Training of Trainers in Local Economic and Community Development for Afghan Civil Servants
A comprehensive training of trainers was conducted for potential trainers from the Afghan civil service from 15-18 September 2015 at the University of Central Asia (UCA) in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic.
The training was implemented within a memorandum of understanding between the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and UCA, which is part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), to increase the capacity of civil servants in Afghanistan through the adaptation and delivery of UCA’s Local Economic and Community Development (LECD) certificate programme. That agreement was signed in August 2014 by His Excellency Mr Abdul Khaliq Farahi, Director General of IDLG, and Dr. Bohdan Krawchenko, Director General of UCA.
Dalhousie University’s Paul Brown engaging with Afghan civil servants Rohullah Niazi (extreme left) and Shafiee Mohammad Amin (centre).
The LECD programme builds the skills of civil servants, enabling them to serve as key resources within local government and their communities. LECD modules are needs-based and informed by activities in the local authorities' communities, providing technical knowledge on how to make improvements in areas ranging from conflict and disaster management to governance and local economic development.
“LECD was first delivered in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2010, and UCA’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) has since adapted the programme for delivery in Tajikistan and Afghanistan, while expanding the programme in the Kyrgyz Republic. Training of trainers is a key step in building in-country capacity, and this collaboration with IDLG reflects UCA’s commitment to working in partnership with the government to build critically-needed capacity in local governance in Afghanistan,” said Gulnara Djunushalieva, Director of UCA’s School of Professional and Continuing Education.
To assess the specific needs of civil servants in Afghanistan, UCA held consultations with IDLG. The University then worked with the Directorate’s human resources department and a cadre of local and international consultants to develop LECD modules based on emerging needs, and developed accompanying learning materials. The next step is training local trainers to build capacity to deliver the programme.
Beginning with this session, over the next three months, UCA will conduct a series of training of trainers workshops for up to 15 Afghan trainers. Sessions will be facilitated by an international team from Afghanistan, Canada and Kazakhstan. The following topics will be covered: conflict management and resolution; leadership; public management, public engagement, governance; environmental protection and disaster management; and local economic development. The students have the opportunity to provide feedback on the content and delivery of modules to further ensure their relevance and efficacy.
"The Afghan civil servants understand the complexity of conflict and post-conflict situations. By learning about the theories of post-conflict development and the experiences of other countries, they now have more tools to develop approaches that are applicable to the Afghan context and therefore have higher chances of success," said Carleton University’s Ruby Dagher who taught Conflict Management and Resolution.
IDLG aims to deliver the LECD programme to District Governors across Afghanistan through weekly sessions over the course of a year, representing 30 credits in the European Credit Transfer System.
“The quality of the training materials, delivery and warm hospitality at UCA made it a rich experience. Most of the course training was relevant to what senior and mid-level IDLG managers deal with on a daily basis. I am confident that conducting this training at IDLG will benefit staff and they will find it useful and it will benefit their day-to-day work,” said Rohullah Niazi, Director General of Human Resources, IDLG, Afghanistan.
The LECD programme is being adapted and delivered in Afghanistan under UCA’s Research and Public Policy Initiative (RPPI) project, supported by the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada and the Aga Khan Foundation Canada. To date, SPCE has successfully delivered the programme to 1,390 civil servants in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan.
UCA’s partnership with IDLG is just one of several to build skills and capacity in Afghanistan. The University’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration recently began the second round of its Certificate Programme in Policy Analysis for Afghan civil servants, through an agreement between UCA and the Afghan Ministry of Finance, as part of the RPPI project.