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2006 Testimonials - Course 5E: Rights-Based Programming
What participants said about this course:
"I was a very pleased with the course, both in terms of the clarity of instruction and the diversity of resources that were used as part of the course material. The forums were very useful for fleshing out ideas and getting ideas from other students. The summaries and feedback provided by [the instructor] at the end of each week were also very helpful."
"It did meet my expectations well - having worked with [course instructor] before there was not much of surprise and I was pleased with the continuous high quality of the course."
"The course met my expectations very well, if not fully, and I now feel much more confident about discussing HRBA-related issues and can use what I learned in my daily work."
"The course was useful and helped me to learn a lot on the topic. My assessment is absolutely positive."
"This course met and exceeded expectations - the case study was particularly helpful!"
"I think it met my expectations well. I got an introduction and overview of human rights-based programming, which is what I was hoping for. More importantly, RBA is an area that I want to continue pursuing and working more concretely with so the course has served as a good window into further professional and potentially academic development."
"I am really happy to have attended this course because for me who was not so involved in human rights, it was a very interesting approach, well presented and well organized in its sequence to help students grasp often difficult matters."
"It met my expectations quite well as an introduction to rights-based programming."
"The course was indeed very empowering to me. My expectations of having a clear understanding of HRBA was met, applications of the principles and integration of HRBP in the planning, monitoring and evaluation were also met. I now have a clear understanding of what a HRBA is and this is helping me in my day today work."
"It met my expectations in terms of the content of the course and the required interactions with other course participants. The selected texts and discussion points were very appropriate and useful."
"I am satisfied with how the course is presented to the participants, but not so happy with my own participation and time deserved to succesfully making the most of it."
"I found the topics covered very logical, relevant and not rhetoric. I am able to apply the skills in my work and my out look of projects have changed in that I am able to look at them more from a human rights perspective as opposed to needs."
"The course meet my expectations I found the discussion very informative. The only thing which did not meet expectation was interaction between students however the distance and difficulty of internet connects seems to have been the major blockage in this."
"It did meet all my expectations and made me realize that I need to learn more about human rights issues beyond child rights issues."
"The course met my expectations to a high degree."
"Reviewing the expectations I had stated in the entry survey, this course met them well."
"Overall I think the layout of the coursework was very good."
"The course met my expectations very well. Good readings, good points of views and challenging thoughts."
"I think the topics were presented in a logical manner but I would need to have another read of the materials to fully comprehend the coherence of the topics taught during the course."
"I very much appreciate that the course focused on how practically we can apply knowledge and skills to our work."
"Having worked has a child rights advocate with Save the Children for many years has influenced my starting point for this course. I have certainly learned more, and found the human rights issues at times more difficult than child rights issues."
"Prior to taking this course, my knowledge on the HRBA was mainly for the situation assessment process. I learned a lot about the HRBA in the M&E process, especially because my final group assignment was related to M&E."
"More case studies would have been useful. Things seem to be still very much theoretical and some practical examples would have been good."
" I think the pace was fine (provided one plans the necessary time resources) and it's good to have a couple of "empty weeks" when we can catch up with readings and exercises. The group work (final exercise) was definitively very motivating."
"Course readings have been very good especially the texts by Joachim Theis that my organization refers to for planning, monitoring and evaluation. Others are also good like the MDG framework, poverty eradication and human rights, the training manual etc. I find my self-referring to them even when I have completed the course."
"I liked that the course readings were from various sources including the UN and NGOs."
"I have used the Theis readings several times, and continue to refer to them, as well as Valerie Miller's."
"The readings were quite interesting and exciting for me especially the papers by Theis. I found for example, his goal - specific objectives schema very educative. Makes me realize that in using a HRBA one has to think broadly, and not just limit oneself to what your organization can do. There were other materials that I believe I would have found useful as well but frankly didn't have time to read through the whole document."
"Sometimes I could not read everything in time and adequately relate the assignments to the readings due to lack of time and work commitments. I have made print outs of most of the readings so that I can still use the readings later."
"I found the weekly discussions very rich and I was able to learn how other organizations are integrating human rights in their programming."
"These weekly discussions were very interesting and useful. Oftentimes they were more insightful than the readings!"
"Although I think it could be difficult, it would have been useful to try and create more of a dialogue at times on some of the weekly discussion topics. Students were beginning to do this - but perhaps it could have been strengthened. The feedback was always useful!"
"Not all discussions were relevant to my work, but critical reflection and sharing/learning together is always a good way of learning. In a next job I may have more possibility to also apply a HRBA."
"As with my previous course experience, much of what I learn and gain comes from the participation of others, and learning from their experiences."
"I found [the weekly discussions] to be very useful in terms of experience sharing. Once posted on the forum or sent to your email address, contributions from the various course participants give you divergent perspectives of the subject being discussed. Like many other aspects of the course I have not always been chanced to read the contributions of every one but those that I have been able to read, surely influenced me one way or the other in the way I do my work using a RBA."
"Weekly discussions could have been better moderated. It often felt that participants are just responding to the instructor's questions rather than discussing the issue at hand together. It could have been more dynamic and enriching if the instructor come in and make comments or raise additional questions during the week, not only making a summary at the end of each week. The instructor's summaries were certainly helpful, but I think it was not necessary that names of contributors were put in the summaries."
"Written assignments were very good to me. I had a serious reflection on where I did not do well and had to research more. Exercise 1 was interesting. I was caught off guard because I had not yet got the concept of HRBA well. Exercise 3 was good and I realized that I needed to research more on the treaties that have been ratified by my country, role of parliament and civil society in protecting, respecting and fulfilling human rights. I did visit the Uganda Human Rights Commission and got good information on treaties that have been ratified by my country. I am yet to visit other civil societies for more information and practical experience."
"Personally I would have liked to spend more time on the whole course. I felt at times I should have used more time to carefully read and work on the different assignments."
"I found there were not enough written assignments to fulfill my desire to have some practical experience in implementing HRBA."
"The exercises and assignments forced me to read and stimulate my thinking. Without them I wonder if I could have made time to read the course materials provided as most time I just do not seem to have the time to read other things apart from work matters."
"The final group assignment was especially useful!"
"I did participate in only one chat session but it was very useful. It was the first time I was participating in such a chat and gained confidence because I could indeed follow up the session."
"I only participated in one discussion - the first one. I found it interesting but not very easy to follow. Though I think this is more attributable to my familiarity with online chats."
"I seem to remember the one chat session that I participated in was one where the participants had much to add - this is both an advantage and disadvantage - the variety of topics can leap around to where it can be difficult to follow the thread."
"Initially, I had problem keeping pace with the speed of the chat but later on I was able to make my own contributions. Overall, I felt they were moving so fast that I could hardly managed to pass my thoughts across."
"Unfortunately I was not able to participate in any of the chat sessions."
"I did not find the chat sessions very meaningful."
"I think that we could have a smaller group to have shorter sessions. It was not very feasible/useful to be online for 1.5 hours with many participants although the idea of having chat sessions itself is great!"
"I have to say that most of the participants were very keen during the course, gave constructive feed back to assignments and I learnt a lot from them."
"I benefited a lot from the contributions of other course participants."
"Again, this is likely where I gain the most - from other participants."
"This was an important part of the course and very interesting. This provided many learning opportunities."
"This was useful - to read how others were practically using the skills!"
"I wish I could have spent more time discussing key issues with other participants. I think we had a great group of people!"
"I have to appreciate that I had an excellent instructor, who has made me to like HRBA very much. She indeed respected participants' ideas and opinion and built on them. She helped me to be critical at analyzing human rights issues. She helped me to really understand HRBP and be able to apply to my work. She has good facilitation and communication skills. The feed back I got were very personal, encouraging and at times I would think I was talking to her face to face only that her voice could not be heard."
"I think [course instructor] does a great job in giving timely feedback and in summarizing the many comments that participants have!"
"I really appreciate hard work [the course instructor] put into this course!! "
"Highly appreciated the compilation of weekly messages as introduction and as feedback and in general the positive encouragements."
"I really found the way [instructor] was "talking" to us, through weekly messages and feedback, highly motivating and thoughts provoking. She obviously analyzed very well the answers of the participants to the weekly questions and tried to provide her additional inputs on them. I find that it could however have been more critical - I had the impression that we (= course participants) were always "doing fine", "giving great inputs", etc. - but maybe it actually wasn't always the case, maybe sometimes we've been "out of the topic", could have done better, etc. - more "critical" comments from the instructor can also be helpful, I find (but maybe that's the difference between the American approach and the European approach - having studied in the States and also in Europe, I know that teachers communicate very differently to their students :o)!) I know that I would have gotten much more out of it (+ have some of my question answered, for sure) if from my side I would have participated more."
"[name of instructor] was a very helpful instructor. I really appreciate how encouraging and positive she was."
"I think [name of instructor] as an instructor/facilitator was great! I liked the lectures - simple and always linking with the past and projecting into what next to be done. I found them to be quite organized and help me keep track of what needs to be accomplished, each week. Her feedback too was very motivating. She took time to link participants' inputs to their names making them feel appreciated. She has been very responsive to questions I send to her. Hope I have another opportunity of being taught by her."
"Since this is my third course with HREA and the second one with [instructor's name] I want to reiterate my satisfaction with the method used and her capabilities as well as the feeling of openness and cooperation."
"Both the e-mail and course web site were good. I only had interruption when our Internet was down, otherwise I did not have any other problem in accessing the reading materials and mails."
"The technical components always worked very well!"
"I found the new web page very well done on all aspects and easy to use. I had no problems during the course and therefore did not answer the last question above."
"As many participants work in developing countries where the technical infrastructure for e-mail and internet may not be optimal, there were some technical obstacles at times, but in general it has worked very well!"
"All worked well and my questions were responded very quickly. Just one problem that might need to be tackled is during the chat session, every time someone posted a message, I was dragged down to the new message so that I couldn't keep reading the past messages. This made it impossible for me to catch up when I came in late."
"I didn't experience any major technical hitches throughout the duration of the course, despite being my first time doing an on-line course."
"[The course] increased my understanding of the theoretical/conceptual framework into which a human rights based approach to programming is rooted. By this I mean I have got some orientation in key international human rights instruments like the CEDAW, ESCR, CPR, CRC, etc."
"I am still refreshing my self with materials I got during the training and have been sharing with all staff on mail particularly in the areas of what RBA is, principles of RBA, and implications of adopting RBA, roles of duty bearers and human rights etc. on a monthly basis. One interesting thing that I shared with staff was the right to food that I got from the training manual and was quite useful on how we look at food. Staffs were quite appreciative from the feedback I got."
"I will be conducting a mid-project assessment of an on-going project in Sierra Leone, and I am planning on using a rights-based approach and the ideas learned from the course and case study."
"I intend to utilize the approach of the rights based model within my work as I design projects and models for our work. As we do not have a RBA program here, I hope to use what I have learned to influence how the organization that I work with approaches its work. We are developing our strategic plan next month and I hope to be able to provide valuable input into that based on what I have learned in this course."
"We are embedding materials from the course and key lessons learnt in our own training program for our 110 staff members. In addition, program and management staff will participate in an HREA training on RBA in French."
"[Will apply what I learned in] project design mainly; sharing of information with colleagues e.g through staff newsletter."
"As a result of th course will integrate child rights and the child friendly school concept (based on the CRC) into mainstream teacher education. This would require some additional CRC education sessions for teacher trainers. If possible develop in the next SDC support for Bhutan education for citizenship/democracy/good governance (proposal has been finalized)."
"This course helped me to better understand how to plan the program based on the HRBA, which I will use in my work. Now I realize that it is important to involve the program's benificiaries in planing a program in order to meet their needs."
"I anticipate developing more rights-based approach when advising the ministries in the creation of their Human rights Action-Plans, and introducing new approaches (rights-based ones) inside of the work of my unit (Central Human Rights Advisory Unit)."
"I will be incorporating the lessons into the planning and development of the new country planning program."
"As I prepared for the final project, I have already developed a Gantt chart for the project I am working on and thus contributing to making it more in line with rights-based approaches. I would also like to add that I have appreciated learning about the Gantt chart during my first HREA course (Project Development and Management in the NGO Sector) which, coupled with this course, enabled me to apply both knowledge in my work."
"HRBA cuts across many aspects of my daily work. Although I am not directly involved in project planning I already noted how much, having taken the course, it influences the way I look at things and relationships inside the office. I have found myself several times asking myself if the taken approach can satisfy a HRBA or not and how different is to look at an issue from that perspective. It is as having a pair of glasses. When you wear them you look things differently."
"In my current workplace, the course work helping me to better advise my staff in providing assistance/advice to our municipal interlocutors. It is guiding us in developing programmatic implementation plans for our advocacy work. Being better able to delineate and understand rights and responsibilities is proving a good way to make concrete recommendations. Furthermore, though not exactly in line with the course but as a by product, based on my suggestion, the Mission I work for is in the process of hiring a consultant who will come and conduct a training on human rights based budgeting."
"I want to practice what I have learned about HRBA in my work place because it will be wonderful if we can applying HRBA in our programming. I am not sure yet if I will do a training about the HRBA, but if do before I organize the training I now know that I need to first make a survey in order to know what people need, and how complete their understanding of the material is."
"I may not embark on specific activities, but there are already planned training and workshops at my workplace. I plan to use what I learned to further strengthen HRBA elements in various workshops and contribute to the design and delivery of HRBA workshops planned later this year."
"I anticipate that in my current position, I will use my newly gained knowledge of HRBA to provide training and serve as resource person for other staff on HRBA principles, resources etc."
"At global level, my organization is at the stage of preparing the ground for the top management to take the decision to mainstream an RBA into all programming and work processes. I can apply what I have been learning on the course by participating in this internal process of "brainstorming", research, concept development, etc. - providing feedback and advise, together with other colleagues. At continental level, one of my responsibilities will be to support the implementation phase there will be workshops and training organized, supporting tools developed (tailor-made to the organization), etc."
"I intend to organize a short training on HRBA for my colleagues. Use it in our assessment in to new area of work - soon to happen. Use it in the implementation of our current programmes e.g. capacity building with right claimers and duty bearers."
"I would like to thank [the facilitator] in a special way for coordinating this course effectively and keeping me updated before I started this course. This has indeed been a very useful course and has changed the way I handle projects and work with people. I have found it very empowering."
"I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to [the instructor] for having given me the best instructions on line. She was able to bring me to a level where I would look at things from a human right perspective but also cautioning me to be take it as a process with a lot of learning's to go through."
"Thanks again [instructor] and [facilitator] for giving me this wonderful learning opportunity! The group work was really useful and I hope we can keep in touch some way or another "
"I enjoyed the course, it was great to learn about what other people and organisations are doing, as well as learn about the different theories behind a RBA. Those two facets combined is what made it a good learning experience."
"I enjoyed this course as much as, and even more so, than my previous course. I think this had a lot to do with becoming more comfortable participating in an on-line course, and having an idea of what I expected and wanted to accomplish. Thanks again!"
"I think it is fantastic that this course was created, and regardless of possible shortcomings that I tried to emphasized in this evaluation, as an overall I am very happy I enrolled, and my understanding of rights based approach and my capacity to apply it to my daily work has notably improved. I have already recommended to some colleagues to enroll in the courses by HREA. Thanks!!"
"Thanks for all the hard work, both [instructor] and [facilitator], it has been a good course with a lot to learn or re-learn."
"Very successful and creative course."