In order to help respond to training needs, AFRICA LEAD has developed a database of non-degree short courses offered primarily by African institutions but also offered by institutions in the US and in other participating countries. Africa Lead also provides logistical and financial support to attend these ad-hoc technical trainings to help agriculture counterparts achieve their CAADP and agriculture and food security goals.
Organizations face many difficulties in building their human resource capacity. Training is an important tool for raising awareness, increasing knowledge, and improving individual and institutional performance, but often there is limited knowledge of the supply of courses available to address capacity gaps. Finding the appropriate course at an institution that delivers high-quality instruction can be daunting. Many training institutions and universities on the African continent offer courses, but this information cannot be easily accessed by the many organizations looking for specific training opportunities for their staff. In addition, many courses are not adequately publicized outside the host training institution. Thus the need exists for an easily accessible, searchable warehouse of information on available trainings.
Africa Lead addresses the mismatch between dynamic market demands for training in agriculture and the actual supply of training solutions. Because capacity building is a long-term process, Africa Lead’s approach to this task is to build a short course database that will be largely self-sustaining by the end of the program. The Africa Lead database aims to achieve the following impacts:
- Increased Awareness of Courses Offered: Africa Lead identifies available courses at universities and training organizations in West, East, and Southern Africa, as well as relevant courses elsewhere in the world, and inputs this into a dynamic, interactive database that can be easily updated. This increases access to information and strengthens the ability of organizations to source information on what institutions and training courses are available and the location of those organizations and course schedules.
- Knowledge about Training Institutions and the Quality of Services: Africa Lead ensures that courses in the database are high quality and are applicable to the needs of African leaders. Organizations requiring training services will have access to verified data on the quality of the short courses and capacity of the training institutions offering services.
- Matchmaking tool for the design of new training courses and for sending professionals on short-term courses: The database provides a targeted directory of options for those seeking training and education in areas critical to CAADP implementation. Capacity gaps and individuals needing training are identified through assessments, leading institutions to either seek a short course or design an appropriate training program to respond to their needs. In collaboration with USAID Missions, Africa Lead provide the funding and support for African agriculture professionals to attend external short courses.