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16. Training courses
Purpose
To strengthen the capacities of the stakeholders involved in the dialogue process or of individuals that are expected to play a role during policy implementation.
Rationale
For a long time, capacity development has been considered the main mission of international cooperation, which explains why most domestic stakeholders, whether from the public sector or from civil society, are likely to have undergone some sort of internationally funded training scheme. However, such an emphasis on capacity and the acquisition of technical skills usually neglects the importance of “ability” –directly linked to the existence of an “enabling” environment– and the need to overcome political barriers when it comes to delivering substantial change. This mismatch between the inputs (improved technical knowledge) and the outputs (increased awareness of the flaws and bottlenecks of the system) usually ends up generating frustration and is likely one of the main causes of a widespread phenomenon known as “training fatigue”.
In order to overcome this kind of situation, INSPIRED embeds its training courses within an ongoing process of transformation and therefore strives to factor in and address the political dimension intrinsic to any policy reform. In other words, the technical capacities of the stakeholders are improved, albeit always considering the broader framework and paying special attention to the political economy of the policy/sector undergoing reform.
More importantly, training courses are designed following a multi-stakeholder approach that brings together participants from different backgrounds and aims at promoting multi-disciplinary exchanges and cross-fertilization. In the same vein as other tools such as joint research, workgroups or study visits, their ultimate aim is to broaden the stakeholders’ views on the policy at stake and to encourage mutual learning and cooperation.
Outcomes
  • Acquisition of knowledge that encompasses both the technical and the political dimensions affecting a given issue.
  • Mutual learning facilitated, as well as innovative forms of cooperation and out-of-the-box solutions.
  • Openness and critical thinking promoted through a constructive approach.
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