This is a reference for Leila Usmani

Project Management Academy

The training activity took place
in Struga, Macedonia
organised by Qendrat “Youth for Social Changes”
1-8 April 2017
Reference person

Olga Kiriakidou

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Aims & objectives

The proposed project was developed as a long-term multi-measure activity engaging partner promoters from Western Balkans region as well as Programme Countries. In its essence, it aimed at developing the overall capacity of youth organisations to effectively manage youth projects funded with the support of EU grants. We achieved the goal by means of successively implementing the following objectives:
• Equipping participants with better understanding of the EU funds and how to apply these to the youth sector around Europe
• Creating a toolbox of well-proven as well as new and innovative methods/tools/ideas/ strategies, etc. for effective projects management
• Exchanging and drawing learning outcomes from the best practices in the areas of youth projects management as already exercised by the partner organisations
• Ensuring ongoing support and advice to youth workers wishing to effectively manage their projects workload
• Providing space for networking and ideas development for the sake of creating future projects between the partner promoters
• Increasing the level of youth participation in NGO sector, through effective project management.
The above objectives refer to the project in general and were represented across all of the mobilities as well as capacity building activities proposed. However, in order to further enhance these, specific objectives for the training course were also been set up:
TC 3
 Developing emotional intelligence competences for better work-life balance around the project based assignments
 Further developing leadership and communication skills for project teams
 Understanding the essence of setting up the learning and development strategies for youth organisations engaged in PM

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

PMA was created to support partners in developing capacities in the area of youth projects management. Thus, the main target group of the activities were members of the consortium (our staff, volunteers, board members, youth leaders, participants nominated to take part of the training courses, etc). Countries and nationalities involved included Turkey, Poland, UK, Romania, Italy, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Greece, Albania and Czech Republic.

Training methods used & main activities

All project activities (including capacity building), saw the application of diverse range of non-formal education tools and practices. These were carefully selected by the trainers team, ensuring that a given method not only fits the subject discussed, but more importantly, allowed for the accomplishment of the objectives set beforehand. The list of tools included:
 Interactive presentations > to ensure structured input of the learning objectives
 Group work > to ensure constant exchange of experiences and knowledge, thus using participants as a resource
 Simulation exercises and role plays that involve participants directly and emotionally > to enlarge the impact of the TCs
 Multimedia use for visualisation > to enlarge the learning impact and respond to the different learning styles
 Discussions in form of e.g. brain mapping, world cafe > to provide space for exchange of ideas and opinions on the topics discussed
 Games and energisers > especially during mobilities sometimes longer sessions will be required and it is important to break them with short and snappy exercises that would stimulate motivation and attention
 Daily reflection groups > to receive feedback and adapt the programme flow to the needs and interests of participants
 Use of the e-learning platform > to further reinforce learning developed during the TCs as well as to provide mentoring and coaching to individual project participants and their sending organisations.
All in all, thorough-out the project lifetime we presented participants with the opportunity to explore how vast the NFE world is and how the different tools can be used in effective project management. This encouraged them to make further use of the tools in their own PM work in the future. We believe that only when put into practice outside the 'safe' and 'regulated' training environment, knowledge and skills gained at the mobilities had the chance to be turned into valuable competences, supported by adequate attitudes and participants own approaches.

Outcomes of the activity

Since the training course 5 organisations and participants have gone on to develop new projects within E+, and partnerships have been developed with other organisations on the course, evidencing the success of the activity. I have been asked to deliver four successive training courses on the topics of Project Management, Employability, Inclusion, Leadership and Intercultural Sensitivity since. The feedback from participants on the evaluation forms regarding the trainers. Below is an overview of what was said;
trainers were great, positive impressions, very friendly, spontaneous, informal, caring attitude.
professional and know what they do,
compatible with each-other, experienced, Great methodology. They put a lot of heart in the activities. The activities have been well planned.
they were the best trainers and combination I have ever seen. Always finding new ways to make the sessions more interesting and help us when we need it.

These are two of the sites used with information about the project.

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

Attend a coordination meeting in Skopje Macedonia before the training to confirm finalities of the activity

Develop a session to create a board game for the final publication of the project

Work with the co-trainer to finalise the timetable and sessions using different NFE methods. I was specifically tasked with finalising and delivering sessions on Getting to Know, Learning Styles an NFE methods, Communication, Inclusion, Creativity and Reflections.

I worked on this training for 6 days as a full time trainer.

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