Capacity Development and Training
Central to all BCS work is capacity building of different stakeholder groups to promote and support an even playing field amongst unequal actors. Our work has strengthened the capacity of corporate officials and donor agencies to interact constructively with communities and of community groups to negotiate effectively with large corporations and donor agencies.
BCS shares its approach, methodology and tools with local partners so they can adapt and continue to use them long after the project has ended and BCS has left. This approach promotes the institutionalization of skills, captures and disseminates innovations, and enables efficient operations.
BCS Training Process
BCS training programs are individually designed to meet the specific needs of each client.
- Needs Assessment: All BCS programs begin with an assessment of the expectations and objectives of the client as well as learners. BCS uses a combination of online surveys and telephone or in-person interviews to ensure that resources invested in training are explicitly linked to the context and substantive requirements of the learner.
- Consultation: The analysis of needs is then discussed with the client to ensure that original expectations of the client are aligned with the findings of the needs assessment or utilized to make adjustments. This step also permits use of existing materials that may remain relevant and avoids redundancy of effort.
- Program Design: Following consultation, the BCS team of experts prepares the training design. In ongoing programs, existing content and former evaluations are reviewed thoroughly to ensure that strengths are retained, materials are updated and new material is generated to fill gaps. When appropriate, BCS develops an entirely new program.
- Program Delivery: BCS consultants are experienced Master Trainers, skilled in using participatory techniques, and specialized in case study methods. Our training is characterized by well-structured sessions using participatory processes and well-defined, state-of-the-practice content. Typically, academic resources and references are also available for those interested in pursuing a subject area in greater depth, beyond the scope of the course.
- Assessment: In addition to daily quick assessments, BCS conducts detailed pre-and post tests, as well as a comprehensive assessment of relevance and articulation of exactly how the training may be applied to each learner’s particular context. These items are then used later for measurement of impact.
- Plan for Measurement of Impact: BCS strongly recommends allocation of funds for measurement of training impact so learners may reflect on how the learning actually benefitted them on hindsight. Learners will be referenced back to their own articulation of how they expected to apply learnings, and the actuality six to eight months later. This information is crucial to the design of subsequent programs and as a validation of what was accomplished.
BCS founder and senior consultants have developed and delivered dozens of training programs ranging from grass-roots literacy programs to public and private sector officials operating at the national and multi-national levels. Our particular strength is in the synergies generated when local and national levels as well as public and private sectors are engaged through a particular substantive lens.
BCS has carried out a variety of training programs with different audiences. Our capacities cover mainstream topics such as livelihoods analysis, gender equality and analysis—especially in girls’ education, early childhood development, adult learning and literacy, and so on, to more complex newer topics such as the impact of electronic communications on transparency, or the impact of corporate behavior on development interventions and outcomes. Some examples are:
- On behalf of the World Bank, BCS carried out a week-long workshop in Ghana for multi-stakeholder teams of corporations, local government officials, donors and NGOs from different African countries, on coordinated and participatory planning and monitoring.
- In South Africa, BCS collaborated with Leeds University, the IFC and Lonmin Platimum to deliver a week-long course for NGOs in Africa and South America about business project cycles and how to negotiate with companies for local benefits.
- In London, in partnership with the London School of Economics, BCS facilitated a high level workshop of donors and corporate leaders on community investment and development.
- Most recently, in Uganda, BCS facilitated training with hands-on experience in understanding and bringing community voices to the national policy agenda.