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A total of 45 Tanoto Foundation scholarship recipients recently learned how to design and run social action projects meant to bring positive impact to their communities, during a project management workshop held in Jakarta from January 19 to 22.

With the assistance of the Tanoto Scholars Association (TSA) in their respective cities, Tanoto scholars are expected to routinely develop and implement social action projects as part of the “pay it forward” concept ingrained within their Tanoto Foundation scholarships.

Previous activities which have been run by Tanoto Scholars include voluntary teaching at elementary schools by the TSA at Mulawarman University (in Samarinda, East Kalimantan), mangrove forest reforestation efforts by TSA Medan, and book reading program by TSA Hasanuddin University (in Makassar, South Sulawesi).

The training session began with presentations delivered by representatives from each TSA about their respective social projects, which were evaluated by the entire group. Following this, the participants received lessons in program planning, implementation, and monitoring. Participants seemed to be most interested in the latter, holding discussions about how best to monitor their social projects.

“Monitoring is one of the most crucial stages during a program. The purpose of monitoring is to allow project implementers to stay on track. Without monitoring, a program may cease running altogether. However, when monitored properly, the program can be run as planned,” explained Tutuk Utomo Nurhady, the workshop trainer.

The workshop participants were also taught how to evaluate their social programs – the stage which begins after their programs start running, or even after the programs have concluded. Through evaluation, it is possible to gauge the success of the program which they have implemented.

Ismi Nurhaidah, a Tanoto Scholar from Hasanuddin University, said: “This training was very useful. Now, I know that a good program is one with specific targets to achieve, and which can benefit the community.”

According to Tutuk, some of the participants are already capable of designing good programs, which is evident from the project plans they presented during the workshop. Some participants shared that they had received knowledge transfer in this area from former Tanoto Scholars.

Participants who attend the project management workshop are expected to use the knowledge gained to plan and run their own social projects, as well as monitor and evaluate them.

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