January 25, 2019

Training is Tied to Everything: a Perspective from PMA2020 Leading Ambassador Victoria Oladoyin

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Each year, Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020) hosts a Bootcamp training for selected individuals from the global team. The 2018 Bootcamp, focused on training design and facilitation, providing skills to our global team staff how to more effectively teach PMA2020 protocols and questionnaires, as well as how to better organize and facilitate large trainings. The Training Design and Facilitation Bootcamp was co-organized by Sarah Nehrling, PMA2020’s Training and Education consultant, Shani Turke, and three Learning Ambassadors from Nigeria, Kenya, and Burkina Faso: Victoria Oladoyin, Antony Mwangi, and Fiacre Bazié, respectively. This was the first Bootcamp co-lead by country team members and laid the foundation for greater South-to-South collaboration in the future.  

In September, Victoria Oladoyin, from the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020  (PMA2020) Nigeria team, sat down with Sarah Nehrling, PMA2020’s Training and Education consultant, to talk about her experience as a Learning Ambassador, lead facilitator, and participant in the Training Design and Facilitation Bootcamp that PMA2020 hosted with its country partners in Kenya in August of 2018.


Sarah: What did you think about the Training Design and Facilitation Bootcamp (TDF Bootcamp or Bootcamp) in Nairobi when you first heard about it?

Victoria: Wow! Honestly, I was really struggling to understand what the TDF Bootcamp was all about when I first heard about it. However, when we started exchanging emails and calls, I understood it was all about how to design a training and also how to be a good facilitator.

Sarah: So, tell me a little about your experience at the Bootcamp. You played three main roles: Learning Ambassador, facilitator, and participant.

Victoria: I was most involved as a Learning Ambassador and it was a worthwhile experience. I planned and organised the TDF Bootcamp in Nairobi, together with teammates from Baltimore, Burkina Faso, and Kenya. All our planning and organisation were done remotely. We met together as a team in a physical room just a week before the Bootcamp. That we could plan an international workshop remotely was so amazing to me! I learned quite a number of things about the training tools PMA2020 has developed. I also learned how to reverse design a training, meaning preparing a training agenda by working back from the training objectives. The idea of preparing session plans was new to me. It was a good thing to do because it helps the facilitator to plan for every second that he or she will be spending during the facilitated session.

The art of being intentional with my facilitation styles was a skill I picked up consciously as a facilitator.

Sarah: How helpful do you think the Bootcamp was in improving your own training design and facilitation skills?

Victoria: It was really helpful. Let’s start with reverse designing of a training. Although I was involved with reverse designing of the Bootcamp, the step between converting the format into a training agenda became clearer during the teaching of this topic during the Bootcamp.

Then, the “Big idea” which says “Training is tied to everything” was a take-home message for me. If I train my research assistant and supervisors well, I get quality data and vice versa.

Sarah: So now looking back, if someone were to ask you, “What happened at the Bootcamp? Was that really worth it? A whole week?” what would you say?

Victoria: Wow! Reflecting back on what happened at the Bootcamp, I really feel very convinced that such a training was truly needed. I would recommend that workshops on training design and facilitation be conducted once in a while until everybody gets used to the basics of designing a training and also facilitating at a training no matter what type of training you are conducting.

Sarah: How helpful do you think the Bootcamp would be in improving the training design and facilitation skills of other participants?

Victoria: Hopefully, a lot of the participants can now design an interactive training for the resident enumerators, our female data collectors who are the backbone of this program. Training is tied to everything. If we train our Resident Enumerators well, they will be able to collect quality data which can be used for correct decision-making.