Date: 28th July 2015.
ActionAid International The Gambiahas concluded the first in a series of trainings facilitated by MSTraining Centre for Development Corporation. MSTCDC is a training institution which is part of ActionAid Denmark and aims to increase the competence of civil societyorganisations and partners to effectively conduct their development programmes and influence policy environments. David Onen, the Regional Training and Development Advisor conducted the training attended by over thirty participants from ActionAid, FLAG, FAWEGAM, GTU, ADWAC, ActionAid’s General Assembly, Apexes and Eco-Zones (community partners) in our area of work. The training was held at the ActionAid head office in Kanifing from the 20th to 24th July 2014.
The training was meant to build the capacities of ActionAid staff and partners on the “Economic Literacy and Budget Accountability for Governance” (ELBAG) approach with the aim of enabling participants to critically review public budgets and projects in order to improve project planning and management.
Speaking at the start of the training, the Programme Specialist for Food Rights and training coordinator Momodou Wuri Jallow said the training was in line with ActionAid’s Human Rights Based Approach through which staff, partners and communities are empowered to effectively deliver on development priorities. ‘ELBAG’, he reiterated, ‘is one of the approaches in which people acquire knowledge and skills to analyse budgets and ensure transparency and accountability in project planning and implementation’.
Participants were taken through the globalisation process and local economy, household and public budgeting, analyzing the situation of communities, community participation in economic decision making and advocating for economic policy and budgets, among others.
The participatory training culminated in a field visit to Sitanunku in the North Bank Region where adyke has been constructed to prevent salt intrusion into the rice fields. The visit afforded participants the opportunity to put what they have learnt into practice through community interaction. A woman leader in the community said: This exercised has enhanced my knowledge about the project. It has raised awareness on the importance of community participation in project planning, implementation and evaluation”
In officially closing the workshop, the Executive Director of ActionAid Omar Badjie expressed gratitude that our expectations from the training were met. He urged participants to share the knowledge and skills gained with their peers and constituents. “The widespread use of ELBAG will enhance community participation in project planning and management in a significant way” he emphasised. Badji commended the trainer, Mr.David Onen for the facilitation and hoped that ActionAid’s partnership with the different organisations will be further strengthened.
Another five day training began on Monday 27th July at the agency’s head office in Kanifing. The training which has brought together a similar number of participants is on Policy Analysis and Advocacy. It ends on Friday.