Refresher training and workshops in Madagascar

Introduction

It has been a few months ago, but we still like to keep you updated on our latest training and workshop sessions in Madagascar. Between 16th and 20th December 2014, one of our training consultants, Nicolas Dupic, provided refresher training in Antananarivo for seven cluster representatives. Each cluster had two representatives participating in the workshops. Besides cluster representatives, each organisation using ActivityInfo through the cluster also had a representative participating in the workshop. Hence the workshops were attended by an overwhelming 40 participants, leading to a fertile environment to learn not only from the trainer but first and foremost: from each other.

Objective

UNICEF and BNRGC (the National Bureau of Risk Management and Disaster of the government of Madagascar) had requested BeDataDriven to provide training on ActivityInfo, as a follow up of training sessions earlier in the year. However as many programs and organisations, due to as high workload of staff as well as organisational staff turnover, a lot of the current and future users of ActivityInfo in Madagascar did not had the chance yet to attend the first round of training. In close collaboration with UNICEF Madagascar and BNRGC, several key objectives were identified for this training. Besides an explanation of the tool and it’s main functionality, it was key that all participants were able to use ActivityInfo for their work as soon as they set foot out of the door after the workshops. Besides the assurance that all participants could successfully report and analyse data with ActivityInfo, we also addressed another challenge we often encounter. As in many other roll outs, the set up structure of the database was discussed and addressed with the guidance of the consultant.

Workshops

The tailored training and workshops lasted four days, with day one focusing on an overview what ActivityInfo could offer each of the clusters, member organisations and users alike, as well as a starting point for database structure. The second day continued with the guidance on the finalization of the database structure for each of the clusters. Great dialogues and working sessions between the cluster members and BNRGC resulted into a productive exchange of lessons learned. By the end of the day the sessions lead to a shared understanding of how to monitor the cluster’s activities, with agreed indicators. Final step was translating this pragmatic understanding into a clear structured and simple database in ActivityInfo.

The third day was a practical day for day-to-day use of the newly set up databases. The main focus of this day was data entry and the ability of all users to generate reports, including tables, charts and maps. The immediate possibility to use data for analysis upon entry was seen as providing a lot of value to the cluster members and BNRGC. The last day started with a session for participants having expressed the wish to have more detail regarding reporting possibilities. The final workshop was focused on the roll out and future use as well as prioritization of the steps to be taken by whom. The main question addressed was on how the clusters and organisation could assure a successful future use of ActivityInfo by the clusters and BNRGC; embedded within the government, clusters and organisations.

Feedback

Feedback from participants was overwhelming. The indicators developed in the sessions were easily obtainable for the partner organisations. The importance of a clear information management system, shared by all, that did not consume too much time, was greatly appreciated by the participants. The appreciation of the ability to cross reference between databases and working areas, having the same information management system was also expressed by several of the participants.

We are looking forward to see more on the use of ActivityInfo in Madagascar in the near future! Thanks to all of the participants for the fruitful sessions, we have also learned a lot from you, which we will foster and share with other future users and participants in workshops and roll-outs to come.

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