Please note:  The window has closed for applications to the 2018 Shiraka programme. Bookmark this page and check back later for more information about the Spring 2019 Shiraka programme.  

The Hague Academy for Local Governance invited senior and mid-career civil servants from the MENA region to apply for a professional development course on Social Affairs and Employment. The deadline to apply was Sunday, 8 July 2018.

Are you a national ministry or sub-national government official charged with developing and implementing social affairs and employment policies? Do you serve as a mid- or senior-level policymaker or civil servant and are you responsible for increasing economic growth and job creation in your community?

This two-week course, Social Affairs and Employment, seeks to enhance the practical skills of individuals working at the intersection of community development and entrepreneurship.


As a participant, you will engage with international experts and make field visits to learn how economic growth can go hand in hand with social security reforms. You will also learn how targeted employment strategies can contribute to an efficient labour market. For more information about the course in English, click here, for French, click here.

“We need more knowledge and tools to help us change the traditional way of thinking.”

Nouha Ghosseini, former Mayor of Baakleen, Lebanon

What is Shiraka?

Shiraka is a Dutch bilateral effort organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and CNV International. It seeks to stimulate and support sustainable transitions in the MENA region and to strengthen relations between the Netherlands and the target countries. The Hague Academy for Local Governance is responsible for the training of this Shiraka programme.

Who is Eligible?

Individuals from the following countries may submit an application:  Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Bahrain, and Sudan.

How Much Does it Cost?

Selected candidates will receive full fellowships. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Netherlands will cover all relevant costs for participants from countries on the OECD-DAC list (pdf). This includes international travel, board and lodging, visa and insurance, and tuition fees for the course. Selected participants from countries not listed on the OECD-DAC list must pay for their own international travel including plane tickets and visa. However, board and lodging, insurance, and tuition fees for the course will be covered by the Dutch government.

How to Apply?

To apply you must first create an account which will enable you to fill out the online application form. You can start the process by visiting:


The deadline for applications is Sunday, 8 July 2018. For questions and inquiries, please contact Dayana Al Alam.