Civil Servants and Academics Tackle Development Issues on the Economy and Natural Resource Management
Fifty-five representatives from the academic community and government from Afghanistan and cross border regions of Tajikistan met to participate in two programmes in Kyrgyzstan as part of the University of Central Asia’s Graduate School of Development (GSD), which has developed two unique programmes tailored to respond to critical issues in these countries – economic development and natural resources management.
Learners from Afghanistan and Tajikistan gathered at the UCA campus in Naryn to share their experiences and discuss topics related to development issues being faced in Afghanistan and Tajikistan and how they are working to address them.
The Executive Masters in Economic Policy (EMEP) Programme of the GSD’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA), aims to equip civil servants with sound theoretical knowledge and tools of economic management and policy-making required to tackle issues faced by developing economies. Currently 30 civil servants from the Afghan Ministry of Finance and three representatives of the Aga Khan Foundation Afghanistan are enrolled in the second cycle of the programme.
The School has also developed a three-week post-graduate Certificate Programme in Natural Resources Management (CPNRM) through UCA’s Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI). Twenty faculty members and researchers of Badakhshan University, Bamyan University, Khorog State University and Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) in Afghanistan are being trained on five integrated topics, covering the most pressing natural resource issues in Afghanistan and Tajikistan: Concepts of sustainability and sustainable land management; Integrated Agricultural Management and Food Systems; Livelihoods in rural mountain communities; Natural Hazards and disaster risk reduction; and Climate Change. In addition to the training, the learners will also take the knowledge gained back to their home universities and work to integrate their learnings into the curriculum.
Both educational programmes are part of the on-going project ‘Pathways to Innovation: Strengthening Mathematics, Science, and Economic Policy Capacity in Afghanistan and Central Asia’, funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, and the Aga Khan Foundation Canada.