Written by Mekong Institute

This report evaluates a learning programme which was requested by the Yunnan Power Grid Corporation (YNPG) for their personnel entitled: “Regional Energy Planning and Project Management” from October 9 to November 4, 2006. Mekong Institute (MI) designed, developed and delivered this course based on a draft training course proposal by YNPG and through subsequent negotiations and clarifications.  

Fifteen employees from various offices of YNPG attended the course. Participants come from a mix of junior, middle level positions from a wide variety of offices of YNPG in various districts of Yunnan Province. Most (2/3) of the participants were junior level, and of the total participants, only 27% were women. All participants successfully completed the learning programme except for one who had an accident during sightseeing trip on the third week in Cambodia. Even though all medical assistance was extended by MI staff and our Cambodian hosts, it was decided to send him back to Kunming the next day so that he can rest, recuperate and further observed by doctors in Kunming.

Five resource persons and the MI Academic Director and Program Administrator facilitated the learning sessions in the first two weeks at MI. At least fourteen presenters and facilitators provided additional detailed information during the last two weeks of study/site visits in Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Vientiane. Participants confirmed that the resource persons are qualified, Pnom Penh and Vientiane. Participants confirmed that the resource persons are qualified, experienced people who were able to explain difficult content in clear and simple terms. Because of weak English skills among participants, it is surmised from written feedback that many had difficulty understanding the accents of presenters in various settings. Overall, participants felt resource persons were good or excellent and attained their teaching objectives. The curriculum was divided into two phases. The first two weeks at MI where the participants learned basic information about regional energy projects in the first week from various experts and donor organization representatives who are at the forefront in organization these power interconnections in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). In addition, the second week was devoted to teaching specific Project Management skills necessary for managing regional energy projects. According to the MI questionnaires and written 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 found MI to be a clean, well-run facility with dedicated, friendly staff and adequate IT and library services.

The second two weeks of study/site visits to observe actual regional energy projects and to learn more about each country’s electrical power plans and demand was well received by the participants in terms of new information gained. However, the negative side was the long trips and complex logistics required for this three country study/site visits which required constant movement and little rest in between.

Outcomes of the programme include knowledge and skills gained for professional development. Participants felt they attained new knowledge and professional skills presented in the curriculum.

This report concludes, based on the above feedback, that the learning programmes were successful. Finally, recommendations for future programme improvement are provided in Section 6 of this report.

-MI will have to set the basic level of English standard required from participants as well as requires some certification from an English institution of their comprehension and speaking skills. This is based on the logical necessity of equipping YNPG employees with adequate English skills if they are to implement a “going out” strategy. MI does not have English training services at the moment.

-MI will have to insist on the qualifications and seniority level of participants met. MI will assist in the final determination of the participants sent to this kind of training programme.

-YNPG should provide a more comprehensive pre-departure briefing to all participants so that they will understand what to expect from the training course and what the training course expects from them.

-The same recommendation as above is emphasized particularly for first time travelers about certain behavioral and cultural sensitivities one has to learn and be aware of beforehand when traveling in another country.

Scroll to Top