emBOLDen Alliances’ Team Members conducting First Aid Train-the-Trainer Sessions in Nepal



Prompted by the 2015 earthquake, a Nepalese organization wanted to integrate safety and basic First Aid into their work on Education, but did not have the expertise to do so. Through a partnership with emBOLDen Alliances, both organizations were able to successfully implement a Train-the-Trainer Program for teachers in remote areas to learn and practice First Aid.


How can we develop and implement a new activity without having the relevant experience?


Following the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal, a local organization whose mission was supporting education in remote areas recognized that children’s health and safety is a critical and integral part of quality education. Under normal circumstances, local health posts are sparse and difficult to access, and thus, healthcare is extremely limited.  This situation is made all the more dire in times of crises, such as the April and May earthquakes. To enhance the ability of communities to address their own health and safety needs, the organization wanted to create and deliver basic first aid care and preventive health education. As the organization had little experience in these topics, the leaders approached emBOLDen Alliances for assistance in creating and implementing an appropriate plan to train teachers on First Aid and health and hygiene education.


  • How can we devise and implement a First Aid train-the-trainer for teachers in remote areas?

  • Can and how do we build this sustainably?

  • How do we incorporate Monitoring and Evaluation to ensure follow through and continuation of the Training?


emBOLDen Alliances began the partnership guided by our first principle – listening. By working to understand the background context, current situation, and vision, EA was able to formulate a plan that both fit the organization’s self-identified needs and was appropriate for the local settings. The partnering organization was highly motivated and open to ideas, and consequently the partnership was truly collaborative – the organization and EA shared resources and jointly created several components together, including the Training Curriculum itself. EA also assisted in developing a detailed implementation plan, clear and accurate budgets, a Monitoring and Evaluation framework, and a reporting structure.


Working together and walking village to village – often for days at a time – the local partner organization and EA equipped 71 teachers and 9 student assistants from 15 schools serving 4,500 students with First Aid and preventative health and hygiene training.  A particularly unique aspect of this training was the emphasis on practical skills and assessment labs for participants to roll up their sleeves, demonstrate their knowledge, share with others, coordinate within a team, and practice newly-learned skills. In addition to the training, each school received a First Aid kit, portable stretcher, health education posters, a log book to record First Aid kit use, notebooks containing health and hygiene education information, Curriculum translated into Nepali, and a Certificate of Completion.

Even while the program was still in progress, the partner and EA began receiving feedback on their training series, including that this was the best training teachers had received in more than 25 years, and that teachers were eager for additional training as well as for their peers across the region to receive similar training. In addition, information and knowledge is already being shared far beyond the circle of training participants, with First Aid principles and health and hygiene practices being adopted widely among teachers, students, their families and their communities. Having experience with Train-the-Trainer programs in many countries and in many contexts, emBOLDen Alliances is thrilled to see evidence that that experience is effecting widespread impact and positive change in Nepal.


In reflecting on their work with eA and their ability to extend the program beyond the scope of our partnership, the organization’s Education Development Manager noted:

“I am personally proud and thankful to emBOLDen for successfully leading [us] during the Post Earthquake First Aid Training Program and encouraging us that the program could be carried out in long run with a better and sustainable approach on our own lead. Truly, the value that emBOLDen carries on assisting the partner organization to achieve their local mission is highly praise worthy. I still recall how nervous I had personally been before the training… But [their] motivation and guidance filled all the enthusiasm in me and made me believe I could facilitate [it].” 

 Having experience with Train-the-Trainer programs in many countries and in many contexts, emBOLDen Alliances is thrilled to see evidence that: 1) this work is effecting widespread impact and positive change in Nepal, and 2) local organizations are able to carry their new knowledge and skills forward, and proactively replicate and adapt programs as they see most appropriate with their communities.

Implementation & Sustainability


An organization providing access to healthcare in East Africa had an excellent program model, implementation plan, and community connections but recognized that they did not yet have the necessary experience, resources, and tools to pilot and scale an organization with maximum impact. With help from emBOLDen Alliances on operations, programs, partnerships, grantwriting, and GIS mapping, the organization is completing its first phase successfully and is now looking toward expansion.


What tools, resources, and guidance can we utilize to develop an effective and efficient pilot program that will allow us to maximize impact and scale well?


A new organization well integrated in several communities had a very strong mission, vision, model, and implementation plan, and had completed a comprehensive needs assessment for their program. Additionally, leadership had laid the groundwork with community members, strengthened existing ties and fostered new ones, and secured critical community ownership. However, the organization self-identified areas for improvement including program design, operational efficiency, Monitoring and Evaluation, grantwriting, and leadership. This organization approached emBOLDen Alliances for assistance in those areas. Together, the organizations discussed partnership details, defined a concrete Scope of Work, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, and collaboratively started to solve problems and move forward.


  • How do we write up our Program Framework in a useful and meaningful way?

  • How do we write our next grant more effectively?

  • What should we consider in data collection and analysis for our program as well as for reporting and visual presentation of results and impact?


As with every partner, emBOLDen Alliances began by listening to this organization – their self-identified strengths, weaknesses, and challenges. Following an initial face-to-face discovery meeting, EA and its new partner outlined an action plan complete with deliverables and timelines for both parties. As this partner was a very motivated and committed organization, this partnership with EA was very effective in reviewing, revising, and implementing new frameworks, policies, and practices in a timely, progressive, communicative fashion. In addition, EA lent its skills and expertise to address other organizatonal desires such as methods of creating institutional memory, networking with peer individuals and organizations, and evaluating partnerships.


With this support, the partner organization launched their program in 2015 with the confidence that all of the necessary elements were in place, including:

  • Strategic and Programmatic Frameworks for Years 1 and 2

  • A comprehensive Monitoring and Evaluation plan designed to be a working, living guide used in coordination with program frameworks and grantwriting

  • An understanding of how to analyze data from the local Ministry of Health and supplement it effectively

  • Clear financial alignment with budgets

  • Multiple grant application submissions

  • Plans for scaling across the region

Moreover, in reflecting on our partnership, our partner reports that the strategic planning process helped them to frame their program goals in a more productive way, and that staff now have a clearer idea of what they are trying to achieve and how best to monitor progress toward those goals. They also feel more confident in their ability to measure impact and improve outcomes – demonstrable results that will attract more funding moving forward. Ultimately, all of these newly acquired and improved skills and resources have enabled EA’s partner organization to launch its program – and its organization – and they are now effectively facilitating access to lifesaving healthcare in remote areas of East Africa.

Transition of Leadership

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A community-based organization working in West Africa wanted to  shift leadership, program management and decision-making from its origin and base in the United States to in-country staff, but was very uncertain if and how to proceed. With support and guidance from emBOLDen Alliances, they were able to thoroughly assess the viability of this change, successfully begin the transition process, and effectively support the local leadership along the path.


Can we effectively transition from US- to local-leadership?


The organization self-identified a number of challenges:

  • The board was fatigued by long-distance management and constant fundraising.
  • Funds were dwindling.
  • Board members were uncertain about the way forward, for example, whether to invest more in the organization and, if so, how much and for how long.
  • The board felt strongly that programs should be run locally, with the US entity re-organizing to provide awareness, fundraising, and support.
  • The board had identified an in-country Executive Director with a strong academic background and significant experience. In addition, he lived in one of the organization’s community of operations, and thus understood local needs and community members well. However, this skilled individual needed more project management skills and resources.

The combination of these complex challenges prompted the organization to seek assistance from emBOLDen Alliances with the goal of creating and implementing a clear path of progress and stability.


  • Can we survive this transition? If so, how and over what timeframe?

  • How much funding and what types of additional direct support are necessary to help the local leadership?

  • What are the priorities in managing an effective transition?


emBOLDen Alliances began by listening to both the US and in-country leaders to understand their concerns, needs, and challenges, and what each saw as the way forward. From these discussions, EA was able to outline and implement tailored starting points, including a 3-year transition plan with defined inputs, essential ingredients needed for an effective grant application, and how their current strategic plan that was underway fit into the transition.


The organization began its transition to local leadership and programs are still running. Using a transition plan as a guide, the Board, Staff, and integral Volunteers have established priorities, roles, and responsibilities for moving forward within the new structure. Staff is also utilizing EA’s guidance around essential ingredients for grants and programs as a platform from which to build local capacity to the level required for sustainability.

Revamping Short-Term Medical Missions

Revamping Short-term Medical Missions


A US-based hospital organization running short-term volunteer medical trips to developing countries self-identified a need for greater clarity around objectives, community engagement and demonstrated impact. Through partnership with emBOLDen Alliances, the organization has been able to revamp its program to meet these goals, and will be able to operate with greater accountability and efficiency.


  • How do we re-structure our program to be more meaningful and accountable?

  • What tools do we need to achieve this?


A hospital organization based in the US was operating short-term medical mission trips in five developing countries, but learned that stakeholders involved at all levels – from volunteers and donors to the CEO – wanted a deeper understanding of the long-term objectives of the activities within these countries, as well as greater demonstration of their impact. In addition, leadership asked that these programs operate more strategically as well as demonstrate clearly the core values of the hospitals involved. The organization approached emBOLDen Alliances to assist in refining one of its country programs, identify and progress toward a targeted direction, and clearly demonstrate and align goals


  • How can we build a program that meets the needs of all stakeholders: volunteers, hospital admininistration, executive staff, clinical staff, community members, and partner hospital facilities?

  • How can we operate more accountably and effectively?


emBOLDen Alliances believes in listening and understanding before acting. As such, EA began this partnership with stakeholder engagement, bringing all interested actors to the table and listening to the experiences and perspectives of each. From there, EA was able to help the organization formulate and implement the direction forward through a concrete Scope of Work, appropriate deliverables, and regular meetings.


There were notable outputs as well as strong outcomes as a result of our partnership. The partner reports having created and/or improved:

  • Strategic and Programmatic Frameworks

  • Volunteer Management Tools

  • Monitoring and Evaluation, including Data Collection and Analysis

  • Definition of Program Scope and Objectives, as well as responsiveness to current and ongoing incidents

  • Internal Communication and Reporting mechanisms

Additionally, EA helped the organization to develop deployment documents and corresponding communication tools for participating volunteers, improve team structure, and enhance reporting and communication processes following each trip. Moreover, EA helped develop a structured response within the program in order to respond to patient outcomes, build sustainability, enhance community engagement, and elevate standards of care. Ultimately, EA was able to help this partner professionalize operations and programs toward increased organizational structure and meaningful impact.