Written by Mekong Institute

This report evaluates a learning programme within the MI Professional Development Series 2005/2006: “Rural Development” from August 21 to September 15, 2006. MI designed, developed and delivered this course based on priority learning needs of GMS government agencies (as put forth during the MI Annual meeting in 2005).  

Twelve government officials from the six GMS countries attended the course. Participants come from middle level positions from a wide variety of ministries, agencies provincial offices all concerned with rural development. 25% participants completed the learning programme. Seven resource persons, the MI Program Manager and the MI Program Administrator facilitated the learning sessions, guest presentations and field research visits over the four weeks of the learning programmes. Participants confirmed that the resource persons are qualified, experienced people who were able to explain difficult content in clear and simple terms. Overall, participants felt resource persons were well selected and attained their teaching objectives.

The curriculum was divided into four topics. According to the MI questionnaires and written and verbal feedback, participants felt that all course content was satisfactory. Program activities included a wide range of learning and social activities. Participants felt that the main learning activities, including lectures, class discussions, presentations and group work were useful. Participants especially enjoyed field research visits and study tours. They further felt that the social activities were very useful for professional contacts and GMS friendship. Participants found MI to be a clean, well-run facility with dedicated, friendly staff and adequate IT and Library services.

Outcomes of the programme include knowledge and skills gained for professional development. Participants further developed professional skills, such as data and case analysis, presentation, Internet research, and professional networking. Participants felt they attained the new knowledge and professional skills presented n the curriculum.

This report concludes was successful. Finally, recommendations for future programme improvements are provided in Section 5 of this report.

-simplify resource materials and readings; use creative and innovative learning methods and exercises

-organize field visit to enhance their K&sale on PM. -provide inputs on theory and methods for participatory RD rather than focusing on a limited number of field techniques

-improve the scholarship regime in order to facilitated the participation of all GMS countries -expand teaching activities and facilitation by MI staff

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