This research is to evaluate the impact of rural skills development trainings for poverty alleviation in Bulilima district in Plumtre, Zimbabwe. The reason for this research was to find out why after so many trainings that are done by the government and NGOs were people of Bulilima still living in poverty and they are not self sustainable. This research was done as a gap analysis between the expected outcome from the stake holders and the actual outcome. The actual expected outcomes being poverty reduction in the community and produce of a skilled and employable workforce after being trained. The fundamentals of evaluation were discussed with emphasis placed on the purpose of the trainings and programs done by NGOs and the Zimbabwean government. In this research a qualitative paradigm that in essence entails the systematic noting and recording of the changes in the community that was trained and to access the changes of life of those who attended the trainings. The behavior and arte facts in the social setting were the design and methodology which underpins the researcher’s choice of sampling and observation. The researcher targeted particular group in the full knowledge that it does not represent the wider population but simply represent itself, thus the researcher cannot make generalization from the results. The researcher found out that there were lot of reasons why the trainings we not showing notable results.
First: it was because of the quality of training and the time the trainings were delivered. Most NGOs doing trainings they didn’t have strategies to accommodate the recipients of the trainings and their environment at the time of the training delivery.
Second; For the trainings to be successful the recipients need to have a positive outlook to the training and they need to see them as a solution provider and understand the expected outcomes. Third: The researcher noted that even if the trainings were of right quality delivered to the community that is ready to receive them there were still other factors that could affect them. These factors were for example the state of the economy, access to the market and infrastructure. The community needs to have a market to sell their products and be able to understand the market. The community can only understand the market if they are given the market oriented skills like finance, marketing and business management.
The research showed that basic education plays a big role in making vocational trainings. It was understood that people who had high school education stood a better chance in understanding training and being able to put it in practice. The findings showed that people will respond better to trainings if they are encouraged to come up with problem solution themselves and thus giving them a hands on training. The researcher believes that this research will pave way to other researchers to explore this topic.