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WATER HARVESTING & INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING TIGRAY (WHIST) A CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (CIDA) PROJECT ISSUES & LESSONS LEARNED.

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Presentation on theme: "WATER HARVESTING & INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING TIGRAY (WHIST) A CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (CIDA) PROJECT ISSUES & LESSONS LEARNED."— Presentation transcript:

1 WATER HARVESTING & INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING TIGRAY (WHIST) A CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (CIDA) PROJECT ISSUES & LESSONS LEARNED

2 2 1.Budget Offsetting  If the Federal Government reduces the budget transfer to the Region by an amount equal to the amount of the project, then this is a major problem for the Region.  From the Region’s perspective, they essentially end up paying for the project.  If the Region can convince MoFED that this is a Food Security project, then they would be exempt from offsetting.

3 3 2.Counterpart Availability  On a number of occasions, experts have come from Canada to work with local counterparts, only to find that the counterparts are unavailable.  Increased communication has improved the situation but there are still occasional problems.  This is a lost opportunity, a waste of budget, and a waste of our people’s time.  When this happens, we wonder if our partners are committed to the project.

4 4 3.What if we gave a workshop and nobody came?  We frequently holding training or workshops and don’t know how many people will attend until a few hours into the session.  This is a problem because it is difficult to know how many handouts to make – this can be costly if we make too many but, if we don’t make enough, people are unhappy if they don’t get the handouts right away.  It is also difficult to schedule vehicles for field trips in advance if we don’t know the numbers.

5 5 4.Tardiness  We frequently holding training or workshops or schedule meetings to start at a certain time, but people seldom arrive on time.  When people do show up, they often hang around outside or go to visit somebody nearby until we round them up and herd them inside.  If they are responsible adults and professionals, we expect them to know about being on time.  This may be a cultural issue.  Advice – lie about the starting time; make it earlier so that you can start on time; plan for double time.

6 6 5.Erratic Attendance  People often come and go from training sessions or come at the beginning and then aren’t seen again. It is also difficult to get them to complete homework.  However, they always expect to get a certificate and are upset if they don’t get one.  Some of the problems are due to the participants having multiple demands, such as work assignments, on their time.  Our partial solution has been to take attendance and warn them right at the beginning that they must attend 90% and complete all homework to get a certificate.

7 7 6.Supplies for Training and Workshops  People always expect to be given pens, notebooks, etc, at training sessions and workshops.  If they don’t get these, they will complain and often give a bad evaluation because of this.  Canadians find this attitude strange, unprofessional, and immature since we normally expect to take our own such supplies to such events.  Our solution has been to give in and supply these things at added cost.  We have also been accused of being cheap or cruel because we don’t supply things such as pins and hats.

8 8 7.Per diems for Training and Workshops  When we hold these events, and people are required to come from out of town, the bureaus typically ask, often at the last minute, if we can pay the per diems  This has been discussed several times at PMC and PSC and it has been decided, as recommended by our partners, not to pay such per diems.  Solutions? Better communication in advance, stating that per diems won’t be paid. The Bureaus should remember this at budget planning.  However, such things are forgotten at budget planning so, the bureaus don’t budget for this.

9 9 8.Lack of Partner Resources  Partners frequently do not have the resources to uphold their commitments to the WHIST agreement.  For example, they were supposed to provide us with transportation but were unable to do this satisfactorily.  Solutions? We shouldn’t be as naïve when making such agreements.  Shortage of vehicles often means field trips for training and mentoring would be cancelled unless we pay for the extra transport.

10 10 9.Partners View Us As A Funding Source  Our main function is in technical training and mentoring yet partners continue to see us as a potential source of funding for their own operational requirements.  We are continually asked to supply them with equipment, especially computers.  Solutions? We have to keep reminding them that we aren’t there to fund their operational requirements.

11 Shifting Regional Priorities  We try to be sensitive to regional priorities, and adjust our program accordingly, but it is difficult to do this at short notice.  For example, our project was developed with a focus on microdam development but, the region put a moratorium on such development until recently.  The Region often adopts short-term priorities and looks for “quick-fix” solutions but, we try to take a longer term view – sustainable capacity building.

12 Shifting Regional Priorities (cont’d)  The Region dictates targets to the bureaus, often without assigning appropriate resources, that are difficult for the bureaus to accomplish.  This can result in overworked, stressed, and demoralized staff members.  The bureaus often look to WHIST for assistance but, while we may be able to shift our priorities somewhat and try to assist, our resources are not nearly what they require.

13 Issues Importing Equipment  We have a continuous problem importing equipment into the country.  The process is tedious, time consuming, and expensive. It typically takes a minimum of 1-3 months to get something through Customs.  We presently have 6 shipments sitting at Customs – one since last September.  Solution? Future agreements should have us, not the Region, pay duty/taxes, and should include budget for this. Duty-free status is not really a solution.

14 Seniority vs Need  In the past, we have proposed study tours and, with general guidelines, have left it up to the bureaus who to send.  This has sometimes resulted in inappropriate people being selected based on seniority or “it’s my turn”, rather than on need.  We have since changed our method and now develop a detailed Terms of Reference. We then check the credentials of the candidates to insure that appropriate people are selected.  Equipment, if left to the bureaus to allocate, is sometimes assigned to the wrong people.

15 Cultural Sensitivity  We have sometimes offended people by inadvertently not being sensitive to cultural issues/traditions.  For example, meetings and presentations are conducted differently in Ethiopia than in Canada.  For Canadians, Ethiopian meetings often seem long and not to the point. Many senior people seem to speak at length without saying anything worthwhile, yet junior people, who might have a lot to contribute, often stay quiet.  Format for questioning speakers/presenters differs.

16 Bureaucracy & Institutional Issues  We often get frustrated with cumbersome bureaucracy and institutional practices.  For example, it might take a day or two just to find and get a piece of equipment from the maintenance yard in order to get all the proper authorizations, find the person with the key, etc. Or, the storekeeper is sick so nobody can get anything for several days.  Solutions? Patience, patience, patience! Plan for such things.  This can be frustrating for us since the same activity in Canada might only take an hour.

17 17 Observation from the peanut gallery: Western cultures are strong on “to do”, productivity, and accomplishments. “Time is money, so let’s get on with it.” Traditional cultures are strong on “to be”, family, friends, and relationships. “How are you? How is your family? Let’s get to know each other.”

18 WATER HARVESTING & INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING TIGRAY (WHIST) A CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (CIDA) PROJECT THE END


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