Thursday, August 5, 2010

Train the Trainer/First Bit of Insight into What I’m Actually Doing out Here

The goal of WWHPS/CCHIPs (WWHPS = American NGO, CCHIPs = Rwandan NGO) is essentially to reform rural health care delivery in Rwanda at the Health Centre level. They do this by consulting with and improving 5 elements at health centres: community engagement, infrastructure, management (accounting), medical, and promotional programs. So…we do not run health centres (I love spelling it that way), rather we help existing health centres. For example, our team doctors conduct weekly medical training sessions at the centres, they do not actually meet with patients.

My job is to oversee the coordinators of the 5 elements. (Cool huh?)

Being a young NGO, we are only now developing a formalized plan for expansion. To make our model most sustainable, we are adopting a “Train the Trainer” (TTT) strategy – where our doctors will not only conduct weekly medical training sessions, but they will also teach the participants how to conduct similar sessions in the future…so that our doctors will be free to conduct the sessions at other health centres instead of continuing to return to the same one year after year.

Obviously, there are a lot of intricacies to and difficulties with TTT. For example, adults either don’t want to learn because they’re convinced they already know everything, or don’t want to learn because they are frustrated when they don’t know something. Because of this, a team from Oliver Wyman came out to Rwanda for 10 days in May to train all the CCHIPs coordinators on how to best design their TTT sessions.

I’m at a disadvantage because I missed this whole training session. So, during my downtime this week, I’ve been working my way through the materials that they went through (ugh…through which they went). I just came across the fun multiple choice test of determining my Learning Style. And I had to laugh. Because here’s a give-away that you’ve been placed into the correct category: You view all the “weaknesses” to a certain learning style as strengths. My “weaknesses” (and commentary):

1.       Low tolerance for messiness or ambiguity – So what? Things are bad when they’re messy or ambiguous.
2.       Convinced they are right – Well…I usually am.
3.       Irritated by anything subjective or intuitive – As people should be. Objectivity is the only way to prove that you’re right (which I usually am).
4.       Does not like loose ends – Obviously…loose ends are the reason projects fail.
5.       Impatient with open-ended discussions – Why have the discussion if there’s no goal in sight?

It is both scary and entertaining how accurate simple, multiple choice tests can be. I’m reminded of the incredible accuracy of the shape test during DAPA training, and the relationship test where I found out exactly why Jenny Fisher (there you go – not even that forced) was/is/will always be my big.

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