Annual Report 2019
2019 became another year of expansion for the Danida Fellowship Centre. We expanded our portfolio of learning programmes, the number of research projects and we developed innovative knowledge sharing activities. We facilitated new local alumni networks and saw an increase of Danida alumni signing up as members of the network. We also welcomed our new Director, Ulla Næsby Tawiah.
The annual grant from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Danida Fellowship Centre’s capacity development and learning programmes has doubled since 2017. Consequently, we have developed new learning programmes and increased the intake of participants from 534 in 2017 to 926 in 2019.
In 2019, the majority of the learning programmes were tailor-made courses developed for Danida’s Strategic Sector Cooperation in growth and transition countries. In addition, eight master students and 65 summer school students from Strategic Sector Cooperation programmes studied at Danish University programmes in 2019. We also offered 11 training courses for a mix of participants from different types of Danida programmes. Many of these training courses were so popular that we had to run them twice. One course was held in Burkina Faso for francophone partners in West Africa.
22 new research projects were approved in 2019 out of 188 applications. In 2019, there were 61 ongoing research projects in Africa, 17 in Asia, and 6 in Central and Southern America. In Africa, six universities in Uganda, Tanzania and Ghana participated in the Building Stronger Universities programme together with six universities in Denmark.
An important function of the support given to research projects is to strengthen the capacity of PhD students and researchers. African researchers involved in Danida funded research capacity building between 1989 and 2019 shared their experiences and reflexions in the research report “Opportunities, challenges – and bad weather”. We launched the report at an event that also celebrated the award of the annual Danida Alumni Prize for 2019. This year, the prize was awarded to Assoc. Prof. Dr Phan Thi Van in recognition of her ambition, drive and tireless promotion of scientific research in the sustainable development of aquaculture, both within Vietnam and internationally.
The research projects produce important results that ought to be widely communicated to allow people to act on them. There is, however, often a gap in understanding between researchers and journalists. In 2019, we therefore, started a “Bridging the Gap” initiative in Ghana, Tanzania and Denmark where researchers and journalists worked together to improve their understanding of how best to communicate research results. In 2019, we also focused on communicating our results stories as video-shorts for social media and circulated them via our national and international networks. In the years to come, we will continue to work on how we can support the uptake of research results from the Danida funded research projects.
Our learning programme participants are experienced practitioners and leaders from the public and private sectors with valuable knowledge to offer researchers. Similarly, our researchers have findings and results that are useful for practitioners. To facilitate mutual learning, we organised knowledge sharing activities for researchers and practitioners in areas such as water resource management, and labour and employment conditions. We will continue to develop new methods for knowledge sharing between our research projects and our learning programmes.
Our Alumni Network, which now has more than 3,000 members in twelve countries, also creates an important platform for knowledge sharing between members, sectors and countries. In Mexico, Uganda and Ghana, the alumni groups organised knowledge sharing forums. Ten alumni members were selected to participate in the UNLEASH innovation lab in China in 2019 where 1,000 participants from all over the world collaborated on finding sustainable solutions to development problems. Besides coming up with new ideas and answers to development challenges, they gained insights and tools for conducting innovation processes to find innovative solutions to pressing problems at home.
Below please read more about our results and further Facts and Figures 2019.