Monday, 6 July 2015

Oh Oh Den Haag!

Last week I had the privilege of participating in two short training courses at The International Confederation of Midwives in The Hague.  Excellently facilitated by Tracey Phillips from Southern Hemisphere the courses were 'Theory of Change' and 'Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation'.

Tracey Phillips from Southern Hemisphere (left) with Franka Cadee (KNOV) and Synne (ICM) out on the town!
It's impossible to sum up the wealth of helpful information and practical strategies communicated, but everything I have learned will be immediately useful in my work as Global Professional Advisor for the Royal College of Midwives.  Theory of Change will allow us to ensure that we have carefully considered all the assumptions underpinning our global programmes and partnerships and that our project planning is robust.  Results-based M&E will ensure that we can measure the outcomes of what we do, collect the right information at the right time and report on it appropriately.  There is much work to do in setting up our systems but I feel confident that we can do it and am so grateful for this opportunity to take a step back and reflect, discuss with like-minded others and learn new knowledge and skills for the future.
Working out a Theory of Change!
 It also gave me a chance to work closely with colleagues from the International Confederation of Midwives, the Dutch and German Midwives' Associations and members of civil society organisations and think tanks.  We enjoyed wonderful lunches (pomegranate and pineapple salad with feta was a revelation!) and had some fun evenings exploring the beach and culture of The Hague.

Theory of Change workshop - participants from France, Zimbabwe, Norway, The Netherlands, Ghana, America, Germany, Afghanistan, Malawi and the UK!

I stayed in an excellent B&B called 'Oh Oh Den Haag!' which is also the name of a famous Dutch Song about the city which, according to my friend Anita Willemse, needs to be sung in a cheesey Den Haag accent!  The B&B was cheaper than a hotel, much more friendly and came with my own bike to explore the city and a delicious breakfast in the garden every morning.  Highly recommended for any other ICM visitors or holiday makers.

Jolande, landlady of the B&B with her bicycle
It's time for a week's holiday but I shall be returning to work next week with a sense of enrichment and solidarity, feeling very blessed.

Participants for the Results-Based M&E Course

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