Public-Run Versus Customized Trainings in MFIs
By Carlo Niño Yacob
Organizations regularly include capacity-building in their development plans. This have become an essential human resource strategy because it aims to improve, if not sustain, the level of knowledge and skill needed by its employees in the performance of their functions. In the case of microfinance institutions, capacity-building interventions are done mainly as a requirement for compliance or due to a perceived need. MFIs would often find themselves choosing between public-run or customized trainings. What is the difference?
Public-run trainings, by virtue of being public-run, are trainings that are conducted to serve the general need of the public. It prioritizes breadth of knowledge that is applicable for most. On the other hand, customized trainings provide attention to the distinct practices of organizations. It goes in-depth with interventions being rendered.
During public-run trainings, capacity-building providers aim to deliver general topics to encompass the wide audience. In this regard, the event could also be an avenue for networking with other organizations. Some MFIs bring delegates to these events for the primary purpose of engaging in best practices sharing. Organizational learning, aside from what is imparted by the resource speakers, is spurred by organization-to-organization interaction. In terms of fees, public-run is cheaper compared to customized ones.
For customized trainings, a prior assessment of the organization would be carried out to understand what interventions it needs and how to deliver them appropriately. This means gathering enough information about the systems, processes, policies, and personnel so that these can be integrated to the lesson. With this focused scope, areas for improvement can be easily identified and discussed during the training itself, thus, making the intervention more beneficial and impactful to the organization.
The management needs to take into consideration the institutional needs and objectives to be able to identify the appropriate training for the organization.