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Francis Kyaw (2009)

Francis Kyaw

Francis Kyaw (centre)

I have been working in the International Rescue Committee – IRC Thailand since 2010 in providing legal assistance to the Burmese refugees along the Thai-Burma border. After working in the refugee setting, I moved to another field office of the IRC to work with the Myanmar migrant communities in May 2012. Currently, my work involves all sorts of organizational development actions. Firstly, I am the main facilitator for a Leadership Development Program for secondline leaders of the partner organizations of the IRC’s project called the Project for Local Empowerment – PLE in Thailand – Myanmar Border100% funded by the USAID. We have now a total of 6 Partner Development staff working with around 15 different partner organizations that focus on health, education and relief.

Secondly, as OD strategy of the PD section, the PLE project has partnered with the International College of Payap University Chiangmai in Thailand to offer one year certificate courses in Non Profit Management, Community Development and Business Administration (Finance). The PLE Project’s initiation has been a continuation of the similar project called SHIELD during that, the IRC had carried out different capacity building activities that were beneficial to the partners to some extent issuing different certification. However in the PLE, the IRC, as guarantee of its effort, would like to offer certificate that is institutionally recognized for accreditation. As it is recognized by a University, it is useful for further studies as well as for better employment opportunities.

In those certificate courses I act as the curriculum development coordinator from the IRC’s side that have to deal with the Payap University lecturers on the content, delivery, appropriateness and review and revision of the courses. The first batch was started on 27th April 2013 and completed on 30th March 2014.

The better thing we experienced in this project compared to the previous one is that, the application projects carried out during their studies have to contribute to the organization development. Therefore, the students from the same organization as well as those who have the same interest gather together and plan an activities starting from the first trimester, through the third trimester which is a time for practical implementation. Even though the students have completed their studies, they still continue their organizational development activities one after another in their own organization with the effort of the group. And as PD staff, we provide close accompaniment. The second batch will be commenced by July 2014.

Since my time in Kimmage, some of the things I reflect on as helpful include:

(firstly) my dissertation that focused on the capacity building training in development work. Due to my thesis supervisor’s support, I often thought a lot about the research process – so that when the time comes for practical action, almost every critical thinking process from my thesis supervisor came into my mind so that the service delivered will be the quality one.

Secondly, the moment of sharing experiences among students had been a memorable and fruitful one as I believe I have gained a lot of ideas for moving forward at work now upon encountering similar experiences.  The process and components of organizational development are still useful today at my work.
Sorry to be missing such a great encounter in Dublin!    Cheers Kimmage!



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