Nigeria: Innovative Approach to Developing Trainers for the Banking Sector
The Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC), IFC Nigeria, and the Forum are developing a training program for bank directors and senior managers in Nigeria. The goal is to build a team of local trainers who will roll out the Forum’s Corporate Governance Board Leadership Training Resources, its Governing Banks supplement and the accompanying localized curriculum in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Nigeria is also the first country to pilot the “mentored” approach to the Forum’s ToT program. After participating in the Forum’s standard four-day training of trainers (ToT) program in May 2011, the trainers facilitated a workshop in September 2011 for FITC staff, board members, and other business leaders. Working in pairs, the trainers conducted four-hour sessions using modules from the localized curriculum. Two Forum master trainers—an adult-learning specialist, and a corporate governance expert—provided guidance and in-depth feedback on the trainers’ performance, acting as “mentors” or “coaches.”
The final step of the mentored program will be a three-day advanced ToT workshop, where the trainers will share with one another the lessons they have learned from using adult-learning methodologies. They will also receive additional feedback from the Forum’s master trainers
Alison Dillon Kibirige, a Forum master trainer working on the Nigerian initiative, describes a mentored ToT as “an important addition to the learning process, enabling the trainer to try out the methodology and techniques that she or he has learned in a semi-safe environment where the master trainers provide support and encouragement.” She adds, “It is like being thrown in the deep end with a life raft.”
Brenda Bowman, an adult learning expert, says, “Conducting participatory training is exciting but challenging for the new trainers. It takes skill to engage adult learners and provide them the space to share their knowledge while all the time keeping the session on track. The benefits of the mentored approach can include speedier adaptation and the reduced likelihood of frustration and failure.”
Following the “mentored” session in September 2011, the trainers then used modules from the localized curriculum, plus their newly honed trainers’ skills, to deliver real-life training to fee-paying clients for FITC’s Annual Continuous Education Programme for Directors of Financial Institutions.
“The Forum’s use of the experiential learning cycle has an impact on building leadership skills for change and influencing directors’ behavior in board and board committee processes,” says Lucy Newman, chief executive officer of FITC. “The overall objective is to be effective advocates for implementing corporate governance. The mentored training provides optimal feedback—that’s essential for continued improvement in preparing training material and enhancing delivery."
Example: Risk Assessment Exercise
ToT participants in Nigeria divided into six groups. Each group identified three key risks and their impact on an institution of their choosing. The six institutions chosen were a bank, a regulator, FITC, an insurance company, a GSM company, and a furniture manufacturing company. “This wide variety of institutions generated many issues, insights, and heated debate,” says one participant evaluation. “The exercise demonstrated the learning process that best works for adults.”
Victor Odozi, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, participated in ToT workshops in Lagos in May and September 2011. He offered these observations:
“My experience in TOT has confirmed the relevance and efficacy of the experiential learning cycle. Before I was exposed to this methodology, I was accustomed to ‘lecturing and informing’ participants at seminars and workshops without adequately engaging them or eliciting their own ideas. Furthermore, I had wholly embraced the craze of seamless PowerPoint presentations, such that they dominated my sessions and supplanted the facilitator instead of being merely a technological aid!
The mentored TOT, by contrast, not only ‘empowers’ trainers but it also facilitates the alignment of training objectives with participants’ expectations and preferences. I am grateful for this opportunity to hone my adult-training skills. Whatever success that I achieved, it was due not only to my hard work and adequate preparation but also to the resource materials and mentoring guidance I had received from the IFC experts, who demonstrated uncommon willingness to accommodate my suggestions.”