The training strategy aims to provide training to several groups of stakeholders: the national trainers, the Code implementers, people representing the media, NGOs and forest-dependent communities. The implementation of the strategy calls for the development and organization of two categories of training courses. The first is regional and the second is in-country. The regional course is designed to produce national trainers who will design, organize and help to coordinate in-country or national courses. The in-country courses, on the other hand, will be held primarily to train national Code implementers and other priority stakeholder groups involved in forest management and timber harvesting.
To help implement the regional training strategy effectively, it is essential that coordinating and implementing mechanisms are set up both at the regional and the national levels. At the regional level, there is a need for the establishment of a Regional Coordinating and Implementing Unit (RCIU) with suitable staffing and adequate financial resources to perform the following functions:
The NCIU will perform the following tasks:
The NCIU will comprise the following personnel:
CD-based training materials are designed to assist in teaching any subject with the aid of a computer. They can be used by trainers to teach various groups directly. They can also be used for interactive training at home or in the office without the physical presence of a trainer/teacher (self-teaching material). The training materials describe and explain the different topics using not only text but also pictures, drawings and sketches, graphs, video clips, animation, tables, glossaries and other help features. CDs can be viewed at any time or repeatedly, making it possible for the user to acquire knowledge in a very flexible manner.
Developing training materials on the Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting and/or RIL can have a major impact on the training of the different stakeholder groups. They can be used by trainers as a training/teaching aids for regional and in-country courses and by forest harvesting and silviculture instructors in forestry schools and colleges. For those who have participated in regional or national courses, CDs can also function as refresher or reference material. The development of the CDs can reduce the cost of preparing training material considerably by minimizing the duplication of effort among countries in producing expensive lecture notes, handouts or visual aids.
In designing and developing the CD, care should be taken to ensure that it:
To develop the CD, the RCIU should contract a firm with the following expertise:
The production of the CD will take about six months and modifications to the tutorial will have to be made after it has been tested and reviewed by selected users. Production should commence soon after the establishment of the RCIU so that it can be used for the RTCT. The RTCT will provide an opportunity for testing the tutorial and obtaining comments and suggestions from the instructors and participants.
The RTCT is a key component for the successful implementation of the training strategy, as the trainees will have a strong influence on the quality of the in-country courses. Therefore, it is essential that its development and organization are planned carefully.
The development and organization of the RTCT will be the responsibility of the RCIU. The RCIU may either undertake the RTCT itself or commission an appropriate and experienced training agency or institute. Ideally, the development of the CD and activities concerning the RCTC are conducted by the same group of people to increase efficiency.
The development and organization of the RTCT will consist of six major activities:
The selection of the national trainers will be coordinated by the government agency responsible for timber harvesting. The concerned government agency will ensure that trainers come not only from the agency itself but also from the logging industry and forestry schools and colleges.
The national trainers have a vital role to play in the organization of in-country courses, including:
It is imperative that the national trainers are selected carefully. It must be determined that once trained under the RTCT, the national trainers will remain in their training assignments for at least one year. The following criteria are recommended for the selection of the national trainers:
The selection process in each country should be carried out systematically according to the selected and agreed upon criteria. The national agency concerned with forest harvesting should create a small committee that will call for nominations from the logging industry and various institutions involved with training/teaching in forest harvesting and undertake the screening of the nominees.
In each country, the team of national trainers should consist of at least three individuals. One to serve as team leader, one to take the lead in TNA and course design and one to take charge of training material preparation and to instruct trainers/teachers on innovative and effective training/teaching methods.
A team composed of two training specialists will be needed to develop and implement the RTCT. The specific tasks include:
The following considerations should be taken into account in selecting the team:
The best way to identify a suitable team is to solicit proposals from professional consulting firms with proven track records in forestry education and training at the regional or international level.
The logical starting point for developing any training course - formal or non-formal - is to set the course objectives.
It is recommended that the course objectives focus on:
Achieving these objectives will necessitate inclusion in the RTCT of the following major topics and subtopics:
The ideal course duration would be four weeks but this can be reduced to three weeks if the time allocated to familiarize participants with the Code is shortened. There are several reasons to limit the course duration to three weeks. They include the following:
Nonetheless, it is important that a portion of the course is devoted to the Code, national codes, similar harvesting guidelines and the elements of RIL. A two- to three-day field trip to exemplify Code implementation and non-implementation would undoubtedly provide the national trainers with greater awareness and appreciation of improved harvesting.
With three national trainers per country and possibly more than 20 countries joining the course, the RTCT is expected to have more than 60 participants. Obviously, they cannot all be accommodated in just one course. The RTCT will have to be offered three to four times to ensure that the needs of all the countries are satisfied.
Using the same venue for the same course a number of times is not advisable because of high travel expenses. A preferred strategy to minimize cost is to offer the course in different sub-regions. Assuming that adequate funds are available to conduct the RTCT three times, the Asia-Pacific region can be divided into three subregions, each consisting of a similar number of countries (Table 3).
|Subregion I||Subregion II||Subregion III|
|China||Lao PDR||New Zealand*|
|India||Malaysia||Papua New Guinea|
|Republic of Korea*|
* Countries believed to already have sufficient capacities to implement the Code.
The venue can influence the smooth implementation of a course considerably, particularly courses comprising participants of different nationalities. Therefore, the selection of a course venue should be carried out with care.
The strategy recommended for the selection of an appropriate venue for the RTCT in each subregion involves the following steps:
During the selection process the potential host institutions also need to be made aware of their roles and responsibilities, such as:
The RCIU should ensure that adequate funds are provided to the host agencies or institutions to carry out their functions effectively to facilitate smooth course performances.
The successful implementation of the course depends on numerous factors, the most significant being:
The course design is the essence of the training course. It contains the knowledge that the course participants should acquire to improve their skills as national trainers. A sound course design is one in which the course contents are in perfect harmony with the skills planned for development or enhancement.
The quality of course delivery is a major determinant of the success of any course. An effective course turns the traditional teacher-student relationship into an interactive and participatory process. Knowledge is not only transmitted; it is elaborated jointly by small groups of participants under the guidance of a team of facilitators. Good course delivery stimulates participants to be more (i) attentive, (ii) serious in conducting exercises, (iii) active in discussions and (iv) interested in learning about innovations. It challenges participants and demands active involvement, which will ultimately result in the better achievement of the course objectives.
The failure of the host agency to perform its functions satisfactorily can seriously affect the delivery of the course, the schedules of lectures and group work, demonstrations and field trips, the timely distribution of course materials and other components. In the same way, the selected trainees should be qualified and properly motivated, otherwise the RTCT will be ineffective.
The keys to controlling these factors effectively are sound decision making and a good coordination strategy by the course organizer. The RCIU should be careful in selecting the team of training specialists who will prepare the course design, deliver the course and facilitate interactive teamwork. The APFC should see to it that the team selection process is based on well-conceived criteria and that the selected team fully understands its responsibilities and tasks. The progress of course preparatory work by the team should be monitored by the RCIU. These conditions also apply to selection of the host institutions to ensure that they are equipped to provide the support required for course implementation.
At the end of the course, the participants should evaluate the course for the following purposes:
The evaluation should be carried out for the RCIU. The results should be made available to the training specialists so they can make improvements for the next course.
An assessment of the suitability of the trainees sent by the countries will also be made. This assessment will be conducted by the RCIU representative and the training specialists.
The development and organization of the in-country courses will involve the following activities:
The stakeholder or key training target groups in each country will be identified and prioritized through national workshops (see also Appendix 1). The workshops, to be organized by forestry agencies, will comprise representatives of various stakeholder groups (Table 1). Groups may be prioritized according to the following criteria:
In addition to identifying and prioritizing the stakeholder groups to be trained, the national workshops/meetings can also:
Based on feedback from the RTCT, the NCIU will conduct a TNA for each of the priority stakeholder groups.
The national trainers will prepare the course designs or plans for the priority stakeholder groups in their respective countries after completing the TNAs. The designs or plans will include the following components:
To facilitate the preparation of the course design, it is suggested that national trainers use a training course organizing sheet (Table 4). The sheet, which is self-explanatory and easy to follow, is a planning tool that allows the systematic development of any training course. The NCIUs should always provide the RCIU with a copy of the design it has developed for each in-country course, for comments by the RCIU, and to share the information with other countries.
After the course design has been finalized, the instructors or resource persons selected for each topic will start preparing the training materials needed for the course. The preparation of the materials will be undertaken by the national trainers based on knowledge they have acquired from the RTCT. Instructors or resource persons designated to handle some of the topics in the course who have not participated in the RTCT will be guided by the national trainers so they have appropriate training materials for the course.
|Technical coverage and resources needed|
|Course topics||Resource persons||Time allocation||Teaching method||Course handouts||Equipment needed|
|Activities||Schedule||Things to see||Coordinator||Resource persons||Transport|
|Social events and other activities|
|Calendar/programme of activities|
For each course, a group of support staff shall be formed to carry out, inter alia, the following functions:
The NCIU should ensure that all members of the group fully understand their respective roles in the course before the course begins.
As for organizing regional courses, criteria must be used in the selection of course venues. The following criteria are suggested for the selection of suitable venues for in-country courses:
The NCIU will serve as the coordinating unit for all the in-country courses. The NCIU, with the assistance of support staff, will ensure that all resource persons, training materials, equipment, supplies and services are available at the correct time. The NCIU should see to it that one of its members is available daily to take action on problems that may arise during training courses.
Post-course evaluations will be carried out for each in-country course by the NCIU for the same reasons that an evaluation is proposed for the RTCT.
The results of the evaluation are used as a guide by the NCIU to improve the design and implementation of other in-country courses.
The integration of the Code in formal forest harvesting and silviculture courses offered by forestry schools and colleges in the Asia-Pacific region is a tactic that contributes to awareness and support for the Code. If the Code becomes part of the curriculum, all students will gain substantial knowledge about improved forest harvesting, which they can apply later as officers of government and private entities in forestry.
There are many institutions in the Asia-Pacific region, which offer education in forestry at the professional and technical levels. If the Code can be integrated successfully in the curricula of these institutions, each country in the region will have a large pool of human resources that is not only aware of but also supportive of the Code.
The institutions that will be targeted for integration can be classified into four major categories:
A logical approach to promoting integration is to bring the matter to the attention of the Asian Network for Forestry Education (ANFE), which is coordinated by the Regional Office of FAO in Bangkok. Furnishing each member of ANFE with a copy of the CD could help stimulate the integration of the Code in existing courses.
Sharing of training resources among the different countries would prevent costly duplication of efforts and help to reduce the funding requirements of in-country courses. Examples of training resources that can be shared are course designs, audio-visual aids (e.g., slides, transparencies, films, video clips, etc.), course handouts and even human resources.
To facilitate sharing, the RCIU will make a collection of course designs, audio-visual aids and course handouts that have been developed by different countries. It will prepare a database for the collection from which information on training resources available for sharing can be elicited. It will disseminate information contained in the database and duplicate and dispatch training resources needed by the different countries. It is recommended that the database be made accessible to the different countries through the Internet to facilitate dissemination of its information.
Even the best-planned strategy will be worthless if the countries concerned cannot implement it due to lack of suitable human and financial resources. To ensure that the strategy can be realized, it is necessary to consider funding. Possible funding sources are:
Since domestic funds are scarce among most countries in the region, and loans are often acquired for projects that are perceived to have more urgency, funds for the training strategy can only be expected to come in the form of grants from benevolent donors, although it is expected that the private sector will also contribute.
Donor agencies, which have established track records in providing financial assistance for projects of a similar nature in the region, include:
Resource-poor countries can negotiate directly with donors for such financial and technical assistance. However, in the case of Code implementation, it may be more effective if an international/regional agency, such as FAO or APFC, serves as a broker to facilitate the negotiations between donors and countries. One significant advantage of a broker is that it can negotiate simultaneously with a pool of donors to support a common activity, such as training, which is undertaken by several countries in separate but coordinated ways.