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Basics of Peer to Peer mentoring programme and the role of Senior Professionals/Coaches - YPARD mentoring programme


Welcome of the YPARD peer to peer mentoring programme. While traditional mentoring processes focus on the benefits derived for the junior mentor, from the experience of the senior mentor, YPARD is looking to promote a 2-way mentoring process which benefits both subjects who are possibly of the same age group. 


Basics of Peer to Peer mentoring programme

Welcome of the YPARD peer to peer mentoring programme. While traditional mentoring processes focus on the benefits derived for the junior mentor, from the experience of the senior mentor, YPARD is looking to promote a 2-way mentoring process which benefits both subjects who are possibly of the same age group. 

This programme, which has both coaching and mentoring components, will provide great opportunities for learning; effective questioning that brings insight, fuels curiosity, and cultivates wisdom and networking. The programme will aim at providing a platform for the young professionals to continuously interact with each, guide and support each other, and provide coaching on ARD issues and thereby influencing more young professionals become more engaged in ARD at different levels and capacities. The mentoring programme is structured in the following stages:

*Note: ASSESS: this is the 0th stage where
prospective participant’s asses their mentoring needs before proceeding to the
1st stage

  1. APPLY: - Prospective
    participants will fill in an online application form from the YPARD website
    after going through the 0th* stage.
  2. ACCEPTANCE: On completion, a notification is
    sent to the Administrator and Facilitator who adds the person on the online
    platform. This automatically goes to an online database of peers, with detailed
    profiles. Only qualified applicants
    will be added to the online applicants, those who don’t qualify will be sent an
    automatic regret response.
  3. PEERS: A notification is sent to the
    successful applicant to join the online platform membership and can start
    contributing on the discussion board.
  4. SELF MATCH: From the online platform, peers
    self match, selecting the best match (based on their needs); their profile
    information changes to indicate who their peer(s*). (*- you can have a maximum of two peers at any one time in the
    mentoring relationship
  5. LEARNING AGREEMENT: After self matching, the
    facilitator/administrator requests the peers to develop and submit a learning
    agreement for record keeping. Read below and see Appendix 2 for the contents of
    a learning agreement.
  6. CLUSTERS: After a sizable number of peers
    have self matched and started communicating, the facilitator creates clusters
    based on their countries/regions. Clusters will allow for coaching sessions of
    peers from the same country/region and may lead to other initiatives as peers
    deem necessary.
    : Online cluster discussions are activated to
    enable the cluster peers select a leader, and prepare their goals and
    objectives as members of the Cluster. The leader of each cluster coordinates
    with the YPARD coordinator.
    : After clusters have a leadership and a strategy
    for their mentoring and coaching needs, they start organizing coaching
    sessions, with assistance from the YPARD Coordinator.
    Participants will be required to provide feedback on the programme regularly
    either through the cluster meetings or individually. The YPARD coordinator will
    notify the participants each time they are supposed to do so.

Needs Assessment Process

Before you decide to join this mentoring programme,
think seriously about your goals. Try and answer these questions before
filling in the application form: What type of mentoring do you need? See the diagram
below for types of mentoring relationships that you can choose from- Certain
Skills; Current Role; Future Roles; Profession; Higher Education; or
Jobs/Professions/Industries outside of ARD. This is the 0th stage of
the mentoring programme.

Assess your commitment

-each individual should have a chance to decide their level of commitment in the mentoring programme. Ask
yourself if you are ready become committed to your peer; Be open to feedback; Spend
time providing feedback and offering your skills to others; Follow through on your commitments; Drive the mentoring process and determine what you can bring to the mentoring process. If
your answers to these questions are YES, proceed to 1st Stage which
is filling in the online application form. The YPARD coordinator will notify
you within 10 working days of the next step. 
Your commitment will again be assessed in 5th through the 9th
stage of the mentoring programme. 

Self Selection and matching

– This will only apply if you have already accepted
to join the mentoring programme. You will be required to go through the 4th
stage of the mentoring programme which is self matching yourself with a peer.
Ask yourself the following questions: Is their personality compatible with yours? Do you
share similar values? Will they be able to offer you the guidance for which you
are searching; and do they have the time to peer mentor you? Once you have
selected your peer, you will be required to move the 5th stage of
the mentoring programme which is the development of the learning agreement.

Cluster coaching sessions

This is outlined in stage 6 through 8 of the mentoring programme. All peers must
belong to a cluster where they participate in coaching sessions. Clusters are
in charge of organizing coaching sessions with little facilitation for the
YPARD Coordinator/facilitator. The overall goal of the coaching sessions will
be to meet the needs that they have not met while participating in the peer
mentoring relationships. You are again required to be committed to your cluster
and support your leader.

Monitoring and evaluation

This is the 9th stage of the mentoring
programme. You will be required to provide feedback, which is used to
further improve this mentoring programme. This can include challenges, lessons
learned and general applicability of the online mentoring platform.

What to look out for in this mentoring relationship

For those of you unfamiliar with mentoring
programmes relating to ARD, here is a sample of some focus areas.  You can select or add more to this list. There are also key
outstanding skills that any person in a mentoring programme will be looking
forward to learning. At the end of the mentoring relationship you are about to
join, you should have some of these skills acquired or shared with other peers.

  • Performance enhancement  skills:
    Listening skills; Facilitation skills; time management; Networking skills;  Organization skills; Living as an example; Communication skills and Information
    sharing skills.
  • Research skills: Proposal writing skills; Research design, experimental designs,
    field techniques; social survey techniques; Building efficiency in statistical aspects and reporting of
    agricultural findings.
  • Leadership and Management skills: Participatory management of issues at the
  • Scientific writing skills: Skills on developing scientific publications in
    peer reviewed journals
  • Technical skills e.g. irrigation, income generating agricultural activities,
    Innovation and entrepreneurship skills in ARD; and scaling up best practices.
  • Teaching skills: such as discussion, lecture, demonstration and brainstorming.
  • Personal attributes: Patience, resilience, planning alternatives, and trouble shooting
  • Fundraising skills; Relationship and team building and knowledge sharing.

Information for Senior Professionals/Coaches

The YPARD peer to peer mentoring
programme is in two phases. The first phase involves the mentoring of two peers
of the same age, while the second phase involves the coaching of a group of
peers by a senior professional in a field of interest to the peers.

Given the limited time available
for both junior and senior professionals, coaching session have been designed
to happen occasionally and involving one (where possible two) professionals at
a time.

A senior professional, only
commits to availing him/herself for a specific coaching session and not the
entire mentoring programme. Here are some guidelines for those who would like
to become senior professionals providing coaching to the young professionals.

  1. Young
    professionals will propose you for coaching since you have a specific
    skill/experiences that they are interested to learn from you. This could range
    from leadership, research skills, publishing, policy, education among others.
    On invitation, kindly confirm that you will be comfortable to coach them on the
    specific area of interest specified.
  2. After
    confirmation of your participation in a coaching session, the YPARD
    coordinator, through the cluster leader will send you a form to fill in to
    assist us keep your contacts in our database. It’s also going to assist us in
    evaluating the success of the programme. We shall appreciate your cooperation
    on this.
  3. During
    the coaching sessions, you will be expected to have a one on one interaction
    with the peers. We plan to have as small groups as possible to allow for this.
    Question and answer sessions, and discussion forums are highly encouraged
    during these sessions.
  4. After
    the coaching session, we shall again request for you to evaluate the session.
    We shall send you this form through the cluster leader. Again, this will help
    us evaluate the success of coaching.