Author: Kati Chilikova
Under the USAID-Local Works funded Facilitating Financial Sustainability (FFS) project, the LINC-led Colombia Action Learning Group (ALG) hosted a multi-day capacity training on December 11,12 and 18 and 19, 2019 on project management and administration for civil society organizations (CSOs) working in the Montes de Maria region, a subregion in the Colombian Caribbean coast. The training, which saw the participation of 35 local stakeholders, was delivered by the Corporación Universitaria del Caribe (CECAR), a local non-for profit higher education institution, and aimed to impart essential management skills for more effective delivery of projects and acquisition of new opportunities.
A well-trained project manager is essential to the success of any project. The course, led by CECAR, sought to deliver real-world skills needed by administrative professionals on how to successfully manage projects and programs, plan for the unexpected, monitor and control risk, and develop leadership skills. Participants gained insight into how to best plan and deliver projects on-time, on-budget, and per the client’s expectations. All surveyed participants expressed satisfaction with the course, noting the inherent importance of the topic, especially for small, grass-roots organizations.
“This was an important course that allowed me to not only strengthen my own understanding of project management, but also bring that knowledge back to my organization.” – Training Participant
The Colombia ALG, comprised of 15 grass-root civil society organizations, was first formalized in October 2018 with the mission of identifying and addressing systematic barriers to financial sustainability in Montes de Maria. Since then, the group has met monthly and implemented activities related to human resource management and retention strategies and understanding local taxation policy changes and their implications for local CSOs. As USAID-funding to the ALG is set to end in December 2019, this training was the final activity to be implemented by the group to promote the long-term financial vitality of CSOs operating in the region.
Following the conclusion of this workshop, the Colombia ALG will focus on planning for the group’s future sustainability. With the support of LINC, the ALG will develop a sustainability plan in early 2020 that provides the group with a clear vision and next steps for financial resilience for the ALG beyond the close-out of the FFS project and USAID funding.