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A distinguishing feature of CRY’s role as a ‘support’ organization has been its emphasis on providing not only financial but also non financial support to its project partners. A major component of the non financial support extended to partners is in the form of capacity building (CB) / training. Since its inception in 1979, CRY has been organizing and undertaking training and capacity building initiatives for its partners. Over time CRY’s own approaches and strategies have evolved and consequently, training and CB initiatives have undergone modifications in terms of the content and manner of delivery. From subjects like ‘better teaching learning methodology’ to topics like ‘Immediate root causes of larger issues” and its impact on child rights, CRY has evolved in response to the changing times and needs. It follows a participatory approach through group work and facilitation.

The training and CB initiatives of CRY have never been perceived as a one way transfer of knowledge and skills. These forums have always been regarded as platforms where multiple ways of learning and exchange enrich both CRY as well as its partners. They continue to serve as platforms for inter-partner exchange of learning. The experiences and learnings, drawn from earlier years of organizing capacity building program for partners, have revealed certain positive elements that have helped streamline and systematize further the process of organizing and conducting the training initiatives.

It is crucial as it enables CRY Project Partners to understand, assess and then seek ways to address the knowledge, skill, information gaps existing in the partner’s network. It also is vital to add new information and also provides a platform to clear doubts on issues on child rights and linked human rights issues and approaches through which our partners carry out work for communities. The issues on which CRY is reaching out to the children in the marginalized communities are varied and represent a complex web of issues linked to denial of rights of children. It becomes imperative to correctly identify the issues and gaps on which the Capacity Building (CB) would have to be planned for the particular year. CRY’s interventions with partners come in handy in this situation.

The entire process of providing such non financial support can be narrated as below:
  • The process of assessing partner training needs has become more scientific and ongoing. Through the PME parameters and categorization initiatives, the real needs can be identified.
  • Detailed planning exercises are undertaken before every training program; the training schedule is prepared stating the objectives, content and expected impact of the same and also the follow-up mechanism that needs to be undertaken. What is noteworthy in this respect is the active participation of all Development Support (project management) team members.
  • The schedule along with the session plans are shared with the project partners much before the workshop so that they can come up with suggestions or modification of the design.
  • Facilitation styles for these workshops aim to ensure participation of all - thus rely mostly on group work and presentations. All the training programs are interactive.
  • Feedback (written and verbal) is often taken from participants, this is analyzed and steps towards next training programs are devised. However, this area needs improvement in the coming year.
  • A mechanism also needs to be institutionalized to assess the impact of such non financial support in the field.

There is still a need of constant upgrading of knowledge, attitude and skill for better thinking and action. There is also a need to look into the overall objectives of the Development Support (DS) function of CRY and the regional priorities vis a vis the specific needs of the supported initiatives in partnering these efforts. To meet the DS objectives, capacity building inputs as an integral part of non-financial support are provided on an ongoing basis. If it is need based, it acts as a medium which gives a fill up to the entire partnership process. Since CRY is a support organization and not merely a funding organization, it is considered that capacity development invites us to review our relationship with the partners. In other words it means that capacity development does not take place by merely funding projects and providing expertise to problems. Instead, it implies the development of comprehensive, long-term and partner-specific strategies. It requires participatory approaches to program design and implementation, local ownership, decentralized management, flexible instruments, procedures & methodology, viable performance and evaluation criteria, and specialized skills. Thus capacity building is a multi-dimensional concept. It goes beyond training, education and organizational strengthening.

The process of capacity building has also evolved with the monitoring and evaluation processes across all regions. In the last few years it has made a gradual shift from ad-hoc planning to that of strategic need based planning, keeping in mind the purview of child rights. Therefore, capacity building is seen as an essential and important part of the support extended by CRY to its partners.

2011 Review & 2012 Plan

Project partner’s meets were held across all states and all regions. These meetings provided space to all partners for –
  • Discussions on CRY Vision, Mission and Values (VMV) as well as Child Rights centricity and indicators (finalized recently).
  • Discussions on prominent child rights issues and the underlying root causes for such violations – this led to a common understanding on these across all partners of the concerned state.
  • Exploring the areas of learning, approaches, collective action and processes and coming out with the collective outcomes on child right issues.
  • Relooking at the decisions and recommendations adopted during previous partners’ meets to find out areas of achievements, struggles, gaps and improvement in approaches.
  • Consolidating the processes of children’s collectives and engagement of marginalized communities in community mobilization.

Similar Project partners’ meets are planned for all states for 2012 as well. Aim would be to develop a common understanding on CRY VMV, core theme of CR Centricity, CR indicators, Right to Education, Right to Health, Right to Food and Child Participation issues broadly. Efforts will be made to develop capacities of participants to identify child rights violations and understand the root causes.

In addition to project partners’ meets, other major training programs held through 2010-11 across regions and major plans for 2011-12 are highlighted in the table below.
Region CB programs held through 2011-12 CB programs planned for 2012-13
  • CR Advocacy workshop was held to guide partners on # importance of network in context of advocacy # planning for an advocacy campaign # people centered advocacy in context of child rights.
  • Workshop on Right to Health # to understand malnutrition and its linkage to poverty # status of ICDS and its relationship to malnutrition # effects of the situation on child growth & overall development of the child # building common understanding on right to Health and Health care # building understanding on functioning of Government health care system and different National Programme on Health.
  • Workshops on Child Rights based Programming and Child Participation across states.
  • Project Partners Meet with focus on CR centricity norms and indicators
  • Urban poverty analysis workshop for Delhi partners.
  • Consultation for understanding and program planning for destitute children in streets, in rag picking, missing children and other vulnerable children.
  • Workshops on Right to Health and Child Health across states.
  • For UP – workshop on Right to Participation for Action Plan Development and Visioning of VOC.
  • Capacity building workshop on CR Centricity & Child Rights Advocacy – to develop collective understanding on child rights and child right centricity
  • Consultation on Child Rights – for partners in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
  • Workshops held for Manipur project core teams on Right to Health, Right to Education and Community Mobilization.
  • Child Rights Centricity workshop held for Jharkhand and West Bengal partners.
  • Workshop for capacity building of field staffs in Orissa for addressing operational issues towards ensuring child rights (focusing education, health & child protection issues).
  • Workshop on people centered advocacy for Bihar partners.
  • Organization Development (OD) process for Manipur partners.
  • Partner’s meet planned across states – to discuss on State strategies, review understanding on CR centricity, OD process, children’s collective process and develop understanding on CR indicators.
  • Child Participation workshops planned across states.
  • Workshop on evidence based research documentation- advocacy in Manipur.
  • Workshop on people centred advocacy for Bihar partners.
  • Project Partners’ Meet for Maharashtra and Gujarat state partners.
  • Follow up workshop on child participation (one initial workshop was organized last year) was organized so as to further enhance the knowledge of CRY Maharashtra partners.
  • Workshop on gender issues was organized for Maharashtra state partners.
  • Workshop on Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act for Maharashtra and Gujarat state partners.
  • A workshop on Child Rights orientation was organized for new CRY partners in across all the states.
  • Workshop on the issues of Urban Governance and Rural Livelihood was organized for all West partners.
  • One workshop each on Child Protection issues planned for Maharashtra and Gujarat partners.
  • Workshops planned on Housing Rights, Displacement and Rehabilitation and Child Rights workshop for new partners in West.
  • Project Partners meet planned for all across the states.
  • A common workshop is planned on Child Participation for partners in Gujarat, Goa and Chhattisgarh.
  • One workshop on Childhood Disability Rights will be organized for Gujarat partners.
  • Workshop on ‘Right to Education’ planned for Chhattisgarh partners.
  • Child Rights Training for Community Organizers of South Partners held # to strengthen their social analytical skills through micro and macro analysis of CR violations # strengthen their understanding on policies, programs related to Right to Survival in context of Right to Food Security debate # develop shared understanding on CRY’s Vision and Mission and long term goals for Child Rights Approach.
  • South India CRY Project Partners’ Meet for sharing of knowledge, experiences, issues and concerns for strategizing and evolving future directions.
  • Child Rights Training planned for Project Holders of all South partners.
  • Trainings on Right to Education and Right to Food planned for Community Organizers planned for all partners.
  • Trainings given on Financial Risk Monitoring and CRY requirements to new partners across regions.
  • Trainings planned for all new partners on Financial Risk Monitoring and CRY requirements.