The lockdown measures put in place around the world have posed a big challenge for our training offer. However, we remain as committed as ever to offering practice oriented training for local practitioners. Hence, we decided to offer online training alternatives, as a way to continue working towards our mission. Ngenarr-Yassin Jeng from GIZ in The Gambia and Diana Nastas from Mayors for Economic Growth Secretariat (M4EG) shared with us their experience as participants of our online course on Inclusive Local Economic Development (LED). The course was followed by 30 participants from 14 different countries.

Ngenarr-Yassin Jeng is a Communications, Advocacy & Awareness Specialist for GIZ in The Gambia, working for the Regional Stabilisation and Development Fund of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Gambian team that followed the online LED-course. From left to right, top row: Ngenarr-Yassin Jeng, Bintou Sumareh, Mohammed Hassan Loum, Bintou Sonko. Bottom row: Mariama Ashcroft, Abdoulie Jallow, Sally Fiah.

Why did you choose this course?
“As a legal practitioner and communications specialist, I had never given much thought to economic development. As I joined GIZ, I realised that I needed more knowledge on this topic. I am ecstatic to have had this opportunity which is helping me build my capacity and do better at work.’’

What did you expect from an online course?
“Attending an online training may not be as attractive as the usual face-to-face training. I did not really know what to expect. However, the training set-up was very convenient and user friendly.’’

How did you experience the online learning?
“The fact that it was an online course allowed me to carry on with my daily activities and work while taking part in the programme. The course consisted of weekly activities, which also allowed me to divide the work throughout the week. Yet, the course facilitators also maintained a nice group dynamic throughout the course.’’

What did you like the most about the course?
“One of my favourite features of this course was the constant support I received from the e-trainers, who gave me regular feedback on my assignments. It was a very personalised experience. Course mates were also very willing to provide feedback.”

Would you recommend offering more online courses?
“With the course materials being easily accessible and navigable, offering more courses online can enable more students to take part in the programme, thereby having more reach and impact.’’

Diana Nastas is a Country Expert for Moldova, at M4EG, where she provides support to local authorities on Local Economic Development.

Diana Nastas, Mayors for Economic Growth Secretariat (M4EG).

What did you like the most about the course?
I enjoyed the training a lot! Usually, I am the one advising local authorities on LED, but this time I had the chance to work myself on a LED Strategy and get feedback from a top expert. I really liked the course’s focus on inclusiveness. I want to introduce this concept to the vocabulary of local authorities. Youth, women and disabled people can and should be trained, consulted and integrated as active actors that can shape economic development in a locality.”

What were your main learnings from this course?
“I became even more aware of the importance of partnerships and of the role of local governments creating a favourable environment for economic development. This process takes time, effort and human capacity.”

Will these learnings be useful for your work?
“Yes, I will definitely encourage local authorities to promote strong, continuous and trustful cooperation between all local actors, especially between the private and public sectors.”