Training Needs Analysis implementation: dilemmas and paradoxes (Part 5)

In respect of the detail surrounding this somewhat hurried TNA, the Indonesian Government recipient institutions highlighted their concerns around implementing IASTP III programs, and these Institutes requested detailed reviews of IASTP training. The purpose of the TNA was to provide guidance and direction on human resource training and development needs, and described the importance of taking into account the local needs of provincial and district agencies. However, it was noted that this local input failed considerably in the IASTP context (Scott, 2007), and it was specifically commented that considerably more input from local agencies and ‘on the ground’ institutes could have created a more targeted and specialized Indonesia training programs.

We note that, to support the IASTP to develop ‘targeted and specialised’ training, there exists a networking agency, Sofei[1], which can provide access to provincial reformist ‘think tanks’ and agencies working in the technical areas targeted by IASTP.  The rapid TNA uncovered many agencies in the provinces that indicated a keen desire to be involved in training by providing trainers with ‘specialised’ and ‘local’ knowledge, and we suggest that this involvement should be regarded as a valued ‘counterpart’ contribution (Scott, 2007).

Scott further notes that significant improvements in targeted and specialized training would mean that detailing the training plan, in advance of ‘tendering’ the program, would result in clearer expectations and understanding of the program outcomes for all concerned, including training providers, managing administrators, contractors and clients. Underscoring the acceptance of this approach, the TNA reported that ‘21 totally new requests have been generated from the eight provinces and 24 districts’ (Scott, 2007).

In attempting to accurately determine what training would be required in a specific area, we suggest that this would ultimately hinge on who was asked for their opinion. In this TNA case study, a very detailed description of the agencies which were involved, a list of participants invited with respect to national workplace priorities, and a review of the conduct of the IASTP III, were all included in Looking for a Way Out (Fairman, 2017). It was observed by some respondents in this review, that certain parts of Indonesia seemed to gain greater international attention, and this was particularly noted by AusAID’s interest in Nusa Tenggara Tengah. One respondent mentioned the case of Papua[2], noting that Papua had up to 27 programs with many of them duplicated and repeated by a number of countries (Scott, 2007). This led him to muse about the actual impact of donor activity:

When I went to Papua for example, there were so many donors there, for the TNA, I noticed 27 activities for donors there, they have done this for a long time but it seems like nothing changes, no significant changes. It is because of the political interests there, Papua is so rich and they keep donors, in order to maintain the relationship. For example, the state of aid is not being reduced, in terms of number, despite a lot of donors dealing with that. But the number of aid programs still increases so; What’s the impact? (Senior Trainer from Group Interview)(Scott, 2007).

This comment illustrates that expectations of responding to the TNA has little to do with actual evaluation outcomes. In this case, irrespective of any TNA initiative, the ‘donors have a vested interest in conducting their own programs’. Furthermore, the selection of participants for training is a central concern regarding the conduct of TNAs in Indonesia; in Looking for a way out, it was noted that some participants were described as being ‘training specialists’, which refers to those people who always show up for training, notwithstanding the relevance of the program to their workplace (Fairman, 2017).

[1] Find the meaning of this acronym in the Scott report

[2] We need to make the link between Papua and Indonesia in this context

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WhatsApp chat