On the Road with InsideNGO in Bangkok
On the Road with InsideNGO in Bangkok
My five favorite takeaways from Inside NGO Week: Bangkok (#BangkokWeek)
Two weeks ago, I joined InsideNGO’s events manager and seven InsideNGO trainers in Bangkok for InsideNGO Week: Bangkok. InsideNGO Weeks are week-long events with four or more trainings in one location and opportunities for networking with other NGO professionals. Participants come from all over the region and world to learn, share, and collaborate. Often these weeks also include member events for the InsideNGO members in attendance.
This was my first time attending an InsideNGO Week, and it was great to see the benefit of these training weeks for our members and larger NGO community first-hand. We offered seven workshops on a range of topics – everything from compliance to financial management to project management – and the participants were diverse in both profession and country from which they were attending. This is always true for our InsideNGO Weeks, but particularly so in cities that are hubs for geographic regions. Which brings me to the first of my top five takeaways…
1) Bangkok is truly an international hub. With its convenient location and ease of access, Bangkok Week drew participants from India, the Middle East, and all over Southeast Asia: Myanmar, Laos, Hong Kong, Cambodia, the Philippines, and other parts of Thailand. A couple attendees remarked on how great it was to be able to meet individuals working for INGOs in nearby regions. In the words of Amanda Mowry, program manager at Partners Asia in Thailand, “I have had so many opportunities to network with people while here. It’s been a great opportunity to meet people working at other local NGOs here in Thailand as well as INGOs from neighboring countries.”
2) Our participants and members love having multiple InsideNGO trainings in one week and one location. I spoke to many participants while in Bangkok, and almost everyone remarked on how much easier it was to attend multiple related trainings when they were held back-to-back in a region close to them. “Taking USAID Rules & Regulations and Procurement Planning & Execution back-to-back is like hitting two birds with one stone, as I only have to fly here once. Also, you get to see the coherence of the two courses and understand the whole concept of proposal development by not having any gap days in between them,” explained Maria Anna Francesca Coronel from The Asia Foundation, Philippines.
It’s been extremely convenient to be able to take PMD Pro 1: The Essentials of Project Management and Monitoring & Evaluation during InsideNGO Week: Bangkok. I travel a lot and have a busy schedule, so not having to travel to two locations for these important workshops is crucial.
Amanda Mowry, Program Manager
3) InsideNGO trainers are seasoned experts in their field. To be fair, I already knew this about our trainers, but watching them in action and seeing how they adapt the learning to participants’ needs gave me a new appreciation for their caliber. The number one thing I heard from participants of Bangkok Week was how much they appreciated and respected the knowledge of our experienced trainers. A full video about InsideNGO Weeks is coming soon and will feature more snippets from inside the training rooms, but for those of you who haven’t experienced one of our workshops, see a quick snapshot from the training room of Shannon Meehan speaking about the research phase of proposal development:
You’ll have to attend a workshop to hear more from her and our other trainers!
4) NGOs are increasingly worried about getting and keeping funding. In the increasingly unstable environment surrounding US funding, INGOs are understandably concerned about how they will acquire new funding and stay in the best possible standing to continue receiving new funding. Many of the workshops offered at InsideNGO Week: Bangkok directly address these organizational needs, and luckily, they are courses we offer all the time and all over the world: USAID Rules & Regulations, Proposal Development, Cost Proposal: How to Build the Budget, Procurement Planning & Execution, Financial Management, and more. See all upcoming workshops.
The trainers are so great. They make the trainings come alive so that we can capture all the material – not just the hard copy material, but the sample cases. They give both a summary and detailed explanation of everything we need to know.
Evy Akmal, Administration Manager
KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation
5) It’s not just the trainings, but also the networking opportunities, that InsideNGO Week participants value. Our reception Tuesday night on the pool deck of the Amari Watergate Bangkok had close to 100% attendance rate from the participants, as everyone was anxious to meet each other and unwind after the first busy two days of trainings. It’s here and at the coffee breaks during the week that participants get to swap stories and shared issues with each other, and make connections that they can draw on later to share best practices and information.
Marie Stopes International Chief of Party Arjun Aryal, commented “the beautiful thing about these weeks is that most of the participants and trainers are residing at the same hotel where the trainings are being held, so we’ve been utilizing all our off-time to network with people, people from around the world who are here this week for the same reason.”
See more videos and photos from InsideNGO Week: Bangkok by searching the hashtag #BangkokWeek on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Learn more about InsideNGO Weeks and see which are coming soon here. Also, we’re back in Bangkok this May with two new workshops we did not offer this March. See events below for more detail!