Empowering Communities Through Effective Project Management: PBCAI’s Recent Training Initiative

At Palawan Biodiversity Conservation Advocates Inc. (PBCAI), we believe that empowering local communities with the skills and knowledge necessary for effective project management is crucial for sustainable development. Our recent Activity Management Training, held from February 13-15, 2024, in Dumaran Island, is a testament to this commitment.

Background

The training is a part of our Ridge-to-Reef Ecosystems Resource Management project, designed to enhance the capacity of People’s Organizations (POs) in handling their livelihood projects. With six out of eight POs having already identified their livelihood projects and formulated business plans, this training aimed to ensure they can plan, implement, and evaluate these projects effectively.

Objectives

  • The primary objectives of the training were:
  • To discuss the importance of a sound and effective project management plan.
  • To explain the process of preparing a project management plan.
  • To develop project management plans for identified livelihood projects.
  • To introduce and use project monitoring templates for each identified livelihood.

Training Activities

Day 1: Introduction and Planning

The training began with introductions and a review of the Ridge-to-Reef project, emphasizing the importance of project management. Participants were introduced to project planning templates, which were then filled out section by section.

Day 2: Understanding Project Management

Using a card game analogy, participants learned the importance of strategic planning, resource management, and risk assessment. The game, Tong-its, highlighted the need for planning, monitoring, and making informed decisions. A message relay game emphasized the importance of clear communication, and the Human Knot activity fostered teamwork and problem-solving skills.

Day 3: Project Plan Presentation

Participants presented their project plans for critique and feedback. This interactive session helped refine their strategies and reinforced the concepts learned during the training.

Outcomes

The training resulted in:

  • 24 participants being trained in project plan preparation.
  • The development of eight project plans for various livelihood projects, including Milkfish 'Bangus' production in floating fish cages, sea cucumber production, wood vinegar production, seasonal product processing, vegetable production, and freshwater prawn production.
  • Increased involvement and capacity of existing POs in project planning and implementation.

Implementation Challenges

One challenge encountered was that some participants who attended the project management training were not the same as those who participated in the earlier Business Planning Training. This required additional time to bring everyone up to speed.

Lessons Learned

Participants expressed that the training helped them understand the importance of project management, risk management, and effective communication. The hands-on activities and interactive sessions were particularly effective in conveying these concepts.

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