Leadership & Management Seminar 3
Our Leadership & Management Seminars have been envisaged as opportunities for Grantees to share experiences, exchange best practices and tackle constrains. These are also an opportunity to learn something new and improve skills in various sub-areas of Organization Leadership and Project Management, such as Networking, User Engagement, Project Quality, Sustainability, and Innovation.
Our Leadership & Management Seminars are primarily targeting the Grant Project Coordinators and/or persons who have decision-making powers in their organizations, such as Presidents, Executive Directors, etc.
A total of 3 Leadership and Management Seminars have been planned for 2016, and another 3 in 2017.
The seminars have introduced the Word Café Methodology, whereby the participants were divided in 8 thematic groups (World Café Tables), based on the coincidence or similarity of their lines of intervention and/or target groups:
- Roma Women in the Labour Market,
- Rural Employment Opportunities,
- Disadvantaged Groups in the Labour Market,
- Municipality Initiatives,
- Enhancing Employment Opportunities,
- Education and Training,
- Ethnic Minority Women, and
- Social Inclusion.
This division was based on the preliminary assessment of the Grant Projects based on their Grant Applications. If so required, Grantees may be allowed to re-group or re-name their groups accordingly, in due course of time.
The topics that were covered in the 3rd Leadership & Management Seminar include:
- Narrative Aspects of Interim Reporting: format: Word file, strict adherence to the provided template, no page limits (expand sections as necessary); components: table of contents, list of acronyms, description, assessment of implemented activities, cooperation, visibility, contact details; list the facts, but, more importantly, describe the achievements and show the change/progress; referencing and annexing; detailed account of each heading and question separately, with relevant dos and don’ts; frequent misunderstandings, omissions and mistakes.
- Financial Aspects of Interim Reporting: format: Excel file, EUR currency, rounded to the nearest eurocent; components: 6 individual worksheets: information, forecast budget, addenda and contingencies, interim report, final report, sources of funding; detailed account of each worksheet separately, with relevant dos and don’ts; frequent misunderstandings, omissions and mistakes.
- Project Monitoring and Internal Evaluation Methods: aspects relevant for project monitoring and internal evaluation are the ones that will be covered with the forthcoming On-the-Sport visits; these include: progress of the Grant Project implementation in relation to the Action Plan; achievements at the level of the target group; main outputs produced to date, evidenced through an established monitoring system of indicators; visibility of the Grant Project, including information of the public and general promotion of the action; partnership and communication, including cooperation with relevant institutions and stakeholders; overall project management, including cooperation of all project partners, production and filing of project documentation, early detection and management of risks and challenges, and; expected impact and sustainability of the Grant Project.
- Preparations for and Expectations from the On-the-Spot Visits: schedule: previously agreed with all Grantees individually, already published on the TA Project Website; duration: one OSV per day dedicated to one Grant Project only, from 10 to 15 hrs; venue: in the main project office of the Grant Project, which is normally within the premises of the Leader Organization; experts: one of the TA Project Experts dedicated to each Grant Project; participants: the whole Grant Project Team, both from the Leader and the Partner Organizations; reporting: Evaluation & Reporting Form designed specifically for this purpose, individual reports will be produced for each Grant Project separately; feedback: all reports with OSV findings will be submitted to the Beneficiary, the Contracting Authority and the Grantee.
All participants got actively involved in doing the practical exercises within their own thematic World Café Tables. The practical work was focused on the use of relevant forms for the Interim Reporting: the Narrative Report form, the Financial Report form, List of Expenditures. Another aspect of practical work was centred around DEVCO Companion to financial and contractual procedures. In their presentations from the group work, the participants were encouraged to apply the main principles of reporting: to be specific, thorough, confident, critical, concise and accurate.
At the beginning of the seminar, the Team Leader made an overview of the findings from the 2nd Grant Project Progress Survey. This survey was carried out in the period between 12th and 23rd September 2016, in the form of semi-structured interviews. The purpose of this survey was fourfold: to evaluate (or better, to inspire the Grantees to self-evaluate) the progress with the implementation of their Grant Projects thus far; to assess the adequacy of the Technical Assistance provided thus far and to assess the needs for Technical Assistance in the future; to enhance the utility rate of the TA Project Website; and to announce and schedule the forthcoming first round of On-the-Spot Visits.
We were again glad to have with us the Monitoring Officers from MLSP. They helped pinpoint the aspects that need to be given specific attention both in the Interim Reporting and during the forthcoming On-the-Spot Visits.
The theoretical input was delivered at plenary sessions, with the help of Power Point presentations, whereas the exercises were implemented in the 8 World Café Tables as listed above, with the help of hand-outs and flip-chart presentations.
The seminar was delivered by our Team Leader and Senior Expert, Ms Maria Marinakou, and by our Expert for EU Grants, Ms Andreja Tonč, with the support from our Assistant Team Leader, Mr Radomir Trajković.
The seminar was delivered to a single seminar group on 21st of October 2016, in the Porta Hotel in Skopje.