Building Capacity in the Latin America Mission Area
Recognising the need to build capacity in international development, six personnel from the Latin America Mission Area (LAMA) enrolled in a seven-month course in 'Design and Management of Social Projects' through the Pontifical Catholic University in Peru.
The participants were managers of development projects in Peru and Bolivia, the Mission Office Coordinator, and a Latin America Governing Body member. Having a diverse group of representatives from Edmund Rice projects ensured that learning reached all levels of the development mission. As the development sector has become more professional, it was clear that capacity building in Results-Based Management and Monitoring and Evaluation was needed.
'As a new call to move to the margins and empower those whom we serve, we realised the need to move away from practices of the past, which focused only on charity endeavours. We have recognised that the development of people involves new approaches, new ways of providing services, and new skills.' – Elmer Hurtado, LAMA Mission Coordinator.
Initially, it was planned that all beneficiaries would attend the university courses in person. However, the university changed from in-person to virtual classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For that reason, it was possible to include a project manager from Bolivia, who could now attend virtually.
Br. Hugo Caceres, the leader of the Christian Brothers in Latin America, points out that the diploma has helped him a lot in his work. 'It has allowed me to take a step from a practice guided only by choosing the best to practice with a theoretical foundation. It has permitted me to understand the projects' life cycles and their internal logic in the different stages, which must correspond to the specific design reflected in the logical frameworks. Another important takeaway is that: it has enabled me to realise [funders'] expectations from a development project.' –Br. Hugo Caceres, Delegate of the Provincial Leader in Latin America
Having completed the course successfully, the participants have begun applying the theory to their practice in the field. Additionally, the project managers have planned to cascade the most relevant content of the courses to their project teams through a series of workshops. We thank Misean Cara for funding this capacity building initiative for the Latin America Mission Area.