VNG International is implementing the IDEAL program in South Sudan and selected Kapoeta State as focus area. The project is all about capacity development: strengthening of the WASH departments at Local Government offices in Kapoeta South County, Kapoeta North County and Kapoeta East County. The aim is improvement at organizational level and to strengthen the knowledge and skills of Local Government officers which will help them to improve the service delivery to the communities. From project language to the reality.
The difficulty with capacity building in general is that it is not easy to make it visible for others. If you train people in welding, than you see sweating participants, using welding machines while fire sparks fly around the place. It doesn’t look like capacity building, it looks like people at work. Although the Academy is very much into the delivery of sparkling workshops, we never deal with fire and we don’t train crafts, we train in organizational issues, use of soft skills and management . And that’s the reason why pictures from our workshops always look the same. At request of VNG International, the Academy delivered already a number of training/workshops in Kapoeta State. Time after time we find a number of the same key participants attending our workshops. These key participants are trained by us in different subjects and they share with us the impact as a result of the training. Again: no astonishing pictures, but …….amazing stories! Based on the knowledge gained and the skills developed during workshops, local government officers are able to use these skills. For example: compiling an annual report for a State Ministry and receiving compliments for the professional way the report is written. Re-building the trust of the communities so that community members come to visit the Local Government offices to discuss about their challenges instead of coming to complain and fight. Showing appreciation for the values of others and use that as a starting point of creating awareness and solving issues at the office and within the communities. Using tools to collect qualitative data for monitoring and evaluation purposes instead of collecting only quantitative data from behind your desk. These examples seem like little things, but these little things are the cause for great changes in the counties concerned. We train professionals in South Sudan…….they take care of the impact!