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close this bookGuide to Developing Training Strategies (DHA/UNDRO - DMTP - UNDP, 55 p.)
close this folder7. Sustainability of training programmes
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View the document7.1 Institutional Base for Training:


Many training efforts are begun without any reason, continue with no purpose, and end in no results

McGehee and Thayer

A far reaching training programme can start in many ways. It can evolve from a humble beginning such as: a modest skill development or an enthusiastic staff meeting in a ministry department. It can also develop out of a high level commitment such as receiving EEC funds for setting up a disaster training centre. Either way, there is unfortunately no formula for success in rapid development and implementation of a comprehensive programme to address the widest training needs.

Continuity in training is a three-stage process of learning, practising and reviewing performance. For most training programmes this process is possible only if there are further targets to aim for. Such goals might include reaching out to other groups in areas where training is needed or updating skills and knowledge. These targets must reflect ‘real’ needs and must be based on realistic levels of expectation rather than aiming for further training activities per se.

While there may be a desire to continue training without a need or a purpose, the common attitude for institutions and individuals is to stop the process after a few training activities.


Some of the reasons could be:

· the initial training activities were carried out for the wrong reasons, by the wrong institution or people and were done badly

· motivation is lacking

· opportunity to continue is not available (e.g. lack of resources, leadership)

· antagonism or refusal by various parties to continue

· there is no visible improvement as a result of the training

· the process itself stops (possibly due to political, administrative reasons)

· training is viewed as distracting to the objective at hand, which is to get on with the work

· there are other, higher priority pressures for time, resources, etc.

· the expectations from continuing are not clearly understood or accepted

· institutions or individuals decide they have reached their peak

To put in positive terms continuity and sustainability of training depends on:

· commitment to the idea
· wide net of support
· good leadership
· continuity of financial and political support
· collaboration amongst various institution
· experienced training staff
· indigenous resource people
· improved performance due to training
· success stories that can be publicised and duplicated
· tangible results
· proved need for training