From January 16 to 21, 2017, the staff of the African Water Association took part in a training workshop on project management. A 5-day training course that was more practical than theoretical. It focused on the use of a piece of Microsoft Suite software exclusively dedicated to planning, monitoring and evaluating projects, namely MS Project. This training workshop, which is in its second edition, is part of the series of capacity building sessions initiated by the AfriCap program, a USAID-funded program with a component focusing on “building the capacities of AfWA to enable it to formulate, coordinate, adapt and harmonize WASH policies in West Africa“.
From principles of basic use to essential tools and functionalities, participants in this training, including the Executive Director of AfWA, became cognizant with the environment of this piece of software, thanks to hands-on exercises. Once the initiation stage was completed, the other modules included task planning, resource planning, and cost planning from the MS Project software, based on a case study. The last stage of the training focused on the monitoring / evaluation of a project in order to identify the critical paths and above all the levels of achievement compared to the planning duly established at the beginning of the project.
This training responds to an urgent need, especially since the African Water Association is conducting large-scale projects and programs which are often audited by their donors. The use of this piece of software in business planning and monitoring and evaluation would ensure a computerized and better structured management of these projects. Such an approach contributes to improving the credibility of AfWA with its technical and financial partners in search of reliable organizations for the coordination and implementation of their activities. The training was provided by the Cabinet CICF of Mali through USAID West Africa, the main technical partner of the African Water Association in the implementation of the AfriCap program.