Skills and experience
1 - Research, data collection and analysis
- I studied Ecology and Evolution, obtained a doctorate in Population Biology, and have 11 years experience in research, for the Universities of Tours (France), London and Greenwich.
- My research work has focused originally on theoretical aspects of the population biology of insect pests of legumes, and has naturally led me to applied research towards appropriate methods of control of the pest.
- Over the years, as a scientist, I developed an in-depth understanding of
research methodology through practice and teaching.
- I realised that experimental and survey design, data collection and
analysis are crucial to all areas of research, including applied and
action-research. I therefore decided to develop my knowledge and skills by
studying for an MSc in Statistics at the University of Kent at Canterbury in
2 - Development and overseas experience
- I worked for the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich, UK (NRI) in Agricultural Development, as a senior scientist and project leader. The project I was leading had extension as
one of the major components, and I led a multi-cultural team consisting of researchers, extensionists, farmers, NGO and government workers, British, Ghanaians and Ugandans nationals. I enjoyed working with this very varied team, and believe that it is one of the strengths I can offer. The main output of this three year project was an extension package, that I developed with the team and tested in a fully participatory manner, in northern Ghana. The technology and the associated extension packages were then successfully tested by the project team in Uganda, and adapted to local conditions. They are now being promoted by local partners in Ghana and Uganda.
The extension booklets produced are available on a web site that I developed, which presents the Ghanaian part of the project:
Cowpea project web site
- I have travelled to several West African countries, and have worked extensively in northern Ghana and also in Uganda. During the course of my work at NRI, I mainly worked in West and East Africa, but I also did some work in Southern Africa, in rural areas of northern Namibia. I believe that my personal circumstances, being of mixed French and Vietnamese origins, have given me a particular sensitivity to culturally diverse communities. My work at NRI, and also at Save the Children, have provided me with the necessary experience and knowledge of rural communities in the developing world.
- I have taken part in and given presentations at a variety of meetings, workshops and conferences in Africa. The latest in date was the
International Working Meeting on Food Security in Yaoundé, 5th to 10th May 2003, where I participated in the organisation and the running of the conference and gave a keynote presentation summarising the electronic forum on Food Security that I moderated the month before.
- In late 2003 I did a 6 weeks secondment to the Save the Children UK Family
Tracing programme in Liberia: after a review of existing system and
procedures, and some in-depth data analysis, I developed a new computerised
system and associated work procedures, produced a training programme and its
material and trained the new database team in Monrovia. I also advised
the Liberia and London senior management on future choices for the Family
Tracing database, issues of team management and development.
3 - Training and teaching
- My experience in design and delivery of short training courses is wide and covers IT courses for professionals in the UK, academic courses for undergraduates and post-graduates (introduction to statistics, research methodology, presentation skills, ecology and general biology) as well as the provision of technical advice in extension communications.
- My experience of development work, especially agricultural extension, is entirely based on participatory methodologies and this is anchored in a strong belief that development can only be approached in this manner. I studied Agricultural Extension by correspondence with Wye College (UK).
4 - Communication
- I have published several manuals and hand-outs for training courses. I have also published in excess of
20 scientific papers over the last 15 years, and although most of these were in printed media or oral presentations (supported by PowerPoint presentations), the web site referred to in this document will provide evidence of my experience in contemporary media production software. Apart from the evidence of my ability to produce web pages, I would particularly point to the two booklets available on the web site, developed for cheap production and adapted for a rural audience. These booklets are available as electronic files and can be easily printed and photocopied locally.
5 - Project management
- My work at NRI has given me ample relevant experience in project management in developing countries. The three years project that I was leading, funded by the British Government’s Department for International Development, DfID, had a budget of £270,000 for which I had full responsibility.
- DfID’s project management and reporting requirements are based on a log frame approach, and I wrote the proposal for the project, managed it and reported on it during most of its life-time. In the course of the project, I produced quarterly and annual reports. Even after leaving NRI, I stayed in close contact with the new project leader for the last months of the project, and participated in the end-of project workshop in Ghana, as well as in the final report writing. Several publications originated from the project, scientific papers and presentations at conferences, as well as the extension material mentioned previously.
- I used these project management skills in my work at Save the Children, where I
was responsible for annual training budgets of around £70,000. This, again,
included forecasting, proposal writing, and reporting.
6 - Skills
- In my different positions, I have always proved to have excellent interpersonal skills in multicultural environments.
- I can offer complete fluency in both French and English. Having lived and worked in the UK for the last 10 years, I am confident that my English, written and spoken, is perfectly adequate. French is my mother tongue, although I probably need a refresher
on specific jargon used in particular areas.
- I am well organised and apply a structured and logical approach to my work and my duties generally.
- I work well under pressure, in a variety of environments, and with a variety of collaborators, whether managing me or being managed by me. Despite being somewhat of a perfectionist, I deliver in a timely manner and work well with deadlines.
- I have in-depth knowledge of most common computer packages used in offices, including the Windows environment itself, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook,
FrontPage and Access. This knowledge covers both using these packages and training others to better use them.
For any complementary information, don't hesitate to contact
Dr Bruno M D Tran