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Base de datos de evaluación

Evaluation report

CHN 1999/005: Effectiveness of Children's Welfare Institute Staff Training: Assessment Report



Author: Horizon Research

Executive summary

Background

In the world today, the development of a social welfare sector is a significant symbol of enlightenment. Following the development of the Chinese market economy and the improvement of living conditions, the Chinese government has come to recognize the importance of social welfare projects, and its support in the social welfare sector is significant. Children's Welfare Institute (CWI) is one of the top social welfare projects in China today and the government has attached great importance to its success from the start. In order to improve the management of CWI, the Chinese government contributed human and financial resources to open four national CWI staff training centers in Beijing, Hangzhou. Nanjing, and Wuhan in 1996. Every year since then, the Chinese government has supported CWI's training sessions for managers and technical staff nationwide. These activities have also been actively supported by UNICEF since their inception in 1996,.

Purpose / Objective

- In order to gain an understanding of the conditions and training capabilities of the Children's Welfare Institute (CWI) training centers
- To ascertain the effectiveness of the training activities and services of CWI
- To assess their current value and CWI's plans for development

Methodology

There were six assessment sites: two training centers and four CWI. Two of the four CWIs did not receive training. Interviews were held with more than forty professionals and ten group discussions were conducted with managers, leaders from parent organizations [member social service groups], instructors, staff and children. Researchers also observed life at the training centers and CWI.

Key Findings and Conclusions

The assistance that the government has given to training centers, specifically in terms of the funding and tax breaks for building, is responsible for the maintenance and sustainability of the project. At the same time, government officials' presence at the main activities of the training centers deepens understanding of the program's value and adds to the training centers', leaders', and staffs' level of confidence and overall enthusiasm. But, government officials often passively react to the demands of the training center, showing little understanding of the principles of the centers or the details of the work, and distinctly fail to provide necessary guidance to the training center.

The interest and support of parent organizations [member social service groups] is fleeting. When the center organizes activities, the parent organizations limit their involvement to the level required by the central government and do not volunteer any advice or suggestions of their own. The team of in-house instructors is assembled only once the timing of the next training session has been set and is disbanded immediately upon completion of the session. Each individual returns to his or her parent organization to continue his or her work. The individuals running the training centers are at a loss, especially since, in the last few years, the tasks assigned to the training centers by the State Ministry of Civil Affairs have decreased, making it virtually impossible to further the development of the training centers.

Visiting instructors seem to lack an in-depth understanding of CWI. When reflecting upon the instruction at the center, trainees responded with answers like the instructors' "abundant knowledge and deep understanding in their field widen our perspective but, practically speaking, the actual guidance that they provide us with is comparatively lower. "

In-house instructors lack teaching experience. The advantage is that they teach information that is practical, lessons they have learned from years of hands-on experience. However, they are not as theoretical or systematic as the visiting instructors are.

Curriculum planning is not coherent. As a result of the stringent injunctions of the government on the training centers' work, the training centers do not have the freedom to design its own development. There is a lack of continuity where the next training session is unaware of the results of the last training session. Training materials are still limited and at times are pertinent only for the parent organizations institutions. The content and teaching materials are always in accordance with the annual orders handed down from the State Ministry of Civil Affairs. From year to year, these orders are incongruous at best, further contributing to the incoherence of the training curriculum.

Training centers are assigned tasks without attention to each center's strengths. Training classes also do not take into consideration the wide range of trainees' abilities and experiences.

There is great discrepancy between the tangible benefits received by the children at the two work project sites, Nanjing and Jingzhou. Due to the fact that the Nanjing training center is in the Nanjing CWI and the CWI has excellent facilities, the chances for translating their new-found knowledge into action are greater.

Recommendations

As well as creating a core-group of instructors, there must be emphasis on the instructor's training. More efforts have to be made to write or compile relevant teaching materials. Practical experience has to be stressed, maybe by arranging courses with more complete integration of classroom time and practical experience time.

The State Ministry of Civil Affairs needs to inform training centers of a comprehensive long-term statement of mission so that after finishing one training, the working groups can summarize and process the experience and the lessons, and develop the center. At the same time, the Ministry should allow the training centers a certain amount of input into their planning.

Secondary training needs should be emphasized so that the content of the training can be spread throughout the work units to staff and managers who did not attend the training. After the training has been completed, the training center should p-rovide guidance and outlines for retraining.



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Report information

Date:
1999

Region:
EAPRO

Country:
China

Type:
Evaluation

Theme:
Training

Partners:
Ministry of Civil Affairs

PIDB:
YS003-12

Follow Up:

Language:
English

Sequence Number:
1999/005

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