25 January 2008

Overseas opportunities

There are donors that have been really generous with providing education opportunities for people in my office. Here are just some of the opportunities in the past year:

  • A couple of staff have gone to Bangkok and attended training with the Asia Pacific Centre for Disability
  • Others went to Bangkok for various UN agency workshops
  • Some have visited Japan for some training
  • I myself went to Phnom Penh

Further in the past, others have gone to India, Vietnam and China.

These training sessions are generally available to program staff only. Unfortunately the support staff which are essential to the running of the organization such as the accountant or the public relations officer don't get as much of a chance to develop their skills and travel at all.

There is still the challenge of transferring the knowledge back to those in the office and applying it their work. I suppose application is always the challenge of training! There is also a problem with the daily allowances these events pay. The allowance is usually quite reasonable. Around Lao there can be issues with the first person who opens the application form to apply for the event. It is also hard to democratically select someone in the office to go to these professional development events. Some friends have mentioned that they're not sure why some people in the office are selected to represent their organisation overseas. We were handed some tips about working in Laos by the UN Development Program that said sending someone overseas might mean that while they're away well decisions can then be made in the office!

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