Written by Mekong Institute

This report evaluates the course on “Private Sector Participation in GMS Growth and Developememt” held at Mekong Institute from 29 September to 24 October 2003.

The course was organised to meet GMS need for training on the private sector development because the sector is the main engine to achieve economic growth and reduce poverty in the sub-region. Based on the understanding, all the GMS countries are promoting the development of the private sector as part of national development and poverty reducton strategy.  

Twenty-eight participants from the six GMScountries attended the course. Most of them were government officials, but some were working with blank sector and chamber of commerce. There was one participant from the private sector. Seventy participants (61% of the total) are women.

The course consisted of four modules, involving the role of the private sector and strategies for private sector development, especially public and private partnership and SMEs. 43-50% participants considered the modules as “very useful and interesting” and another 50-57% participants considered them as ” useful and interesting”.

This course has achieved its four general objectives and module specific learning objectives. i) Overall, 54% participants were “very satisfied” with the course, and antoher 46%, “satisfied” with it. ii) In terms of knowledge gaining, 47-64% participants (varying across modules, same thereafter) indicated they gained ” a lot” of knowledge from the course, while another 29-36% participant gained “some”. iii) As far as development of varous skills associated with private sector participation, 42-57% participants can use “some” skills learnt. iv) Overallm 43% participants held that their English skills improved “quiet a lot”, while another 21% participants, “a lot”. v) Most participants believed they improved their presentation skills. vi) 64% participants made “many friends” with their fellow participants; and 50% participants establised “many professional ocntacts” with other participants and presenters; and 35% participants, “some” contacts. The course helped to strengthen the “Greater mekong Spirit” and foster a network of professional contacts in promoting private sector development and economic development.

The achievements were results of dedication of resource persons, effective course activities and methods, and course organisation. Three experienced experts instructed the modules, and other two experts gave guest presentations. The participants gave all the modules very good rating.

Both presenters and participants considered the course activities and methods (lecturing; class discussion; case studies; guest presentation; field research visit; English training; training on Internet navigation, presentation; and social and recreatonal activities) as effective and helpful, though ratings of particiaptns varied across the activities. For example, at the end of course survey, 78% participants considered lecturing as effective, the figures for case studies, and guest presentation were 78% and 40% respectively. All the participants rated field trips as “very helpful” and “OK”. In conclusion, these course activities are useful and effective in achieving optimum outcomes.

This course also provided an opportunity for MIto reflect on its couse topics and course organisation. The presenters and participants provided many comments, suggestonos and recommendations. These are in Appendices D and E, and 14 recommendations are summarised in the last section of this report, “Recommendations from This Course”. They involves course topic and modules, and almost all aspects of course organisation, such as pre-course arrangements, resource person identification, teaching and learning activities, course duration and time allocation between course activities, teaching facilities, and support services. They are useful and helpful for future courses at MI and a referenced for course organisation elsewhere.

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