A framework for evaluating research management training with an application to University of Manitoba Research Management Workshop graduates
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The purpose of this study was to develop a model for evaluating management training and to apply the model by using it to evaluate the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Research Management Workshop at the University of Manitoba. The role of human resource development (HRD) through training is recognized as one of the critical components of development strategies. While the role of HRD is expanding, so too are expectations for its effectiveness, poWer, and worth. As organizations invest more and more in HRD, there is a need for comprehensive and effective evaluation approaches. Evaluation of training is defined as a systematic process of collecting and assessing information about a training activity which can be used for guiding decision making, and determining its relevance, effectiveness, and impact. Evaluation of training, like any project evaluation, can be categorized into three main stages; ex-ante, on-going, and ex-post evaluation. Ideally, evaluation should be conducted at each of the three stages during a training activity... Given that IDRC channels considerable resources to this project every year, and also, given that participants take two and one half weeks of their time to attend this workshop, it was important to evaluate the workshop in terms of its relevance and applicability to the African context. Information from the evaluation would help the funders in making decisions about carrying on with the project, expanding or terminating it. African graduate students get this unique opportunity to acquire managerial skills which are not normally taught in their graduate program. It was important to determine whether or not they were getting the most out of this opportunity by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the program through an evaluation. Information from the evaluation could be used to improve the program... The evaluation aimed at finding out whether there was evidence to justify continuation of the workshop, and if yes, what the modifications, if any, should be. There was no attempt to assess the impact of the workshop at either the individual level or institutional level because it is difficult to attribute changes to a particular course when so many other factors are at play. Although desirable to collect that kind of information, an approach like that was well beyond the resources available to this study... The basic objective of this study was to develop a model for evaluating research management training. Although the model was only partially tested on a group of students who went through the University of Manitoba Research Management Workshop, the model may have a much wider application. The model provides a basis for a more comprehensive evaluation and suggestions for further research are made in this regard in the last chapter.