SPECIAL FEATURES OF TRAINING
Concepts and Attitudes
Many participants come to programmes with negative mindsets and beliefs that micro finance cannot work in Uttar Pradesh. That it is successful only in South or West India, and given the socio-political conditions of their area, it is futile to take it seriously. The first day of a programme is therefore, usually devoted to brainstorming on concepts with experience sharing, role plays and free flow of ideas among all participants. Such interactive experience is found to be immensely useful for initial orientation.
Open and Intensive Field Learning
Field based learning is perhaps the strongest component of a programme. The participants are divided into small groups having a clearly defined yet open agenda for interaction. The group members are also split into small groups. During interaction every participant can thus have an informal talk to his/her heart's content. They are also encouraged to talk about the problems and challenges faced by group members including negative experiences in the past. Towards the end, selected participants and group members narrate the overall observations and feelings. Every such interaction becomes a source of inspiration and/or empowerment for both the hosts and the visitors.
Special Exercises in Accounts
From our meetings and visits to groups formed by earlier participants, accounts-keeping methods were found to be very poor and often responsible for malfunctioning of groups. In our training programmes, therefore, considerable emphasis is placed on learning these through practical exercises. Simplified accounting systems have been evolved so that locally paid accountants can handle the job with ease.
This has often been described as one of the most important components of a programme. A process of self reflection done collectively enables participants to examine and express their views on issues associated with their goals, values and perspectives of development and change. With proper facilitation this has the potential of bringing about significant change in the mindset of participants. Discussion on human values is usually the basis for such interaction.
Winding Up Test
Towards the end of every programme a simple oral test is conducted in the form of a quiz. This enables the participants to self evaluate themselves and clarify any remaining doubts that they may have.