In the middle of a busy March, with three courses running, our trainers and course participants were suddenly confronted with the Corona-outbreak. Luckily, all participants reached home safely, and the trainers shifted rapidly from offline to online training services.
From 9 to 14 March, civil servants from the MENA region spent the week in The Netherlands exchanging knowledge around decentralisation and local governance with international experts, Dutch civil servants and with each other. The participants are now working on the implementation of their back-home action plans and to lead and inspire the modernisation of local governance in their countries.
From 9 to 17 March, a group of government and development professionals from 11 different countries arrived in The Hague to follow our open course on Inclusive Service Delivery and the SDGs. The group had a busy week of interesting sessions with several experts on public finance, water management, governance of services provision, among others. The group visited the waste management facility Avalex, in Delft. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the course had to be cut short, to ensure that all participants could safely return to their home countries. However, participants got to complete the remaining module through our online learning platform.
The Hague Academy is an implementing partner in the “Every Voice Counts” programme, which aims to support the inclusion of marginalised groups in governance processes in six countries. One of these countries is Afghanistan, where the programme promotes the meaningful inclusion of women and girls in local decision-making processes. Due to the Corona-measures, it was not possible to travel to Kabul to deliver face-to-face training. Therefore we conducted a three-day online training of trainers on Transformational Leadership, with a group of participants from civil society organisations. Once the lockdown is alleviated, the participants will share their knowledge in four different provinces in Afghanistan. Due to technical issues, it was a challenge for some participants to stay connected, but they did not give up and the facilitators made an effort to ensure that nobody was left behind.
In social distancing times, we continued to strengthen the knowledge and skills needed to jointly work on local development. From 13 April until 22 May we held our online training on Inclusive Local Economic Development, with more than 30 participants from 14 different countries. For six weeks and despite not being physically together, participants interacted and exchanged knowledge and experience with each other and with experts.
”The group work activities gave me a chance to learn from other experienced course participants from different countries. The cases that we studied were quite similar to our municipality in some ways. This gave me ideas to address some of our issues in similar ways while developing our own LED strategy.” Naw May Pale Nay Htoo, course participant from KNU Economic Board in Thailand.
“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.” Diana Nastas, course participants from Mayors for Economic Growth Secretariat (M4EG) in Moldova.
Throughout the month of May, our team conducted an online training on Conflict Transformation and Nonviolent Communication, with a group of staff members from ZOA and World Relief, together with staff from local CSOs in Darfur. The training was part of the Stability through resilience programme, implemented by ZOA and World Relief in Darfur. Participants were equipped to analyse root causes of conflicts and to explore ways to transform these conflicts using nonviolent communication. During the training, the participants exchanged ideas and experiences with fellow professionals, discussed cases from Darfur and other countries, participated in assignments and received feedback from fellow professionals and from The Hague Academy team.