Improving project management hard and soft skills


From 9 until 13 March, Project Management experts Rui Santos and Miriam Frijns taught staff from IPRC’s (Integrated Regional Polytechnic Centers) and, Universities in Rwanda about the importance of combining hard and soft skills in project management. The training was the first Project Management Skills training combining both skills in the framework of the SEAD- and SEAD-West projects (Sustainable Education for Agriculture Development).

This first edition of the Project Management Skills training combined traditional project management tools with effective use of soft skills. Both contribute to effective management of projects. The combination of project management hard skills with communication, stakeholder engagement and presentations (soft skills) provided the group with a new angle to previous organized courses by SEAD.

The training was based on the Glassers’ learning approach that highlights the importance of doing and teaching others an effective strategy to capture knowledge. The course days were split between theoretical content and discussions in the morning and group work in the afternoon. The work produced in the afternoon was presented the following morning which would then be discussed in-dept. Topics and tools that were discussed were logic models, analytical tools box, planning tools box, monitoring tools box and the evaluation tools box.

The participants were guided through the training and this defined structure made sure the participants compiled a full-project proposal by the end of the training.

To end on a positive note and to motivate the participants to take the new gained knowledge home and implement it, they were asked to identify three individual outcomes.

  • Revelation aspect: the outcome that was a revelation
  • Love aspect: the outcome you want to learn more about
  • Grow aspect: the outcome that requires further development to be able to apply correctly

Throughout this and previous project management trainings the participants have shared a substantial amount of good practices and wrong doings that should be avoided. The experience gained has a great learning value and can be exploited both from the management and pedagogical perspective.

Both projects contributes to sustained food security in Rwanda by meeting national needs for education, research and technology transfer in agricultural production, value chain management and agribusiness.

Nuffic Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme. Nuffic OKP contributes to a society’s sustainable and inclusive development by providing access to education and training for professionals and organisations in technical vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education. It is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of its development cooperation policy. The subsidy programme is managed by Nuffic, a Dutch non-profit organisation for internationalisation in education. It offers funding for long-term, demand-driven partnerships between Dutch knowledge institutions and organisations in 19 participating countries, as well as individual scholarships and Tailor-Made Trainings in all 53 selected countries. The € 195-m, five-year programme ends mid-2022, enabling tens of thousands to change their future. From the Dutch development cooperation policy, 4 priority themes have been selected on which to focus in the programme: Food and Nutrition Security; Water, Energy and Climate; Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; and Security and Rule of Law. Cross-cutting themes in this programme are inclusion, employability and environmental sustainability.