RLS SEA is currently working with a diverse range of partners, from local NGOs to governmental institutes and universities. Additionally RLS supports its partners in their professional development. We offer a range of trainings in project management and finance, focus group discussions and information tours.
RLS operates a result oriented approach for its partners, which provides flexibility during the implementation of projects. This approach, however, can also make it more difficult to measure the outcomes. Therefore RLS SEA conducts a training program to introduce the PME (Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation) system to its partners. The focus of most projects lies on solving a social or political issue. To measure the outcomes of these issues is not an easy task, since most partners face difficulties to formulate suitable indicators. In order to support our partners to accomplish the best possible project outcome, RLS SEA held a training course on recognizing and formulating indicators. On this basis, we are intent to discover what training our partners need most. One assessment in the past has shown that there was demand in three categories: report writing, film making and policy advocacy with external experts. The training turned out to be effective and fulfilling, since it had been engineered complementary to the specific needs of the partners.
RLS SEA provides annual financial training for its partners. The training aims not only to inform them on RLS’s financial regulations, but also to improve financial management. Since 2011 the training provided by RLS has been divided in two levels, beginner and advanced, to cater to the specific needs of different partners.
While implementing a project, the situation presents itself every so often, that the project managers lack understanding of financial regulations and the project accountants lack knowledge of the project activities. In 2012, RLS SEA introduced a workshop for both project managers and accountants in order to exchange knowledge and overcome these issues.
Another measure that RLS SEA applies on a regular basis is focus group discussions. As recently as early 2017, the Representative Office organized two discussions with participants ranging from policy makers, researchers and NGOs on the topic of Social Justice and Participatory Politics. In this outcome monitoring tool small groups of experts can reflect on general issues related to RLS SEA’s program along openly formulated guiding questions. Annual meetings with the same participants can determine if the answers change over the years or not.
In 2016, RLS SEA organized an information tour to Germany with the theme “Women in Politics”, which gave various partners of RLS SEA in Vietnam the opportunity to meet with numerous stakeholders in different cities in Germany. In enabling our partners to participate in not only study trips, but also focus group discussions, trainings and workshops, we hope to improve their capacity and furthermore create opportunities for them to meet and discuss their work, exchanging knowledge and experiences