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Applying project management tools to the preparation of a “world dinner”


Danida Fellowship Centre’s learning programme, Responsive Project Management, introduces participants to methods, tools and approaches that are practically applicable. One of the exercises during the latest programme that took place in May involved organising a “world dinner”. Read Helle Jørgensen’s account of the dinner and watch the videos of four participants’ key takeaways.

On a sunny afternoon in May 2024, 21 Danida Fellows gathered at their programme manager’s house in the small town of Vangede outside Copenhagen.

The purpose of the meeting was to apply newly gained project management tools to a concrete action in the form of the preparation of a ‘world dinner’.  The fellows came from a wide variety of countries including Burkina Faso, Brazil, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mali, Uganda and Vietnam, so the prerequisites for diversity and for an enjoyable social dinner were absolutely in place.

The main goal of the “Responsive Project Management” learning programme is to equip participants and their organisations with the ability to implement projects in a flexible, agile and adaptive manner. The programme content is, therefore, tailored to the participants’ specific organisational contexts and challenges. The programme includes numerous practical exercises and the creation of individual action plans that address concrete challenges in the participants’ own work situations.

The preparation of a “world dinner” for 30 people was an exercise in applying some of the tools from the learning programme. The dinner, featuring dishes and flavours from various countries, required the creation of a detailed plan and the establishment of working groups to achieve the exercise’s objective effectively. Initially, the participants were hesitant as they had to do everything themselves but they gradually gained confidence as they developed a workable implementation plan.

The output of their hard work was an excellent dinner with Chinese dumplings, rice and beans from West Africa, salads from Indonesia and Burkina Faso, BBQ chicken from East Africa and many other tasty dishes. The exercise also included the transfer of knowledge to the Danish course manager who is now an expert in preparing Chinese dumplings. The only thing that did not go as planned was the timing of the dinner that was served 2½ hours late. This was considered to be a valuable “lesson learnt” about proper time management, a lesson that the participants will have in mind when planning other projects.

Helle Jørgensen is learning programme Capacity Development Advisor at Danida Fellowship Centre. Cowi facilitated the Responsive Project Management learning programme that was led by Daniel la Cour, course manager and main facilitator.

Mr Abdul Jabaru Mohammed

Mr Marvin Nii Boi Okaikom

Mr Ali Amin

Ms Rose Yadiguem Dolo


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