. When the nurse comes to the community every other month, they attend the education sessions she conducts with the community's mothers. They know a little about nutrition and are familiar with the three food groups, but sometimes they confuse the foods that belong in each group. While they take their children to the clinic when they become very sick, they also follow traditional practices for treating illnesses like diarrhea. They are eager to know more about nutrition but feel shy about trying to teach other mothers. When asked why so many of the children in the community are sick and malnourished, they said that it was because of ignorance, because the parents of these children are ignorant.

5. Compare existing skills to those required: Ask trainees to compare the list of required skills and information made earlier to what they now know about the educational level and the experience of the nutrition workers to be trained. This will help them decide what they can realistically expect to accomplish in the first three days of training.

6. What are the most important skills for the nutrition workers to have as they begin their activities in the community? Give trainees five minutes to write individually what they would expect to achieve by the end of the three-day training.

7. Writing training objectives: Distribute the Handout "Writing Training Objectives." Tell participants that we describe or write our expectations for any training activity as behavioral objectives. Review the description of a behavioral objective and practice writing several objectives with the group.

8. Divide into the same small groups as before. Ask the groups to (1) share their individual expectations for the three-day training, (2) decide which ones they agree on, and (3) rewrite them in the form of behavioral training objectives for the three-day training program. They should be written on newsprint for later presentation to the entire group.

When they have finished, ask the groups to report on their objectives.

9. Summarize the steps covered:

Assessing training needs including:

- listing knowledge and skills required;

- assessing existing knowledge and skills;

- comparing existing knowledge and skills to those required.

Writing training objectives in behavioral terms that describe what trainees will know and what they will be able to do by the end of training.

TRAINER'S REFERENCE

SAMPLE JOB DESCRIPTION

Community Nutrition Worker

Selection Criteria:

Community Nutrition Workers will be women of reproductive age with children of their own. They will be selected by the women in their villages. They must be literate.

Responsibilities:

1. Inform families about planned nutrition activities.

2. Work with other Community Nutrition Workers to plan and conduct monthly growth monitoring activities. (Use weight-for-age and the Road to Health Chart.)

3. Make home visits to follow up sick and malnourished children.

4. Teach families how to make improved weaning foods.

5. Make and give Oral Rehydration Solution in cases of diarrhea.

6. Keep records on sick and malnourished children identified in growth monitoring sessions and home visits.

HANDOUT

WRITING TRAINING OBJECTIVES

Training objectives, also called behavioral objectives, are statements about the expected results of training activities. Training objectives are most often written in terms of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes the trainee will acquire during training. For example:

1) By the end of the training workshop, participants will be able to teach small groups of mothers how to prepare and give at least two improved weaning foods.

2) By the end of training, participants will be able to weigh and complete growth cards successfully for children 0-5 years.

Now, write your own training objectives.

By the end of training, participants will be able to

________________________________________________________________________________

Ask yourself: Are these objectives realistic given the educational level of the participants, the length of training and the resources available? If not, you may want to change them.

Session 3: Choosing training methods

Purpose:

Trainees compare didactic and participatory training approaches and discuss their usefulness in the training of community nutrition workers. They also discuss the characteristics of community workers and review general statements about adult learners. The session ends with a review of specific participatory training techniques.

Time: 2 hours

Materials:

- Trainer's Reference - "Role Play: Training Styles" with copies for role players

- Handout - "Characteristics of Adult Learners"

- Handout - "Participatory and Experiential Training Methods"

Preparation :

- Copy the description of the role play and the handouts.

- Assign roles and practice the three role play situations.

- Select five or six trainees or trainers to participate in the role play.

- Prepare questions for discussion.

Steps:

1. Introduction: Introduce this session by telling participants that we are now at the stage in the planning process when we need to decide on the exact information to be included in each of our training programs and the training techniques we will use. In this session, we will take a look at several different training approaches and the techniques appropriate for use in community training activities.

2. Role Play: Training Styles. Role players assume the roles of Trainer and Trainees to demonstrate three different types of training: didactic, participatory and experiential. (See instructions attached.)

3. Discussion: Ask participants to comment on the role play by asking the following questions:

- What happened in each of these three situations?

- What was the role of the facilitator in each of the situations?

- What were the differences in the three approaches to teaching the same subject?

- In which one do you think the participants learned more about the topic?

4. Write participants' comments about situations 1,2,3 on separate sheets of newsprint. When you have finished the discussion, write at the top of the sheet for situation 1, didactic; situation 2, participatory; and situation 3, experiential.

5. Give examples of training situations in which each of these styles might be appropriate. Ask trainees to describe the type of training that would be most effective with the community nutrition workers they want to train.

6. Distribute the Handout - "Characteristics of Adult Learners, " and review the eight points about how adults learn. Encourage trainees to use participatory and experiential techniques in their training as much as possible. Write the following information about retention of knowledge on the flipchart and discuss.

We retain

 

10% of what we hear,

20% of what we hear and see,

30% of what we do, and

40% of what we do in a real situation.

 

7. Distribute the Handout - "Participatory and Experiential Training Methods, " and review with participants.

8. Close the session by telling trainees that while we would like to use highly participatory techniques whenever possible, there are certain things that determine which techniques we choose in our training. To select training methods, we must answer the following questions:

- What method or combination of methods will insure that trainees learn the necessary information?

- Will trainees be able to understand the training method and participate fully?

- How much time do we have? Is the time required for a certain method justified by what the trainees will learn?

- What resources are required (materials, money) and can they be made available?

TRAINER'S REFERENCE

ROLE PLAY: TRAINING STYLES

Roles:

1 Trainer

 

3-4 Trainees

 

Choose a nutrition topic that will involve trainees in a practice activity, e.g., making weaning foods, growth monitoring, promoting family planning.

This role play is done in pantomime (without speaking) by having players wear name cards "Trainer" and "Trainee." This helps focus the participants' observation and discussion on the training approach used instead of training content.

Situation 1

The Trainer, standing in front of the seated Trainees, presents the topic in lecture form. He/She may use visual aids. Trainer does not ask questions of the Trainees. Occasionally Trainees raise hands to ask questions which the Trainer answers.

Situation 2

The Trainer, seated with the Trainees, presents the same topic using visual aids which are passed around. Trainer asks many questions of Trainees, which they discuss among themselves and respond to. Trainer may demonstrate something, asking Trainees to help.

Situation 3

The Trainer and Trainees are working together on a project, moving around the room, discussing visual aids and reference materials, making weaning food, weighing children in role plays, etc.

Process:

1. Roles should be assigned and the three situations should be practiced prior to the session.

2. Tell Trainees they will be watching three role plays and that you want them to observe the interaction between the Trainer and Trainees in each of the cases.

3. Each situation should last 3-4 minutes with players leaving the room and re-entering for each new situation.

4. Discussion

(Adapted from Bridging the Gap, Save the Children)

HANDOUT

CHARACTERISTICS OF ADULT LEARNERS

1. Adults must want to learn.

2. Adults will learn only what they feel a need to learn.

If an adult does not feel dissatisfied with his/her own performance or deficient in a given area, he/she will not learn what is needed to correct the deficiency or poor performance. When adults are dissatisfied, they are interested in learning something new that can correct the problem, and will actively seek opportunities to learn.

3. Adults learn by doing.

Active, not passive, methods provide the best learning environment. Through involvement and action, adults increase their understanding of new concepts and skills and their confidence to apply these. The facilitator must provide time for assimilation, testing and acceptance.

4. Adult-learning centers on realistic problems.

Hypothetical cases or situations that do not correspond to real life conditions do not motivate an adult to learn. Examples and exercises in a training program should be within the possible, if not actual, reality experience of the adult.

5. Experience affects adult learning.

Past perceptions, actions and results experienced by an adult determine what he/she accepts or does not accept as new knowledge.

6. Adults learn best in an informal environment.

An atmosphere which encourages risk-free learning through participation in shared discussions and activities, motivates adults to be open to new concepts and skills and to visualize and experiment with how these concepts apply to their personal needs.

7. Vary learning methods in teaching adults.

Learning methodologies (case studies, role play, small group discussion, etc.) should be varied to capture and maintain adult interest. Constant repetition of any method will cause adults to become bored and fatigued.

8. Adults want guidance, not grades.

Adult learning is very individual, and goals for achievement are set by determining "What do I need to improve myself?" Adults seek feedback on "How am I doing?" to correct poor or substandard performance. They do not compete in knowledge and skill acquisition nor seek authority, recognition, or reward for their learning.

HANDOUT

PARTICIPATORY AND EXPERIENTIAL TRAINING METHODS

1. Audio-Visual Methods

These include posters, slides, flannelgraph, films, etc. They make the transfer of information easier and more interesting. They are very useful when training workers to recognize the signs of malnutrition, contraceptive methods, etc.

2. Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a technique for generating new ideas by drawing ideas from the group, instead of depending on the ideas of a few leaders or participants. Brainstorming helps to convince participants of the value of the whole group and its ability to generate creative solutions to problems.

In brainstorming, all members of the group are encouraged to contribute ideas. All ideas are accepted and written down. There is no criticism or rejection of an idea. This is important because it encourages everyone's participation. As many responses or ideas should be generated as possible. When the group has finished, the facilitator may choose to categorize, select, comment or judge responses depending on the purpose of the exercise. Care is taken at this stage not to discourage any member from future participation. The brainstorming process produces a final result that is a group product.

3. Small Group Discussion

A large group is divided into subgroups of no more than five people, and the group is given a topic for discussion, a list of questions to answer or statements to react to. The subgroups discuss and list their comments. Returning to the larger group, subgroups present their comments. Questions may be asked or comments made.

Dividing a large group into subgroups can be done at random or on the basis of interests, experience, region, profession, etc. You may also divide groups to separate more and less vocal trainees, giving the latter the chance to participate freely.

4. Demonstration

This includes showing and allowing participants to practice certain techniques and skills. The following have been demonstrated during past workshops:

- Growth monitoring techniques

- Preparation of oral rehydration solution

- Preparation of a variety of weaning mixtures

Facilitators should take care that ingredients, amounts and utensils are exactly those that will be used by trainees. It is a good idea to use a poster and/or a handout to reinforce information given verbally during a demonstration.

5. Games

Nutrition games have been developed by several organizations and countries. Games, if followed by discussion, can be very useful for reinforcing information presented in lectures or discussions. Board games, like Nutrition Snakes and Ladders, are a good way to reinforce information about the relationships between diarrhea, hygiene, feeding practices, child-spacing and malnutrition. Card games can help groups understand food classifications, and still other games might help participants practice allocating household resources to achieve adequate food intake for the family.

Games should be used sparingly, and always with plenty of explanation before and discussion of lessons learned afterwards.

6. Case Study

An actual situation or problem is presented in writing or verbally, sometimes with the use of slides or transparencies. The group or subgroups are asked to discuss the situation presented. Discussion can be focused on a set of questions to be answered, on a controversy or problem in the case study, etc.

A variation of this method is the incident method. In this type of case study, a situation is described, but the solution or way it was handled is not. Subgroups or individuals are asked how they would handle the situation. They may be asked to present their solutions to the entire group. The facilitator can lead a discussion comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each subgroup's solution. The exercise might end with a description of what really happened. It should be emphasized that the solution chosen is neither right nor wrong but merely one of many solutions that could have been chosen.

7. Role Play

Trainees are assigned roles similar to real life situations and given guidelines indicating the attitudes and expectations of the people they are playing. After acting out a situation before the group, discussion follows. Role plays may be planned as one would write a play, or the situation and characteristics of players may be described with details left up to their imaginations.

This is an excellent way to help trainees understand the attitudes and problems of the population groups they are working with. Simulated meetings between volunteers and community members, health workers, etc. could be used. Role plays we have used in nutrition training include the following:

- A home visit by a volunteer to the family of a malnourished child

- A community (women's group) meeting to discuss the problem of malnutrition

- A volunteer or worker trying to introduce the concept of family planning to a small group of women

- Other problems faced by workers and volunteers in their work

Discussion at the end of a role play is very important. The group should be encouraged to say what they thought about the situation and the behavior of the players. It is also important that the facilitator prepare some open-ended questions about the role play situation to stimulate discussion.

Example:

- What did you like about how the nutrition volunteer handled this situation?

- What do you think the mother was feeling? Do you think she understood? Why? Why not?

Role playing can make learning fun and easy. It can also help participants see new ways to approach situations and solve problems.

8. Project or Agency Visit

Trainees are taken to a specific project or institution such as:

- A nutrition rehabilitation center

- A maternal child health /nutrition clinic with outreach program

- A nutrition/family planning clinic supported by a community income-generating scheme

The purpose may be to demonstrate the activities of an on-going project and/or to expose participants to malnourished children and their families. In ideal cases, trainees are able to practice the skills they have been learning, i.e., weighing and charting the growth of children or using the arm circumference tape or other tools to assess malnutrition, counseling the mother of a sick child, etc.

In all cases, trainees should be properly briefed about the purpose of the visit and areas for observation should be defined before the visit.

9. Practice in the Community

It is often useful to have trainees practice the skills they are learning in a community, under the supervision of trainers and resource specialists.

If prior arrangements are made, trainees can:

- make home visits;

- measure children and assess nutritional status;

- prepare and lead a discussion on a given topic with a group of mothers;

- conduct a weighing activity with community leaders, etc.

In fact, any time it is possible to do so, you should create the opportunity for trainees to do in training the things you expect them to do after training.

Session 4: Scheduling training content

Purpose:

Using the training objectives developed during Session 2, participants identify and sequence training topics and activities to complete a schedule for the three-day training seminar .

Time: 2 hours

Materials :

- Handout - "Planning Training Content"

- Handout - "Training Schedule"

- Flipchart and marking pens

Preparation:

Copy worksheets and make sure flipcharts, markers and tape are available.

Steps:

1. Introduction: Distribute the Handout - "Planning Training Content. " Trainees will work in the same small groups formed in Session 2.

2. Selecting Topics and Activities: Instruct small groups to begin by writing one of the training objectives they agreed to in Session 2 in the first column on the handout. In the next column, they should list the topics or information that should be included in the training to make sure that this objective is achieved. In the final column, groups should describe the training activities that they will use to teach and reinforce the required skills.

Groups should continue until they have listed all of their training objectives, the topics and the activities that might be included in their three-day program. Remind them that training content should be realistic. When the groups finish this exercise, have them review their lists. Encourage them to eliminate and/or combine topics until they have a realistic list.

3. Sequencing Topics and Activities: Once groups agree on their training topics and activities, ask them to assign each topic and each activity a number that indicates its order in the training sequence.

4. Scheduling: Distribute the Handout - "Training Schedule. " Ask groups to transfer their topics and activities in the correct order to the blank training schedule and/or to three pieces of newsprint headed Day 1, Day 2, Day 3. While doing this, groups will need to think about the amount of time that should be devoted to each topic and activity. Remind groups that they should include enough time for warm-up exercises, orientation to the workshop and any other non-nutrition topics. They should also leave some time in the schedule to deal with participants' questions and needs.

This is a preliminary schedule. Once groups begin to talk about training methodologies in greater detail, they will want to make changes in the schedule.

5. Is the Training Plan Realistic?: When groups finish their schedules, ask them to ask themselves the following questions:

- Is our plan realistic?

- Are we trying to cover too much/too little in the time available?

- Will the topics and activities listed meet our objectives for the training?

- Have we included unnecessary topics?

- Are there topics other than those listed that we should include?

6. Presentation of Plans: Have small groups present their training objectives and schedules to the entire group. Make sure to emphasize that there is no such thing as a perfect training schedule. Each group, and each project, will develop its own plan according to its understanding of the training needs and the resources available.

7. Summary: Review again the steps in planning training content, pointing out to participants that they have now completed steps one, two, three and four of the planning process. They have (1) assessed the training need by looking at the job description and a statement about the knowledge and skills of trainees; (2) they wrote objectives for a three-day training activity; (3) they chose training content; and (4) they developed a tentative training schedule.

HANDOUT

PLANNING TRAINING CONTENT

OBJECTIVE

TOPICS

ACTIVITIES


   

 

HANDOUT

TRAINING SCHEDULE

DAY 1
Morning
Opening

DAY 2
Morning

DAY 3
Morning

LUNCH

LUNCH

LUNCH

Afternoon

Afternoon

Afternoon

Evaluations

SESSION 5: PREPARING A TRAINING SESSION/EVALUATING TRAINING

Purpose:

To practice planning and presenting a training session.

Time: 1 hour to prepare one session plan

Materials:

- Handout - "Session Plan"

- Flipchart and marking pens

Steps:

1. Introduction: Distribute the Handout - "Session Plan," and begin by telling participants that a session plan is the tool used by the trainer to prepare for the presentation of information and activities during a session.

Review the items asked for on the Handout - "Session Plan," explaining the meaning of each item.

2. Preparing a Session Plan: Assign topics, or ask each group to choose one (or more) of the session topics they included in their training schedule.

Groups should complete at least one session plan with as much detail as possible and prepare to present the plan to the entire group.

3. Presentations: Groups present their session plans for discussion and suggestions. If time permits, you may want them to practice delivering the sessions to the group as if it were made up of the potential trainees.

4. Evaluation: Discuss the techniques for evaluating training sessions and training workshops. Help groups define measurable indicators or standards of performance for their sessions. Demonstrate how behavioral training objectives lead to a logical evaluation plan for a training activity.

5. Summary: Review the steps in planning training activities:

- Assessing the need for training

- Writing training objectives

- Choosing training methods and content

- Preparing a schedule

- Preparing session plans

- Planning how to evaluate trainee knowledge and skills

Remind participants that this framework can be used to plan almost any type of training program.

Note: Trainees have now completed, as a group, a training plan for one activity. If time permits, or workshop objectives call for participants to develop training plans for their own projects, you may want to base the entire exercise on an actual training need.

We did exactly this during workshops in Nepal and Indonesia, where management trainees planned and subsequently conducted training for field workers and village nutrition volunteers.

HANDOUT

SESSION PLAN

Topic or Activity:

Length of Session:

Materials:

Important Information to Include:

Steps: (Develop a step-by-step plan of how you will conduct the session. Describe all activities, exercises and training methods.)

Evaluation: ( How will you know if the trainees have learned what you wanted them to learn?)

 

Unit 2: Evaluating progress

SESSION 1: What do we need to know?

SESSION 2: Records and Reports

SESSION 3: Prototype Record Keeping System

SESSION 4: Evaluating Activities with the Community

UNIT OVERVIEW

The first step in evaluation is to have clearly stated Objectives and work plans for a project. When we plan community nutrition projects, we are careful to describe all of the activities we want to carry out, the time frame for those activities and the results we expect to achieve by the end of the project. We also identify indicators of project progress, or the concrete observable facts that will tell us whether or not a project is having the desired results.

Evaluation tells all of us - the planners, the beneficiaries and the donors - if we have done what we planned to do, and if what we did has had the results we expected.

For the project manager (agency and community), evaluation is an on-going activity throughout the life of a project. It is the management function that helps us understand what worked, what did not work and why. By regularly evaluating our efforts, we learn important lessons that help us revise our plan of action in order to achieve the best possible results with the resources we have available.

For the project donor, evaluation tells (1) if the implementing organization has carried out the activities it proposed to carry out; (2) if those activities have achieved the results predicted; and (3) if the funding and resources for the project were managed correctly. Donors also use project evaluation to decide whether or not a project or agency is worthy of continued funding, and in some cases, whether or not the project strategy deserves support in other places.

In this series of sessions, we will review the basic principles of project evaluation. Participants will first develop a set of evaluation questions that they hope to answer at different stages of a project. They will also review methods for collecting information about project activities and results, focusing on specific information that is important for the management of community nutrition activities. The second session of the series discusses the collection of information and has participants compare monthly record formats. Guiding principles for the development of community records are given, although it is strongly suggested that managers enlist the help of experts to develop records and reports that meet the needs of their agency, the community and donors. The final session provides participants with practice, using information from hypothetical or actual projects to answer evaluation questions, to pinpoint problems and to develop further questions and methods for collecting supplementary information.

Session 1: What do he need to know? How can we find out?

Purpose:

In this session, trainees review the basic uses of evaluation and they list questions about community nutrition projects that evaluation can help to answer. They also identify the information needed to answer these questions and the ways of collecting it.

Time: 2 hours

Materials:

- Newsprint and marking pens or chalkboard and chalk

- Handout - "Hypothetical Project Information"

Note: Information from an actual project may be used instead.

- Handout - "Quest ions About Community Nutrition Activities.

Preparation :

- If you are using newsprint, prepare the chart shown in step 7 below.

- Make copies of the Handout - " Hypothetical Project Information."

- Make copies of the Handout - "Questions About Community Nutrition Activities."

Steps:

Part 1 - What do we need to know?

1. Ask the questions below one at a time. Encourage participants to brainstorm their answers. Write key phrases from participants' answers on separate sheets of newsprint together with each of the questions.

- What do we mean by evaluation? or evaluating a project?

- Who is interested in evaluation?

- Why do we evaluate projects and activities?

2. Talk briefly about the generally accepted definitions of evaluation, distinguishing between ongoing evaluation (monitoring) and final project evaluation.

Explain the management cycle (planning, implementation and evaluation) showing how evaluation leads to new and revised plans, based on lessons learned and changing circumstances during one complete management cycle. During the life of a project we may complete many management cycles.


Management cycle

3. Display the following questions and ask participants to keep them in mind during the rest of the unit. These are the general questions that evaluation can help us answer.

- Did we do the things we planned to do? If not, why not?

- Did the target group respond the way we thought they would? If not, why not?

- Did the nutrition and health of our target group improve?

4. Divide the participants into small groups (4-6 persons each) and inform them that they have been chosen as Project Evaluation Teams for a model community nutrition project. Give each participant a set of objectives and a work plan either from a hypothetical or from an actual project. Ask them to review these project materials individually. (Hypothetical project information is included.)

5. Ask each Project Evaluation Team to make three lists of questions they will ask at different times in the project implementation, to make sure the project is on target. The first list should be the questions they will ask each month; the second list should be those they will ask after six months of project activity; the third list should be those questions they will ask at the end of the project to find out if the project has been successful.

6. When groups are finished, have the first group display its list of monthly questions; the second, its list for evaluation at six months; and the third, its list of questions to be asked at the end of the project. When they have finished, ask the remaining groups to add questions they would ask that were not mentioned.

The facilitator should congratulate the evaluation teams, and tell the group they will be referring back to these lists during the rest of the session.

7. Choose several of the evaluation questions listed in each category, and transfer them one at a time to the first column of a chart like the one that follows.

Evaluation Question

Indicators/Information We Need to Answer this Question


 

8. Fill in the second column of the chart by asking participants to be specific about the information they must have to answer each question.

Example:

Evaluation Question

Indicators/Information We Need to Answer this Question

Have activities planned been carried out on schedule?

What was planned? When? What activities were carried out? When? Who attended? How many?

9. When you have finished listing the information needed to answer three or four questions, pass out the Handout "Questions About Community Nutrition Activities." Review it with the participants. You may wish to make up some exercises to demonstrate how certain information and indicators might be compared and used to answer evaluation questions.

Part 2 - How can we collect the information we need?

10. Review with participants the general methods and tools managers use to collect the information they need to monitor and evaluate the activities and results of community nutrition projects. Include a description of:

- Baseline survey

- Interviews with workers, leaders, beneficiaries

- Client records

- Community reports (monthly, quarterly, semester, etc.)

- Supervision reports

- Mini-surveys

- Meetings/discussion groups

- Existing records

11. Discuss the factors that affect the information we decide to collect and the methods we use.

- What do we need to know? Only information that we must have to guide the project and evaluate results should be included.

- How much money and other resources do we have for the evaluation component of the project?

- Who can collect and compile the information we need? If community workers cannot read and write, or if there are only a few supervisors with minimal transport, the amount and quality of information we can collect will be limited.

12. Add two more columns to the chart so it looks like this:

Evaluation Question

Indicators/Information Needed to Answer this

How Will You Collect It?

How Often?



     

Ask participants to help you complete the chart for the questions you worked on earlier. For each piece of information ask "How will you collect the information you need?" and "How often will you collect it?"

13. Individual Evaluation Plans - If there is sufficient time during the workshop, each trainee should be asked to use a chart, like the one above. Have the trainees identify the information and sources needed for their own projects. Trainers should be available at this time to assist the trainees.

HANDOUT

HYPOTHETICAL PROJECT INFORMATION

Nutrition Action in the Village of Ngamani

Background

In the village of Ngamani, the (community members, women's group, health committee, etc.) started a nutrition action project in June 1982. The village has about 500 families, with about 400 children under five years old.

The (women's group. committee. etc.) was helped by the (health worker. social development officer, agricultural extension worker) to understand more about the problem of malnutrition and what they could do to reduce the high level of malnutrition in the community. (She/He) helped the community to decide what kinds of activities they would try. Together they wrote a work plan and set targets for the first year.

They approached the (Ministry of _____, the Women's Bureau) with a letter telling about the nutrition problem in the community and what the group wanted to do to solve it. The (Ministry) promised $(_____) and a hand grain-grinding machine to help them get the project started.

The Ngamani village project has three components: regular growth monitoring and follow-up; nutrition and family planning education; and village production, sale and distribution of a weaning food supplement.

Project Objectives

By the end of the first year of the project, the (community. women's group. etc.) hopes to have accomplished the following:

1. Assessed (weighed/measured) the nutrition status of at least half of the 400 children under five in the community (three) times each during the first year.

2. Reached at least 100 families with each of their monthly educational activities.

3. Made and gave, or sold at a very reduced cost, weaning foods to each of the "high risk" children identified in growth monitoring. Each child will receive 2 kg of weaning supplement per month.

4. Made and sold about 50 kg of weaning food a month.

5. Increased the number of families practicing family planning.

6. Improved the condition of at least 75 percent of the "high risk. (malnourished) children they have helped.

Note: The project work plan is on the next page.

Work Plan - Year 1

Activity

Person Responsible

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

1. Train 6 volunteers from
the group in nutrition
3-day workshop
1-day refresher

Health
Worker

X

X

X

     

X

   

X

   

2. Train 8 volunteers from
the group how to make
and sell weaning food

Agriculture
Worker

 

X

                   

3. Buy 2 weighing scales

Chairman

 

X

                   

4. Request hand grinding-mill

Secretary

X

                     

5. Conduct growth monitoring every other month
beginning month 1

Nutrition
Volunteers

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

6. Make follow-up visits
to high-risk children
at least monthly

Nutrition
Volunteers

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

7. Conduct nutrition/
family planning education
session monthly

Nutrition
Volunteers

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

8. Make and distribute
weaning mix weekly
and sell daily

   

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

9. Meet monthly

All

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

HANDOUT

QUESTIONS ABOUT COMMUNITY NUTRITION ACTIVITIES

MONITORING AND EVALUATION

WHAT INFORMATION CAN WE USE TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION?

Growth Monitoring:

 

1) Has growth monitoring been carried out as planned in the community (i.e., at least once every _____ months )

- How many growth monitoring sessions have been carried out in this reporting period? Compare this number to the number planned.

2) Has growth monitoring reached most of the children 0-3(5) yrs in the community?

- What percentage of the total children 0-3(5) yrs. have been measured/weighed at least _____ times? Calculate:

 


Nutrition/Health Education:

 

1) Have group education sessions been carried out as planned?

- How many group education sessions have been carried out in this reporting period? Compare this number to your plan.

2) How many families have participated in nutrition education sessions?

- The average number of adults participating in group education sessions. Calculate:

 


3) If education is carried out in home visits, have home visits been carried out as planned?

- How may home visits were made during this period? Compare this to home visits planned.

Follow-up and Improvement of "High Risk" (Malnourished) Children:

 

1) How many of the "high risk" children found during growth monitoring have been treated according to your plan for follow-up of "high risk" cases?

- What percentage of "high risk" children identified have received:
a. at least ___ home visits?
b. growth monitoring at least ___ times per month?
c. referral?
d. weaning food supplements at least ___ times per month?
(This depends on the plan for follow-up for each project.)

2) Have "high risk" children improved as a result of the project?

- What percentage of "high risk" children identified have improved, stayed the same or become worse during your project? Calculate:

 


 


 


 


+100
(should equal)

Birth Spacing:

 

1) If the project supplies contraceptives, how many couples received contraceptives supplies from the project?

- How many of each contraceptive has the project distributed? To how many couples?

 

- How many couple-years-of-protection can be attributed to the project?

2) Has the use of family planning methods increased

- Compare the number of family planning acceptors at the beginning of the project, to the number at different times during the project and at the end of the project.

Immunization:

 

1) Has the number of children with completed immunizations increased?

- Compare the number of children with complete doses of specific vaccines at the beginning and at the end of the project.

Breastfeeding/Weaning Practices:

 

1) What percentage of women are following the infant feeding guidelines of the project?
For example:
0-5 months breastfeeding only,
5-24 months breastfeeding plus mixed solid diet.

- Compare percentage of infants 0-5 months who are breastfed only, to those given a bottle or bottle and breast.

 

- Compare the percentage of children 5-24 months being fed according to the guidelines, to those being fed in other ways.

2) Has the project had any effect on the number of mothers breast and bottlefeeding?

- Compare at the beginning and at the end of the project, the percentage of infants 0-12 (24) months who are breastfed and not bottlefed.

 

- Compare at the beginning and at the end of the project, the percentage of infants 0-12(24) months who are fed with a bottle.

Community Weaning Food Distribution:

 

1) How many families have benefited by the weaning food distribution (or sale)?

- Number of families receiving supplement for one or more children in each month.
(Calculate percent of total number of families with children.)

2) What is the cost of the production and distribution of weaning food?

- Calculate: -Actual costs of raw materials, paid labor, equipment, transport and other costs =

 

Total Expenditure

 

- Total Expenditure minus Total Income from sales and donations =

 

Net Cost or Profit

 

- Net Cost or Profit divided by Number of Units produced (kilos, packages) =

 

Net Cost Per Unit

3) Is the cost of the weaning food distribution to the community worth the benefit to "high risk" children?

- Calculate the number of "high risk" children receiving the weaning supplement who have shown improvement.

 

- Divide the net cost of project to community by the number of "high risk" children improved = the Cost For Each Child Improved by the project.

 

- What does the community think about the project? Are they willing to continue contributing their time and, perhaps, their funds to the project?

Session 2: Records and reports

One of the goals of a community nutrition project is to help the community understand its nutrition problems and the effects that its own action can have on these problems. To do this, the community must be able to collect and use information about its activities and results.

Purpose:

Trainees will discuss the types of information we need in order to monitor and evaluate community efforts. They will also discuss the constraints to community record keeping and some general guidelines for design of community records and reports. Different types of community reports will be examined and the strengths and weaknesses of each will be noted.

Time: 1/2 hour

Materials

- Trainer's Reference - Community Records and Reports"

- Handout - "Examples of Community Records"

Preparation:

Make sufficient copies of sample forms so that each small group will have a set.

Steps:

1. Introduction: Review the information that might be collected monthly or quarterly to assess community nutrition activities.

2. Make sure the list includes information about activities, about the nutrition status and improvement of women and children and about outside resources mobilized by the community.

3. Tell trainees that we are now going to decide on what kind of community record keeping system we need for our project. Ask trainees to close their eyes and try to think of themselves back in the villages or communities they intend to work with. Ask them to think of the community members, the skills they have and any problems they might have keeping records about nutrition activities. Ask them to open their eyes and write on a piece of paper a statement about the kinds of records and reports their communities could learn how to keep and use. You might have them finish the sentence:

"Community records must "

4. Now, ask several trainees to read their statements. Other members of the group may wish to comment. Write the statements on newsprint. Some examples include:

Community records must:

- be simple and easy to understand;

- be pictorial, in some cases;

- help the community volunteers follow up and evaluate improvement of malnourished children;

- record activities and participating families;

- help the community evaluate the effects of their efforts.

5. Tell trainees that every project must develop its own system for record keeping based on the needs and resources of the community, the managers/advisors and the funding agencies. Give small groups copies of three or four different community record forms with information filled in. Ask them to examine the records and list what they think would be the advantages and disadvantages of each type. Combine their observations, and point out any advantages and disadvantages that have not been mentioned.

6. Discuss why it is important to get outside assistance from an expert for the design of project records and reports. Make sure to mention the need to pretest reports and to train community workers and supervisors to complete and use them.

TRAINER'S REFERENCE

COMMUNITY RECORDS AND REPORTS

Designing Records and Reports

The design of records and reports is a highly technical area. For new projects, it is a good idea to enlist the help of an expert who can work with you to make sure everyone's needs for information are satisfied, including the community, the managing agency and the donor, if there is one.

For on-going projects, some type of record keeping system is usually in operation. You should ask yourself if that system is providing you with the information you need and, if it is not, how could you improve it? Again, an expert could be of great help. Remember that you must first decide what you need to know, so that an expert can help you decide how best to obtain the information.

Pretesting Records and Reports

In small action projects, it may not be possible to do extensive pretesting of records and reports. You can do the following, however, to make sure that records and reports are understandable:

- Make sure the format and language used in records and reports are familiar to the individuals who will use them.

- Have several community workers/volunteers use hypothetical information to fill in the records or reports.

- Explain to a group of community workers, supervisors, etc. how to complete records and reports. If they do not understand, make changes in your explanation until you are sure that it is understandable.

Training Community Workers to Complete and Use Reports

Adults learn by doing! First, make a list of the steps your trainees will have to complete to successfully maintain records and reports. Make sure that you explain each step in this process and any forms they will be expected to use. Then, conduct a practice session in which the trainees complete forms using either authentic or dummy data. They should first do this with assistance and then alone. Pinpoint any problems they have and work with them individually until you are satisfied that they have mastered all of the required steps.

HANDOUT

EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY RECORDS

1. Individual records

Name :

Name :

Mother's Name :

Mother's Name :

Birth date :

Birth date :

 

Date Registered :

Immunization :

1/83

weight 4.9 kg

   

diarrhea

   

mother taught to

   

prepare ORS

 

3/83

weight 5.0 kg

   

slow growth

   

counseled

 

4/83

home visit

   

child O.K.

Road to Health Chart

Child Clinic Record

These individual records can be kept by the mother as home-based records or by a community worker.

2. Community worker's activity record

Name

Month

Date

Activity

Comments

1/1/83

Weighing clinic in Matibo

 
 

Weighed 17 children, nutrition

 
 

education class for 10 mothers

 

1/4/83

Home visits - 5 families

 

1/5/83

Meeting with Chief about new

 
 

dispensary

 

1/6/83

Distribution of weaning foods -

 
 

15 kg distributed

 

1/7/83

Education meeting with youth club

 

1/10/83

   

etc.

   

 

3. Cumulative Family Record

Family :

Maternal/Child health and family planning register :

Village :

Health Worker :

Woman’s Name :

Age :

Live births :

Living children :

Address :

DATE OF CONTACT :

           

Woman :

Repro. Status

           
 

FP/Method

           
 

Contraceptive

           

CHILDREN UNDER 5 :

           

NAME :

AGE :

           
 

Nutrition

A/C

           
   

Weight

           
 

Immun :

Polio

1

           
     

2

           
     

3

           
   

DPT

1

           
     

2

           
     

3

           
   

Measles

           
   

BCG

           
 

Diarrhea :

           
   

During last two weeks ?

           
   

If yes, treated with ORS ?

           

NAME :

AGE :

           
 

Nutrition

A/C

           
   

Weight

           
 

Immun :

Polio

1

           
     

2

           
     

3

           
   

DPT

1

           
     

2

           
     

3

           
   

Measles

           
   

BCG

           
 

Diarrhea :

           
   

During last two weeks ?

           
   

If yes, treated with ORS ?

           

NAME :

AGE :

           
 

Nutrition

A/C

           
   

Weight

           
 

Immun :

Polio

1

           
     

2

           
     

3

           
   

DPT

1

           
     

2

           
     

3

           
   

Measles

           
   

BCG

           
 

Diarrhea :

           
   

During last two weeks ?

           
   

If yes, treated with ORS ?

           

Instructions :

Women :

Reproductive Status - Write one of the following : Breastfeeding, Pregnant, Family Planning, At Risk

Family Planning/Method - Write the method used

Children under 5 years - Complete one block foe each child in the family under 5 years old.

III - 2, 16

A/C = Arm Circumference - Write the child arm’s circumference.

Weight - enter either the actual weight of the child or the nutrition classification of weight for age from the growth chart.

Immunization - At the time of registration, mark all vaccines that a child has taken. At every other contact, mark only new vaccines taken.

Diarrhea during last two weeks? - Write yes next to this question if the child has had diarrhea during the past two weeks.

Ask the mother how diarrhea has treated. If the mentions ORS, write yes next to the question "If yes, treated with ORS?"

 

Session 3: A prototype record keeping system

Purpose:

Trainees will review a record keeping system developed for use in community nutrition projects. The system can be simplified or expanded, depending on the need for information and the educational level of project workers.

Time: 1/2 hour

Materials

- Copies of "Prototype Record Keeping System"

1. Road to Health Chart

2. Family Record

3. Daily Activity Log

4. Community Report

5. Charts for Data Analysis

6. Summary List of Program Records and Reports

Steps:

1. Distribute the "Prototype Record Keeping System."

Explain that CEDPA has used this basic system in programs in Nepal and Kenya. The important characteristics of the system are:

- It is designed to collect only the information required to monitor and evaluate specific project objectives and activities.

- Each level of record keeping leads to the next.

- Records are designed to help the mother, worker and manager analyze and use the information on them to analyze and improve their efforts.

2. Review each element of the "Prototype Record Keeping System," beginning with the "Road to Health Chart." (The "Road to Health Chart" can be substituted for by a simple card on which arm circumference or weights are recorded.)

Discuss:

- Characteristics of each form

- Who completes it

- What is done with it

- Examples of how it is filled out and how information on it can be used to identify problems and progress

3. The final page of the " Prototype Record Keeping System" lists, in diagram form, the project's records and reports, by whom they are completed and who keeps or receives them. Review this with trainees.

4. Summarize: The record keeping system presented in this session focuses on documenting project activities and results. Each project should develop its own system for record keeping and reporting. This prototype system demonstrates the need for:

- Simplicity

- Limited data collection

- Data related to problems and interventions

- Collection and analysis of data by those who need it to make critical project decisions

HANDOUT

PROTOTYPE RECORD KEEPING SYSTEM

1. Road to Health Chart

2. Family Record

3. Daily Activity Log

4. Community Report

5. Charts for Data Analysis

6. Summary List of Program Records and Reports

1. Road to Health Chart

A Road to Health Chart with basic information about nutrition, immunization status and illness is completed for each child. This chart is put in a plastic envelope and given to the mother. The mother brings her children's cards with her to each growth monitoring activity.


Road to health chart

2. Family Record

Village health workers or volunteers keep a record on each family in their area. The information recorded on the card is directly related to the specific program's objectives.

For example, if prevention of diarrhea is a priority objective, information about the occurrence of diarrhea, distribution of ORS packets and home treatment may be routinely collected. For nutrition status, the measurements and cutoff points used by the program would be recorded, i.e., arm circumference less than 12.5, between 12.5 and 13.5, or greater than 13.5, or red, yellow, green.

The advantage of this type of family record is that it displays priority information about each child and mother in chronological order. We can see, at a glance, what has happened to the nutrition and immunization status of a child, the family planning acceptance of the couple, etc.

The Family Record can be printed on heavy paper and kept as a card. Or, it can be printed and bound as a register. A sample Family Record is illustrated on the following page.

2. Family record

Family :

Maternal/Child health and family planning register :

Village :

Health Worker :

Woman’s Name :

Age :

Live births :

Living children :

Address :

DATE OF CONTACT :

           

Woman :

Repro. Status

           
 

FP/Method

           
 

Contraceptive

           

CHILDREN UNDER 5 :

           

NAME :

AGE :

           
 

Nutrition

A/C

           
   

Weight

           
 

Immun :

Polio

1

           
     

2

           
     

3

           
   

DPT

1

           
     

2

           
     

3

           
   

Measles

           
   

BCG

           
 

Diarrhea :

           
   

During last two weeks ?

           
   

If yes, treated with ORS ?

           

NAME :

AGE :

           
 

Nutrition

A/C

           
   

Weight

           
 

Immun :

Polio

1

           
     

2

           
     

3

           
   

DPT

1

           
     

2

           
     

3

           
   

Measles

           
   

BCG

           
 

Diarrhea :

           
   

During last two weeks ?

           
   

If yes, treated with ORS ?

           

NAME :

AGE :

           
 

Nutrition

A/C

           
   

Weight

           
 

Immun :

Polio

1

           
     

2

           
     

3

           
   

DPT

1

           
     

2

           
     

3

           
   

Measles

           
   

BCG

           
 

Diarrhea :

           
   

During last two weeks ?

           
   

If yes, treated with ORS ?

           

Instructions :

Women :

Reproductive Status - Write one of the following : Breastfeeding, Pregnant, Family Planning, At Risk

Family Planning/Method - Write the method used

Children under 5 years - Complete one block foe each child in the family under 5 years old.

III - 2, 22

A/C = Arm Circumference - Write the child arm’s circumference.

Weight - enter either the actual weight of the child or the nutrition classification of weight for age from the growth chart.

Immunization - At the time of registration, mark all vaccines that a child has taken. At every other contact, mark only new vaccines taken.

Diarrhea during last two weeks? - Write yes next to this question if the child has had diarrhea during the past two weeks.

Ask the mother how diarrhea has treated. If the mentions ORS, write yes next to the question "If yes, treated with ORS?"

 

3. Daily Activity Log

Workers, dispensaries/clinics keep a daily record of special project services and activities. At the end of each month, these daily records are used to complete the monthly report.

Example:

Date

Type of Activity

Description/Results

 

   

 

4. Community Report

Information for the Community Report is taken directly from family records and the daily activity log.

Nutrition Status

Village

Month

 

1. Total children less than 5 years in village/area
2. Total children less than 5 years in area with growth card
3. Total children less than 5 years weighed/assessed this month
4. Total children gaining weight from last month to this month
5. Total children malnourished:

 
   

Severe
Moderate

 
 

6. Total children receiving:

 
   

Follow-up home visit
Clinic referral/treatment
Food supplement
Vitamin A supplement

 

Diarrhea ORS

7. Total children with diarrhea this month
8. Total children treated with ORS

 

Immunization

9. Total immunizations given:

 
   

Polio

1
2
3

   
   

DPT

1
2
3

   
   

Measles

     
   

BCG

     
   

Tetanus

     

Family planning

10. Total women of reproductive age in village/area
11. Total women using a family planning method:

 
   

Pills
Condom
IUD
Sterilization
Natural Family Planning
Breastfeeding (child < 6 mos.)

   

Inventory control

12. Item

Amount at beginning of month

Distributed

Received

Stock end of month

 

Growth cards
Vitamin A capsules
Food supplements

       

Community activities

13. This month: (List individually)
- growth monitoring sessions
- education/demonstration sessions
- special projects

Date

No. Attending

5. Charts for Data Analysis

Supervisors and managers keep information from village reports on separate charts in order to track progress and identify problems.

Charts can be made to compare activities and results in the same village over time. They can also be made to compare activities and results in several villages.

Examples:

1. Nutrition Status and Activities

 

Months

 

Total number of children in village

     
 

Total number with growth cards

     
 

Total number weighed/assessed each month (a)
As a percent of total children (#1 above)(b)

     
 

Total number gaining weight each month

     
 

Total number malnourished each month

     
 

Activities with malnourished/high risk:

     
   

Home visits
Clinic referral/treatment
Food supplements
Vitamin A supplements

     

2. Diarrhea Treatment/ORS

 

Total children with diarrhea

     
 

Total children with diarrhea treated with ORS

     
 

Percent of cases treated with ORS

%

%

%

 

(divide line 8 by line 7 and multiply X 100)

6. Summary List of Program Records and Reports


List of program

Session 4: Evaluating activities with the community

Purpose:

Trainees practice facilitating the evaluation of nutrition action projects with members of the community.

Time: 1 hour

Preparation:

Prepare three sets of role play cards: one for a group of 4-5 project facilitators, another for 4-5 observers and the other for the community members (the rest of the participants).

- Facilitators - The facilitators' role is to help the community members assess whether they have been able to carry out the activities planned, whether they reached the people they wanted to reach with these activities and whether there has been any change in nutrition status of young children as a result. (Do not forget to ask "why not?" if the answer is no.) Facilitators should use the information about the project from Sessions 1 and 3, remembering that their goal is for the community to identify problems, causes, possible solutions and courses of action.

- Community Members - Most community members know that their nutrition workers have been weighing children and visiting mothers. The community has been asked several times to contribute to the weaning food component of the project. They are satisfied with the work, but several do not understand why they should keep making contributions to help people who are too lazy to help themselves. One man is upset because his wife is spending too much time out of the home and not earning anything for what she is doing, etc. The nutrition volunteers are part of this group as well.

- Observers - The observers will note how the facilitators present themselves in the meeting and what materials they use to help the community members understand what has happened with the nutrition situation since they started with their project. Observers should note whether facilitators dominate or facilitate a discussion. What might the facilitators do differently?

Steps:

1. Explain that you will conduct a "mock" project evaluation meeting with members of the community.

2. Divide into three groups, assigning and explaining the roles of each group.

3. Give the groups 10-15 minutes to prepare for the role play, then begin.

4. When you have finished (15 minutes maximum) have representatives from each group comment on how they thought the evaluation meeting went. Ask: "Did the facilitators succeed in reaching their goals? How do you think the community members responded when asked to evaluate their own efforts? What did facilitators do to promote the participation of the community? What would you (facilitators) do differently the next time?"

Summarize the lesson and the unit.

Unit 3 - Supervising community nutrition activities

SESSION 1: The Role of the Supervisor

SESSION 2: Identifying and Solving Problems

SESSION 3: Problem Solving/Role Play

SESSION 4: Planning and Conducting Supervision Visits

Session 1: The role of the supervisor

Purpose:

1. Analyze past experience as a subordinate and as a supervisor .

2. Define the functions of supervision in nutrition improvement programs.

3. Discuss the characteristics of community workers and volunteers that affect supervision.

Time: 3 hours

Materials

- Handout - "Supervisors I Have Known"

- Handout - "Supervising Volunteers"

- Flipchart and marking pens

Preparation:

Review handouts and prepare questions for discussion.

Steps:

1. Introduce the topic of supervision by brainstorming the functions of program supervisors. Add the following points, if they are not mentioned:

- Direct and control program activities

- Provide support and encouragement to workers - Provide on-the-job training

- Monitor program activities

- Contact and share information with village leaders and other administrative officials

- Motivate staff and volunteers

- Set an example

- Reinforce work of subordinates

- Identify outside technical and financial assistance, if necessary

2. Distribute the Handout - "Supervisors I Have Known" and ask participants to read and answer each question.

3. Divide into two work groups. The task of each group is to share its answers to the first and second questions on the handout, then to develop a group list of the characteristics of an effective supervisor.

4. When groups finish, ask them to write their descriptions on the flipchart and to present them to the group.

5. Comment on the similarities and differences in the groups' definitions and add the following points, if they are not mentioned. An effective supervisor:

- Has a good understanding of the job of the worker/volunteer

- Listens

- Cares about the worker/volunteer

- Helps the worker/volunteer improve

- Looks at performance, not personality

- Gets the facts before making a decision

- Gives feedback

- Is specific about tasks to be performed - Is open and communicative

- Motivates through words and actions

6. Return to work groups. Ask work groups to share their answers to questions 3 and 4 on the handout about their own strengths and problems as supervisors.

7. Assign each group the task of designing a short role play to illustrate one or two of the problems they have encountered as supervisors of people and activities. Groups should choose problems that several of them have in common. (Allow 20 minutes for preparation of role plays.)

8. Work groups present their role plays.

9. After each role play, ask participants to summarize the problems presented. List them on the flipchart.

10. Lead a discussion based on the problems presented in the role plays. Possible questions to stimulate discussion might be:

- What are the causes of each supervision problem?

- What are the skills supervisors must have to overcome and avoid these problems?

- What kinds of support and training do supervisors need to overcome these problems?

11. Discuss the characteristics of workers/volunteers that affect how supervisors approach and work with them. These include:

- Often unpaid

- Low level of basic education

- Short training in nutrition

- Different motivations for becoming workers/ volunteers

- Age

- Sex

- Etc.

12. Distribute the Handout - "Supervising Volunteers," and discuss the differences between supervising volunteers and paid workers. Emphasize ways to motivate volunteer workers:

- Giving positive feedback, praise

- Working with them

- Helping them improve and acquire new skills

- Etc.

13. Summary: In this session, participants reviewed the functions of supervisors of community nutrition and health activities. They listed the characteristics of effective supervisors, and they discussed common problems faced by supervisors. The sessions that follow will help supervisors develop problem-solving, planning and communication skills needed for effective supervision.

HANDOUT

SUPERVISORS I HAVE KNOWN

1. When a supervisor inspires you to perform a job well, what does the supervisor do?

The supervisor_______________________________________________________________________

2. How would you describe your ideal supervisor?

My ideal supervisor is a person who___________________________________________________

3. If you have been or are a supervisor of people or activities, what are the things you like about your style of supervision?

________________________________________________________________________________

4. What problems have you encountered as a supervisor?

________________________________________________________________________________

HANDOUT

SUPERVISING VOLUNTEERS

The following chart compares the characteristics of leaders in volunteer organizations and in organizations with paid staff. These characteristics often determine the role and the approach of a supervisor.

Characteristics of LeadersVolunteer Organizations

Organization With Paid Workers

1. Leader/supervisor
salaried?

No

Yes,
Paid a salary

2. Subordinate/worker
salaried?

No

Yes,
Paid to perform tasks

3. Consequences for
the worker if work
is not completed

Not severe
Not financial

Worker could lose
job and salary

4. Duration of job

Volunteers often
want only short-
term responsibility

Paid workers want
long-term assurance
of job

5. Goals

Usually agreed
to & set by all

Usually set by top
management

6. Leadership style

Manager must
"consult" volunteers;
works with them

"Tell"; "sell"; "direct"

7. Authority

Comes from the
followers

Comes from above

8. Personality

Dynamic, charismatic
personality often required

Dynamic personality
helpful but not critical

9. Expertise of supervisors/
leaders

Generalists-wide range
of people and technical
skills

Specialists

10. Job orientation

Must be people oriented

Task and/or people
oriented

Session 2: Identifying and solving problems

Purpose:

Participants will identify and suggest ways to solve common problems encountered by village supervisors. These might include low community participation in nutrition activities, high worker and beneficiary drop-out, continuing high rates of malnutrition and other related problems.

Time: 1-2 hours

Materials

- Handout - "Supervision Problem" exercises 1, 2, 3

- Chalkboard and chalk

- Flipchart or several large pieces of paper

- Marking pens

Preparation:

Several examples of common supervision problems are attached to this session plan. Trainers should adapt these examples or develop new problem descriptions based on situations identified by project supervisors.

Steps:

1. Introduction: Problem solving is a basic function of all supervisors. Ask trainees to think about the problems that they have faced, or will face, when supervising village nutrition workers and volunteers. Write the examples given by participants on the chalkboard.

2. Review these basic steps in problem solving:

- Identify the problem and its causes

- Identify the people who will most likely be involved in solving the problem

- Discuss ways to solve the problem with them

- Agree on a plan of action

- Obtain resources, if necessary

- Take action

- Evaluate to see if the problem has been solved or if additional action is needed

3. Exercise: In this exercise, trainees are asked to work with specific problems that they might face as supervisors. For each problem, they will think about what they need to know about the causes of the problem before taking action.

Then they will brainstorm the types of actions that might help to solve the problem.

4. Part A: Distribute or read Part A of one of the problem exercises to the participants. Give them five minutes to think about and write the answer to the question:

"How will you find out what is causing this problem?"

When they finish, ask several trainees to read their answers. Write key words or phrases from their answers on the chalkboard. Continue until no new answers are given. Suggest additional items and sources of information that you feel are important.

5. Part B: Distribute or read Part B of the exercise to trainees. Part B gives more details about the actual causes of the problem. It also asks trainees to suggest different actions that could be taken to help workers and supervisors solve the problem.

Divide trainees into small work groups and ask them to read and complete Part B of the exercise together. Ask groups to write their suggested actions on large pieces of paper for presentation to the rest of the group. When work groups finish their presentations, suggest additional activities and approaches to solving the problem.

6. Group Work

- Give different problem exercises to each group Apart A only). Ask groups to read and answer the questions in Part A.

- When groups finish Part A, distribute Part B of each of the problem exercises for completion.

- When all of the groups finish, ask each one to present its problem. Their presentations should include:

- The problem

- Whom they went to

- What they did to determine the causes of the problem

- The causes

- The actions they will take as supervisors to help workers solve the problem

- Encourage the other trainees to ask questions and make suggestions after each group's presentation. Discuss the difficulties supervisors might have in solving each type of problem and whom they might ask to help them.

5. Summary

In this session, participants have identified ways in which they might identify the causes of specific supervision problems. They have also begun to think about the possible actions supervisors could take to help workers and volunteers solve these problems.

In the next session, participants will conduct a simulated meeting with the people who might be involved in the solution of the problem. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss the problem and agree on a plan of action for its solution. In preparation for the simulated meeting, ask participants to:

- Decide which of the problems discussed in this session they will discuss during the meeting

- Decide who should be invited to participate in the meeting and where it will be held

Note: In several training programs, we noted that trainees had difficulty identifying appropriate ways to find out more about the problems. When confronted with a problem of low community participation, for example, they often selected upper-level community officials to discuss the problem with or pass the problem to. Encourage trainees to work with those affected by the problem - the beneficiaries, as well as their leaders and officials. Where women are expected to participate in activities, but men are the community's official leaders, the needs and expectations of the women are often not considered unless they are consulted directly.

HANDOUT

SUPERVISION PROBLEM: EXERCISE 1

Part A

PROBLEM: Low level of community participation in nutrition activities.

(Village) has a population of approximately 540 children under 5 years. Nutrition workers have been active in the village for the past 6 months. According to their reports, 500 children have been registered in the village growth monitoring activities. However, the participation of children at the monthly weighing sessions has been very low. Less than 30 percent of the registered children came to the weighing sessions during the past month.

QUESTIONS: How will you find out what is causing this problem? Whom will you talk to? What will you observe?

Part B

MORE INFORMATION:

During your investigation, you found that there were several reasons for the low attendance at monthly weighing sessions:

- One of the five locations that should have monthly activities had not held a weighing session for the past two months. One of the workers responsible for this location has been sick; the other cannot read or write.

- Mothers in this village complain that they have no time to attend weighing sessions. They are busy in their gardens and cannot spend a full morning waiting for their children to be weighed.

- You also found that the last month's report from the village was incorrect. Attendance was actually 40 percent, not 30 percent.

ASSIGNMENT: Make a list of the actions you might take to help solve these problems.

HANDOUT

SUPERVISION PROBLEM: EXERCISE 2

Part A

PROBLEM: High community volunteer drop-out

Fifteen Community Nutrition Volunteers were trained in early 1984 in (village). The last reports you received for this village showed that only five volunteers are currently active. Volunteer activities in this village are very low.

QUESTION: How will you find out what is causing this problem? Whom will you talk to? What will you observe?

Part B

MORE INFORMATION:

After talking to the active and inactive volunteers, to the clinic staff and to the local supervisor, you find that there are several reasons for this problem:

- Volunteers are frustrated by the lack of support from village leaders and the clinic. After training, volunteers began working very actively to register all the children in the village. They had been told during their training that they should carry out demonstration feedings at every weighing session and that they would be given a small fund to help with the expenses of this activity. When the funds did not arrive, they asked the village chief for help. He sent them to the clinic, but the nurse knew nothing about funding for the activity and told them that funding for the demonstrations was the responsibility of the village. The village development committee suggested that the volunteers raise funds for their own activities.

- In the beginning, volunteers spent their own funds and donated foods for the demonstration feedings on weighing day. This was very expensive, so they discontinued the demonstrations.

- When the volunteers stopped giving food to children at the weighing sessions, the mothers became angry. Many of them did not bring their children to be weighed. Many of the volunteers simply stopped working at that time.

- Local supervisors were aware of this problem but did not know whom to ask for help.

ASSIGNMENT: Make a list of the actions you would take to help solve this problem.

HANDOUT

SUPERVISION PROBLEM: EXERCISE 3

Part A

PROBLEM: Continuing high rates of malnutrition

(Village) started nutrition activities last year. So far you, the supervisor, have received three reports from the village workers. The first report showed that 5 percent of the children in the village were severely malnourished and that 45 percent were moderately malnourished. The last report from the village showed that 5.3 percent of the children were severely malnourished and 49 percent moderately malnourished. You are concerned about this increase and you wonder why the situation is not improving in this village.

QUESTION: How will you find out what is causing this problem? Whom will you talk to? What will you observe?

Part B

MORE INFORMATION:

When you visit this village you find that:

- Village workers are active but their skills are very low. Most of them can fill out the growth cards, but none can interpret the growth curve.

- After observing the weighing activities in two locations, you find that workers are not counseling the mothers of "high risk" children on an individual basis. They say they were not taught to do this in their training.

- Five of the ten active workers are new replacements for workers who are no longer active. They have not received formal training.

- Workers refer severely malnourished and sick children to the nearest clinic. But the clinic is far away, and many families do not take their children for treatment.

- This is a very poor area. Families must work very hard to produce enough food for their families. In fact, most families do not have enough food to meet their needs for the entire year.

ASSIGNMENT: Make a list of the actions you would take to help solve these problems.

Session 3: Problem-solving/role play

Purpose:

In this session, trainees practice problem solving and communications skills by conducting a simulated meeting. During the meeting, supervisors discuss a problem with the individuals who could be involved in its solution.

Time: 1/2 hour

Materials

- One "Supervision Problem" description selected by trainees

- Chalkboard and chalk

Preparation :

- Ask trainees to select one of the supervision problems discussed in the previous session.

- Ask trainees to decide whom they might invite to a meeting to discuss this problem.

Steps:

1. Introduce the session by explaining the purpose stated above. Review the specific problem to be discussed in the role play meeting and its possible causes.

2. Write the following objectives for the meeting on the chalkboard:

- To give everyone involved a chance to discuss the problem

- To discuss possible ways of solving the problem

- To agree on actions to solve the problem and who will take them

3. Ask two trainees to play the roles of the supervisors who are conducting the meeting. Give them ten minutes to plan how they want to conduct the meeting.

4. Assign the roles of the other individuals invited to the meeting to the rest of the trainees. Give them ten minutes to think about the attitudes and skills of the people they will play in the role play.

5. Conduct the role play. (Allow 15-20 minutes)

6. Conduct a discussion about the process and the results of the role play meeting. You may want to use the discussion questions on the next page:

Ask the two supervisors who conducted the meeting the following questions:

- Which of 'the meeting's objectives were achieved? Which were not achieved and why?

- How do they feel about the results of the meeting?

- How did they feel about the other trainees during the meeting?

- What would they do differently in a future problem-solving meeting?

Ask the trainees who attended the meeting, and those who observed it, to give their comments:

- How do they feel about the results of the meeting?

- How did they feel during the meeting?

- Did they have the chance to say what they wanted to say? If not, why not?

7. Based on their experience in the role play exercise, ask trainees to list the characteristics of an effective problem-solving meeting. These might include:

- The purpose of the meeting is explained and understood by all

- Everyone has an opportunity to express his/her opinion

- Realistic alternatives for solving the problem are discussed

- Participants respect and try to understand each other's opinions

- Specific actions to be taken are defined

- Tasks are assigned

- Follow-up is scheduled

8. Congratulate the participants for their performance in

the role play exercise. Review the steps for effective problem-solving mentioned in Session 1 of this unit.

Session 4: Planning and conducting supervision visits

Purpose:

In this session, trainees identify activities that might be part of regular supervision visits to workers and communities with on-going nutrition projects. They also review a supervision form that could be used to plan and record the results of supervision visits.

Time: 1 hour

Materials

- Handout - "Supervision Visits"

- Handout _ " Supervisor's Checklist"

- Flipchart and marking pens

Steps:

1. Introduction: Supervision is an important part of project management. Supervisors monitor work in progress, help workers/volunteers to solve problems and provide new technical and programmatic information.

2. Ask trainees to describe a productive supervision visit to observe a community worker or group involved in an on-going nutrition activity. What does the supervisor do? What are the activities during the visit? How does the supervisor assess the workers, volunteers, others? You may want to use a role play or dramatization to illustrate a productive and an unproductive supervision visit.

3. Divide into work groups, and ask groups to brainstorm lists of the things they will want to observe and questions they will want to answer during supervision visits to communities.

Make sure that the following are included in their lists:

- Questions about planned and completed activities

- Questions about results of completed activities

- Observation about the workers' knowledge and skills

- Observation of worker's contacts with families (especially families of sick and malnourished children) with pregnant women, community leaders and others

- Review of program records and reports

4. Distribute the Handout - Supervision Visits. " Compare the trainees' lists of possible questions and activities during supervision visits with those on the handout.

5.. Distribute the Handout _ "A Supervisor's Checklist." Discuss the need to both plan for and record the results of supervision visits. This handout is only one example of many different types of forms that could be developed to guide supervisory visits, and to record the actions taken and those planned by supervisors. A form of this type also makes it possible for the supervisor-of-supervisors to assess his/her work with field workers and community groups.

6. Role Plays: Practice planning and conducting supervision visits to community nutrition workers through role plays. The following situations might be used:

- Several volunteers in this village have recently stopped participating in monthly weighing activities. The supervisor visits several of the volunteers to find out why and to encourage them to continue working with the monthly nutrition activities.

- The supervisor's objective is to assess the follow-up activities that workers are conducting with high-risk children. What will the supervisor do during the visit? What information will she need? How will she check the accuracy of that information?

- The supervisor has observed that workers have great difficulty filling out the Road to Health Chart. During this supervision visit, she wants to work with them to improve their skills in this area.

- The supervisor observes that weaning food demonstrations are carried out regularly by nutrition workers. However, the recipes they are teaching mothers to prepare require foods that are not available to families, unless they are purchased in the market. During this supervision visit she will try to solve this problem.

After each role play discuss:

- The problem the supervisor faced

- How the supervisor organized the visit to achieve her purpose

- What the supervisor did to help workers solve their problems

- What skills the supervisor needed to solve the problem

- What the other trainees would have done differently

7. Ask trainees to summarize what they have learned in the session. Discuss remaining concerns and possible topics for future training session dealing with supervision.

HANDOUT

SUPERVISION VISITS

Project supervisors make many visits to workers and communities to check on the progress of activities, the knowledge and skills of workers and many other aspects of project operations and performance.

To be effective:

1. A supervision visit should be planned in advance based on specific needs and objectives.

2. The supervisor must have prepared him/herself for the visit.

3. The visit must assess progress made towards solving problems identified in past visits, while identifying new strengths and weaknesses in performance.

Planning/Problem-Solving: During the supervision visit, the supervisor should help workers assess completed activities, plan for activities in the coming months, identify any problems that are occurring and plan for the solution of those problems.

Motivating/Giving Feedback: An important part of the supervisor's job is to encourage and motivate the workers to carry out their tasks effectively. In community programs where many workers are volunteers, encouragement and praise for work well done are important incentives for continued participation. Volunteers, as well as salaried workers, will also appreciate suggestions of ways to improve their efforts, if the advice is realistic and constructive.

Assessing Skills: Supervisors should assess workers' technical and interpersonal skills through observation. This may be done by conducting activities (growth monitoring, home visits, education sessions, etc.) with workers during a supervisory visit.

Reporting: In many programs, supervisors assist community/ workers complete and/or compile reports of their activities and results.

In-Service Training: Supervisory visits should be used whenever possible to provide workers with new information and to upgrade their technical and interpersonal skills.

Follow - Up: Actions that will be taken by the supervisor and the workers to solve existing problems should be clearly defined during the visit. After the visit, supervisors and workers should follow through by carrying out the actions that have been agreed upon. During the next supervisory contact, the supervisor should follow up with the worker, upon giving feedback on the progress and actions that have been taken.

Supervisors are always limited in the amount of time they can spend with individual workers or communities. While all of the areas above may be of concern to supervisors, individual visits should be focused on one or two priority issues. For example, during one month, supervisors may be most interested in assessing workers' skills, the next, they may be asked to conduct in-service training on a topic that workers are finding difficult.

HANDOUT

A SUPERVISOR'S CHECKLIST

Worker/Group Name ________________ Location ____________________________

Name of Supervisor ________________________ Date ________________________

 

Plan

Results

1. Purpose of the visit

   

2. Problems or issues remaining from the last visit that should be discussed

   

3. Information or issues that have come to your attention since the last visit that should be discussed

   

4. Activities planned during visit with village workers

   

5. On-the-job-training planned during the visit
Topic:
Materials required:

   

6. Official visits and

   

7. Problems raised by the village workers during the visit

   

8. Problems observed by supervisor during visit

   

9. Follow-up required

   

*US GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1995-715-814/82472