The Norwegian Red Cross international department partners worldwide with other national Red Cross societies, with the mutual aim of strengthening the resilience of local communities exposed to disaster and conflict. A core team is responsible for improving the PMER quality of projects, and for providing PMER capacity building to national society members.
Although good quality PMER tools and methodologies are available through the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies, they have not always been used in a systematic and cohesive manner in programme management. There was a need for a better collective understanding of what PMER entails, why it is necessary, and how to practice it well in a participatory way.
In close consultation with key staff of the international department, MDF Training & Consultancy developed a custom-designed training package, incorporating PMER concepts, tools and practical training skills. The process of developing and delivering this training package consisted of four phases:
- An inception visit to the Norwegian Red Cross office to discuss main challenges and training objectives, key messages, collect case material and jointly prepare a draft Training of Trainers PMER programme.
- Developing the Training of Trainers -PMER training package, including the training programme, lectures, presentations, hand outs and exercises.
- Delivering a five-day Training of Trainers -PMER training, including continuous monitoring with the client, daily reflection on participant learning, planning follow-up actions and final evaluation at the end of the training.
- Writing a report on the training, including evaluation by participants and recommendations for follow-up.
The training was based on the existing practical knowledge of PMER processes by participants, building on their motivation to actively participate and work on their own PMER skills, and the effective usage of tools as found in the IFRC Project/Programme Planning Manual and Monitoring and Evaluation guide.
The training achieved the following results:
- Participants are more confident in guiding and facilitating joint planning for new programmes with partners;
- Participants are able to select and use relevant PMER tools useful for planning for new programmes with partners;
- Participants are able to guide and train colleagues and partners in a pedagogical and efficient manner towards increased capacity and a common understanding of PMER.
Participants appreciated the good mix between training on PMER content and on training and facilitation skills. In addition, they appreciated the space created during the training to discuss organisational issues in relation to the development of PMER systems and capacity building.