Researchers, fellows, politicians and partner institutions present their views on Danida Fellowship Centre (DFC) on our updated website.
Text and photos: Jan Kjær
“One of the most important things for us researchers is to publish our findings in articles in international journals with very high impact factor. I have learned this while being in Denmark.”
These are the words of Luz Adilia Luna Olivares, a veterinary doctor from El Sauce-Leon, Nicaragua, who is supported by Danida to do a PhD. in parasites in chicken.
In the process of updating the Danida Fellowship Centre (DFC) website we have asked Luz Adilia Luna Olivares and other stakeholders how they benefit from cooperating with us. On dfcentre.com you will find quotes from her and other researchers, fellows, politicians and partner institutions.
Here we have selected a few samples.
Michael, a Danish politician
Michael Aastrup Jensen, MP for the Liberal Party, presents Danish democracy for fellows at DFC:
“Sometimes we think that the Danish system is the best in the world. Being challenged by the participants at the Danida Fellowship Centre is actually good for a parliamentarian like me because I realize that there might be other ways of doing things.”
“We should look at ways of removing the need for foreign aid to developing countries. And the answer to that is education. This is where I see Danida Fellowship Centre playing a huge role. At DFC civil servants and other professionals achieve knowledge and tools that they can bring home and use to the benefit of their countries.”
“Our democracy can be hard to explain to foreigners. On paper we look like a monarchy, but in practice we are a fully-fledged democracy.”
Patrick, a fellow in Denmark
Patrick Chabeda from Nairobi, Kenya, Environment and Climate Change Specialist. He took part in a two-week course in Denmark ‘Addressing Climate Change in Development Assistance’. He says:
“Personally, I have been impressed with the overall organization at the Danida Fellowship Centre as well as the level of competence and professionalism of the course instructors.”
“It has been extremely relevant. A key component of the course involves the design of a climate change action plan relevant to each participant’s work. So I will actually be able to go home with an action plan that I can incorporate into the work I do.”
“I enjoyed the field visits. Denmark is very eco-conscious with a high level of awareness of sustainability. We had the opportunity to visit a number of public waste management facilities as well as renewable energy businesses that provided plenty of ‘low-hanging fruit’ opportunities for implementation back in Kenya.”
“I would highly recommend this course to other professionals seeking continuing sustainable development education at the DFC. The diverse background the participants bring and the relevant practical programmes that the DFC offers, provides the opportunity for stronger partnerships in development work back home.”
“The course has given me the opportunity to interact with colleagues from both policy making and implementation backgrounds – mostly from Africa. It has enabled me to bring back home shared experiences on legal and political matters as well as institutional frameworks and implementation of climate change programmes.”
Anders, professor at a Danish research institution
Anders Dalsgaard, Professor in Veterinary Public Health, has been engaged in building research capacity within human health in Vietnam and several African countries for almost 20 years. He thinks that there is a clear need for building capacity to do quality research in the developing countries:
“Our model, the ‘sandwich programmes’, where the researchers spend most of their time in their home countries and some time in Denmark for specific training, is well known and highly appreciated outside Denmark.”
“Field work and ground work are carried out in the researchers’ home countries meaning that results and outcomes will be used to solve or prevent real problems there.”
“We have a Danish approach of equal partnership. We expect students to take the initiative and be responsible for formulating, implementing and communicating their research programme.”
“Our model is useful for female researchers in particular. When in Denmark, they can focus because they don´t have to deal with the double burden of housekeeping and food preparation.”
“When I look at the PhD projects which I personally have been responsible for, the students have, with very few exemptions, reached high positions in their institutions at home. Or they are employed by international institutions in their home countries.”
Luz, Ph.d. student
Luz Adilia Luna Olivares, a veterinary doctor from El Sauce-Leon, Nicaragua, is supported by Danida to do a PhD in parasites in chicken. Part of the study takes place in Denmark and she stays at DFC at Frederiksberg.
“Doing research here in Denmark also helps the local people in Nicaragua where I come from. They have agreed that I can work with their animals. After analysing the results here I will return to Nicaragua and give them feedback in order to improve their livestock production and avoid diseases.”
“I very often visit the café at Danida Fellowship Centre, because it is nice to interact with other students from different countries getting to know their culture and make new friends from around the world. It is important to network both for my profession and for me personally. And the atmosphere at the centre is nice and friendly.”
“I love to talk to people and here at the Danida Fellowship Centre I feel that I am part of a family. Therefore I don´t need to stay in all the time.”
On our new website you can also find statements by Danish MP, Jeppe Kofod, who like Michael Aastrup Jensen, discusses Danish democracy with the fellows at DFC:
Also Neha Pandya, course coordinator for one of the DFC partner training institutions, presents her view on the cooperation with DFC. And Joseph Tamukedde, who attended a DFC anti-corruption course at the International Law Institute in Kampala, explains how he benefitted.
All three were interviewed in the August issue of the DFC Newsletter.
Jan Kjær is a journalist and consultant specialized in development and owner of Better-World.dk.