More courses abroad and faster response time to implement new courses. Director Anne Christensen guides us through the main changes and developments of the 2012 programme.
By Jan Kjær
“We have had a more thorough hearing round for the plan of 2012 where relevant offices in the ministry of Foreign Affairs and Danish embassies have been involved. Earlier years the final plan was more or less just presented to them.”
Anne Christensen, Director of Danida Fellowship Centre (DFC), is proud of both the process and the product: The new 2012 course programme is equipped with plenty of interesting new developments.
“It is important for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that we can act quickly to new priorities. Therefore we have set aside funds for 3 rapid response courses in our annual plan for 2012, among other things focusing on stability and fragility,” Anne Christensen says.
The two first rapid response – or buffer – courses were conducted in 2011. The contents are decided when urgent needs or new political priorities require immediate action.
“It allows us to act faster. Otherwise we are tied down already in September 2011 for the whole calendar year of 2012.”
More courses abroad
Another clear trend is that more DFC activities will be carried out abroad by training institutions in the 6 partner countries in Africa (See box below).
“We are more and more making use of institutions in the developing countries instead of sending all to Denmark. We began in 2009, and the plan is that in 2012 at least half of our interdisciplinary courses will be conducted abroad,” the director explains.
“Africa is the focus area of Danish development aid. That is why we choose to conduct our courses there,” she adds.
DFC will also start inviting course participants from the Danida partner countries in Asia to join courses in Africa.
Danish front runners in Africa
Anne Christensen is happy seeing DFC heading in the direction of conducting courses in the developing countries:“We are front runners in this area. None of the other likeminded donors are moving as fast in respect to cooperate with local training institutions.”There is also an element of capacity building of these institutions, which is now part of the DFC mandate.
For the DFC director, the challenge is to establish good and strong ties with the institutions and secure the quality of the courses conducted in the developing countries.
Two programmes phased out
Two programmes have ceased to be part of the DFC course schedule, both for good reasons, Anne Christensen thinks.
One is the Emerging Leaders Scholarship Programme (ELSP), earmarked for 5 years and meant for young upcoming leaders of the emerging economies.
“It had a long and slow beginning with only one participant the first year. There were some built in problems in the set up. Participants should obtain 10 per cent of the fee from other sources, but in fact we got a lot of young people financing it themselves, pushing their private economy to the limit,” Anne says.
Likewise the Business Fellowships (formerly the Advanced Pledge Scheme) have also come to an end. The
programme made it possible for Danish companies to obtain fellowships for their client’s employees in the developing countries.
“The objective was to make the Danish private sector more competitive in the developing world, but many saw the scheme as unfair competition, and not the objective of Danish development assistance,” the director explains.
Same activity level
The activity level of DFC will be more or less the same in 2012, although the yearly funds from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will decrease from 60 to 45 million DKK; this is possible due to the trend of shorter courses.
“In addition, we are still administering the activities requested by the sector programmes for instance Master of International Health and tailor made courses for different sectors, and study tours of 1-2 weeks in Denmark with visits to public offices relevant to the specific sector programmes,” Anne explains.
DFC also administers the Danida research projects in Denmark, and here lies new opportunities for new services.
“We are moving into the field of administering the stay of PostDoc researchers, too. Against a fee we would like to take care of these researches’ stay as well.”
|We work togetherAt present DFC co-operates with the following institutions in the partner countries:Kenya Institute of Administration (KIA)
Uganda Management Institute (UMI) - www.umi.ac.ug
International Law Institute – African Centre for Legal Excellence (ILI-ACLE) (Uganda) - www.iliacle.org
Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) – http://www.gimpa.edu.gh/
Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI) (Tanzania, Zambia og Mozambique) – www.esami-africa.org
Ecole Nationale d’Adminstration et de Magisstrature (ENAM) (Benin) – www.enam.bj.refer.org
l’Institut International d’Ingénierie de l’Eau et de l’Environnement (2IE) de Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) – www.2ie-edu.org
Initiatives Conseil International (ICI) (Burkina Faso)
Jan Kjær is a journalist and consultant specializing in development. Owner of Better-World.dk