Plenum VVOB Cambodia
A plenum was organised for all staff of VVOB Cambodia on 23 and 24 May 2011 in Phnom Penh. This 2 days meeting was also joined by Inge Bennenbroek, programme officer and Erik Merens, Communications Officer - 2 staff members of VVOB Brussels.
The first session of the plenum was a lively presentation of the ImAgE Team presenting the activities and results of the agriculture programme of VVOB. Later during the plenum SEAL-Kandal presented activities on the science programme for Regional Teacher Trainer Centers and SEAL-Siem Reap presented an update on the activities for Life Skills in the Provincial Teacher Training Centers. It was a good opportunity for all staff to get to know each other’s programmes a bit better.
The session on capacity building delivered by Inge Bennenbroek provided an opportunity for the teams to sit together and discuss good examples of capacity building in our programmes as well as a chance to look back at activities that have not been contributing to capacity development of our partners.
David Dionys, ICT coordinator showed the possibilities of the Management Information System (MIS) that he developed and that has been tested by the ImAgE team. In this system all programme activities can be collected including data like the number of participants, gender, belonging to which target group, sub- objectives etc. When all data is submitted systematically this system is very helpful to collect information for reports and put together overviews of the data.
At the end of the first afternoon all staff was invited for a very tasty meal at the Tonle Bassac restaurant. Heavy rain started during dinner. Restaurant staff escorted everyone in small groups under big umbrellas from the restaurant to the Parkway Super Bowl. The bowling teams were a good mix of staff from the different VVOB teams, and therefore a nice way to get together in an informal and active way. This evening was also a farewell for the Belgium students that had finished their 4 months internship in Kandal and were going to be off to Belgium the next day.
In the presentation done by Jan Geusens, programme manager, participants learned that competency management is crucial for the success of an organisation in achieving the organisation’s objectives and is also crucial for an employee to operate successfully. Participants were asked to reduce a list of 32 competencies to the 5 most important ones for VVOB. Reliability was the competency that was voted for the most and is described as acting with respect for the codes of honesty, accuracy, objectivity, equal treatment and correctness and transparency starting from the social and ethical standards. The outcome of this session will be taken back to Brussels. Other teams will also do this same exercise so in the end the 5 core competencies of VVOB can be decided on.
Khieu Chakrya, internal operations manager showed the result of the training survey that was done among all VVOB staff. At the end of August 2011 all staff will join a 3 day training course by MDF training & consultancy. The training survey concludes that some sessions will be relevant for all staff and some sessions will be more interesting for expat and local staff separately. Personal management skills, personal leadership and effectiveness, facilitation of groups are the overall topics for everyone.
An information session on the Medical Insurance Policy was given to all local staff by a member of SOS International.
The donor diversification session by Inge showed that the objective of donor diversification is to reduce dependency on DGD and to increase VVOB’s funding base for our educational programmes. All teams were asked to brainstorm on a road map for partnerships.
Erik Merens delivered an afternoon of topics all related to communication. Very practical were the sessions on writing articles, taking quality pictures and uploading of articles on Intranet. In the pictures session all participants were asked to practice with taking close up pictures and to look at other possibilities of using the focus of the camera. The information on writing articles and taking quality pictures that Erik shared can be looked up on the Intranet of the VVOB website.
During the wrap up all staff provided positive feedback and agreed the plenum is a good way to meet each other and share thoughts, activities and information.