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2008 Testimonials - Course 5E08: Human Rights-Based Programming

What participants said about this course:

"Rights-Based Programming was my first online distance learning course ever attended, and I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the course facilitators and fellow participants for the wealth of knowledge shared during the course of the training. The course has greatly enlightened me about the natural linkage between rights and development work, particularly regarding the added value of the human rights principles to programming in development work."

"The course was very informative in theory and was practical. The theory part enhanced my understanding and knowledge of human rights-based approach through the various reading materials, discussion forums, lecture notes and feedback from the facilitator. The practical part helped me in acquiring skills in the application of HRBA to programming."

"Overall, I very much enjoyed the course. I has been a great pleasure to be a part of it and I will certainly consider enrolling in more courses in the future. Thank you!"

"What I learnt in theory was applied through the exercises we were given as individuals and as a group. I can simply say I now see development work with human faces – faces of rights-holders and faces of duty-bearers. My approach to development work has completely changed. This course is transformative. It changes the way one perceives development."

"The course met my expectations to a very high level though, I had challenges of timing keeping up with the course timetable. I will definitely be going over all the materials again and again."

"It met my needs very well and I learnt a great deal."

"This course met many of my expectations. I hoped to learn from the diversity of experience of other participants, and certainly did so."

"This course met my expectations through building the foundation of RBA, providing me with the opportunities to exercise a framework through two exercises and group work as well as contribution to the forums."

"I have learnt much from the other participants in as much as getting to know about the HRBA terms and the application of the same in development work."

"The course met my expectations to very high degree. I am now knowledgeable on Human Rights Based Approach to programming. I feel confident to apply HRBA in my programming and also to educate others on what HRBA requires."

"I learned a lot, and I need more exercise. My knowledge needs to be applied as soon as possible."

"Quite applicable in my workplace. The topics were good, but I would have liked to dwell longer on some of them – e.g. the principles, and to probe them and ask why they are what they are."

"The course topics suited my needs. Those things I cannot get in school, I get here. The course topics were logical. We started from the basics of HRBA to application of the standards to projects. This helped in the understanding and application of the knowledge and skills in projects."

"The readings were excellent, and were good examples for further exploration of the topic areas."

"The reading was nice, but even though is was said it takes only 2.5 hours to read, it took me more time. Apparently due to my lesser knowledge about the topic, I often repeatedly read texts."

"I found all readings very interesting and would personally be interested in more suggested readings."

"The course readings were good. They made me understand the subject and even tackle the assignment questions."

"I remember very well each time I had to write an assignment, I relied on the course readings to go about my assignment."

"I mostly didn’t get through my mandatory readings in the time indicated by the instructor."

"The syntheses from [name of instructor] each week were helpful in pulling together key points. I had hoped that the course would give me food for thought and vital documents upon which I could draw in future work – it has achieved this also. The only major events that affected my enjoyment of this course were unexpected – personal illness and professional change."

"Altogether I found the readings very useful. Without the instructor’s messages they would definitely not have been as valuable as they were."

"I would have liked more interventions from [names of instructor and facilitator] when postings were made on the weekly discussions.  I think that they are such a great resource and I though that we lost momentum sometimes.  Feedback to questions posted was at the end of the week, which was useful, but I would have preferred a more constant presence of the instructor."

"I love the interactive seminar with the resource person. I think it could be more beneficial if we can have more. Also, I hope we can have a small reunion every 3 or 4 months to refresh our knowledge on HRBA."

"Essentially, it was my first experience to participate in an online course, however, I have to admit that I enjoyed it more in comparison to other courses I’ve physically attended. It has given me an opportunity to digest information and flexibly interact with participants and course dynamics, my daily workload. The only suggestion I would have for future courses would be to provide more practical exercises at the end of the course, as we had a group assignment. It provides more possibility to put into practice the knowledge and information gained through the course."

"The instructor’s messages were very good at getting the focus of the week’s learning goals right and also were helpful in identifying what to look out for in the course readings." 

"I think that if I had had more time I would have pursued more one-on-one in-depth exchanges with the other participants parallel to the learning forum."

"The quality of the chat, for me are really depending to the internet connection quality. Luckily I have a good one, but many of us, whom are in the field, who have actual information, cannot participate very well to the chat session."

"The on-line chat sessions made me feel part of the group. It brought us closer. We were able to ask questions and feel the presence of all the participants. I liked it. However, sometimes the submissions could not go through due to some technical issues I am sure."

"Course participants made me understand what goes on in other parts of the world in other cultures, including the difficulties culture can pose to the HRBA. Contributions made me learn how other programs in other countries were working to improve the lives of women, men, girls and boys and the marginalized."

"Reading all the contributions required enormous time though I gained a lot from them all. This was the part I was looking forward to most, and it met my expectations."

"Some contributions were a little difficult to understand, but if one bears in mind that there are vast cultural and linguistic differences within the group of participants it is no problem. I think it is very useful that everyone was reminded of that fact even before the course started. I must admit that I was a little disappointed with other participants' contributions at times – I felt that especially during the second half of the course the level/regularity of contributions declined, which impacted on the learning from each other/exchange experience (difficulty to take into consideration late contributions of other participants i.e. late contributions not adding very much as discussion has long moved on).

"Incidentally I didn’t have much time to ask questions but I gained from the instructor’s response to other participants questions. I would also have appreciated if the instructor gave me comments on areas for improvement or challenged the points of view I was presenting in my work/paper or posed some critical comments and gave critical remarks.  But I also feel supported, affirmed and appreciated when the instructor gave me positive comments on my work – so many thanks for inspiring us to continue!"

"I appreciate the synthesis that is made by the instuctor at the end of all the discussions each week."

"The instructor was good. She made the work simple for me to understand. I have attended an HRBA to programming workshop before, but the message was not as clear as it is now. She used participatory methods where she let us discuss a topic and then finally sums it up using our submissions. This gave me a lot of confidence."

"I must really commend [name of instructor] on her facilitation – I thought that it was absolutely outstanding, especially as it must be very challenging to give such detailed support and feedback to such a large group of online participants. I must give her 5 out of 5 on all of the above! Many thanks for all the dedication, stamina and inspiration!"

"I must commend [name of facilitator] as well on his excellent technical support. Never experienced any problems with accessing course materials or posting assignments and accessing other participants’ contributions. The only technical difficulties experienced were relating to the chat sessions – and of course it was impossible for [name of facilitator] to give each and every participant dealing with technical difficulties during the actual chat session assistance. So well done and many thanks!

"I have already begun using the course and what I have learned. I have worked with the UN gender group in Malawi, drawing on documents and guidance from [name of instructor], to come up with definitions of human rights mainstreaming, requirements for human rights training and terms of reference for an overall audit of HRBAP in UNICEF Malawi. I will continue to apply the course whilst implementing the audit and training, and in doing so am sure I will learn more."

"I will already apply [what I learned] in my next field research in Chiangmai, Thailand this coming October. What is more challanging is that getting a consensus from all in the research team to really apply HRBA for their own interest. Luckily, I can show them the materials receive from this course."

"I will be debriefing my colleagues at our retreat in September and will also be using the opportunity to further develop all of our understanding of the issues. We will try and use a RBA in all of our work."

"I will apply the knowledge in my programming. For example, for the Child Protection project that we implement, I have already indicated through one of the assignments under the Monitoring Child Rights course that I will review the project using HRBA standards. I will also, together with the Planning and Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, develop a work plan to review all projects being implemented by the organisaion and make recommendation to make them human rights responsive. During the organization's annual programme review meeting held in the first week of June, I made a presentation to staff on HRBA. The pesentation focused on 'What is HRBA, where are we and what should we do in the coming year'.  In addition, HRBA training will be organized for staff and partners."



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