Cut in the Budget for 2016 and relocation of Danida Fellowship Centre to Holbæk in 2017.
By Anne Christensen, Director
The Danish International Development Assistance (Danida’s) budget has been cut back to 0.71 % of the BNP by the newly appointed Venstre (Liberal Party) Government.
The cut corresponding to 2.6 billion DKK in 2016, is affecting almost all areas of development assistance including the activities of Danida Fellowship Centre (DFC).
The annual grant for the Development Capacity Support Programme has for the last ten years been between 40 and 50 mill. DKK. For 2016 the grant is now reduced by 25 % – the same is the case for many other organizations working with development activities including the Danish NGOs. The annual grant in 2016 to capacity development administered by DFC is thus 30 mill. DKK and the forecast for the following years is likewise 30 mill. DKK a year.
This will, of course, affect both the quality and the quantity of the activities and services provided by DFC.
At DFC we are currently expanding our services in order to fulfill the mandate given to us by the recent Policy for the Danida Development Capacity Support Programme (DCDSP) and therefore the timing of the cut is very unfortunate.
We have done our best to put together a capacity development programme in such a way that the negative effects of the cut are minimized:
1. Where and when possible the length of the courses is reduced by one week.
2. The participation fee has been increased by 1,000 DKK per course per week
3. Overhead on course management has been reduced
4. Funds have – as for 2015 – been put aside for organizational learning activities. This has been described in detail in the DFC ‘A Tool for Change’.
Funds for the individual research projects in 2016 will be spent on selected applicants from the 2015 round.
No Call will be advertised in 2016, and any funds for future Calls are put aside. The release of funds is pending the findings of the expert Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen and his team consisting of 20 members. Their report is to be presented by May 1, 2016.
The present phase of the Building Stronger Universities Initiative (BSU) is running until ultimo 2016/primo 2017, and a possible future phase (including the continuation of the BSU Master programme) is also included in the funds put aside for the expert team’s assessment.
Relocation of the DFC Office
One of the new initiatives by the Venstre Government is moving governmental offices out of the Danish capital, Copenhagen in order to spread the locations of these offices throughout Denmark.
DFC is one of the offices to be relocated. According to the Government’s plan, DFC is to move to Holbæk, a town on West Zealand, app. 65 kilometers from DFC’s present location.
The DFC hostel will remain at Frederiksberg serving as hostel for Danida fellows administered by DFC. DFC, as an organisation, will thus be split up and approximately 14 staff members will move to Holbæk.
It is neither an ideal situation for the staff nor for DFC itself. None of DFC’s cooperation partners – or Danida fellows for that matter – is placed in, or near, Holbæk. DFC will not bring any added activities to the town. The solution chosen will be less effective and more costly.
DFC plans to effectuate the move mid-2017.