Leadership & Management Seminar 2

27 May 2016
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:

  1. Roma Women in the Labour Market,
  2. Rural Employment Opportunities,
  3. Disadvantaged Groups in the Labour Market,
  4. Municipality Initiatives,
  5. Enhancing Employment Opportunities,
  6. Education and Training,
  7. Ethnic Minority Women, and
  8. 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 2nd Leadership & Management Seminar include:

  • Importance of Indicators in Monitoring Project Success: what indicators are, what indicators can and cannot tell us, the importance of indicators in various stages of the project lifecycle (initial phase, implementation phase, evaluation phase), types of indicators (input, process, performance, output, outcome, impact), qualitative vs. quantitative indicators, SMART indicators, collection of data.

  • Project User Empowerment and Involvement: empowerment and social inclusion projects, empowerment of project service users; definition of empowerment, balance of power, emancipation; empowerment aims, empowerment and social work; case management (definitions, tasks, functions), personal employment plan, individual case plan; family involvement, confidentiality, characteristics of empowerment.

  • Project Cooperation and Networking – Reasons and Methods: definition, principles and methods of networking; specific common grounds for networking within the Grant Scheme “Fostering Social Inclusion”; coincidence and/or similarity of target groups (primary and secondary), of geographic area, and of activities.

The participants have also done practical exercises in the thematic World Café Tables. The participants were invited to share examples of successful setting of indicators from their own experience. Next, from the two lists of items that they were provided with, they were asked to elaborate on actions that they use to empower their project users and to also discuss if and how they use the Personal Employment Plan that was presented to them (or a similar tool). Finally, they were asked to identify one or more Grant Projects that they share the same or similar target groups, geographic areas or activities with and then to consider the methods and timelines for mutual cooperation and networking.

One of the most important aspects of the 2nd Leadership & Management Seminar was the promotion of the Project Website, and particularly its Forum. A detailed overview was made of all sections of the Website. Distinction was made between general users (general public), who will be able to download the event resources, and the registered users (the Grantees), who can also log in to the Forum and the FAQ. A demonstration was made of how the Grantees can log in and how they can engage in Forum discussions (comment or reply within the existing topics). The Grantees were encouraged to read through all the project synopses published in the “Grantees” section so as to identify the similar projects that they can cooperate and network with. They were also invited to use the Forum intensively so as to pose questions and provide answers on issues that are challenging the smooth implementation of their projects. It was explained that the project experts will monitor and participate in the Forum discussions, and that the Grantees may also choose to send a message to an expert directly; but the Grantees were encouraged most of all to exchange information and share their experiences among themselves. At the end, the Grantees were invited to use the Website intensively in the forthcoming two-week period and provide feedback to the Project Team about possible technical omissions or possible functional improvements.

This time again the seminar was attended by MLSP Monitoring Officers. During the exercise session they joined the World Café Tables and helped the Grantees sort out issues related to setting of indicators, involvement of users and networking.

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 Expert for EU Grants, Ms Andreja Tonč, and the Assistant Team Leader, Mr Radomir Trajković, who both also covered the two presentations prepared by our Team Leader and Senior Expert, Ms Maria Marinakou, as she was not able to attend this seminar. In the course of the day, the Team Leader addressed the plenary via Skype.

The seminar was delivered to a single seminar group on 27th of May 2016, in the Porta Hotel in Skopje.