CIDT team win the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence for Partnership

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence for Partnership  

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence for Partnership  
Above: The UK based CIDT FONERWA Programme support team – Left to right: Ella Haruna, Des Mahony, Dawn Springthorpe, Hayley Gough and Jon Macartney.

The Vice Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of staff who have made an exceptional contribution to University students and stakeholders. In the 2016 Staff Excellence Awards the Vice-Chancellor recognised the Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) for highly successful partnership work on the innovative FONERWA Climate Fund in Rwanda. From 2012-15 a CIDT team has worked in partnership with:

  1. A Rwandan national Fund Management Team (FMT) employed by CIDT from 2012-2015 to set up, manage and implement the FONERWA Climate Fund in Rwanda. The Government of Rwanda (GoR).
  2. The UK’s Department for International Development in Rwanda (DFID-R).
  3. The Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN).

Higher education is about pushing at the frontiers of knowledge, to enable economic growth and create a democratic and inclusive society. The award recognizes CIDT as at the edge of this frontier, practicing a dynamic and alternative approach to teaching, research and knowledge transfer. The Centre has successfully adapted the traditional model of the University to meet the technical and capacity building needs of Developing Countries such as Rwanda.

Philip Dearden, the Head of CIDT was asked “Why should this partnership team win?” His simple response.

“In summary because:

  1. It is a unique and very special partnership based on some sound international development partnership principles, developed by CIDT, of which the whole university should be very proud.
  2. In the past four years this partnership has delivered one of the most progressive Green Growth programmes in Africa.
  3. The FONERWA partnership experience is of great interest to other developing countries and development partners.
  4. Rwanda’s response to climate change is inspiring and in many ways is now leading the field, and in the words of President Kagame, If Rwanda can do it, anyone can do it.”

The Centre’s capacity development support to ‘green growth’ and environmental governance is rooted in sustainable partnerships – not as ‘experts’ but to empower its project partners, to unlock their potential and enhance capabilities.

The Centre’s principled approach ensures the international quality of its programme deliverables and integrity of its partnership working.

The partnership approach of CIDT embedded national ownership and supported impact on national creating access to opportunities for the some of the world’s poorest people.”


The images below show the UK based programme support team joined by CIDT Director Philip Dearden and receiving their Award from Professor Nazira Karodia, Dean of Science and Engineering.

Quotes from partners

Some quotes from Rwanda:

On the last COP in Paris.

“The support from CIDT was very instrumental in making this happen. We had a really fabulous coverage and it made it all worthwhile to wade through the otherwise COP confusion. Thank you for your partnership Phil and team”

“Thank you for all the support. I sincerely believe CIDT was instrumental in making things happen in Paris and it was a good COP ….for the Rwandan delegation and for Rwanda as well.”

Quotes from stakeholders re FONERWA for final report

“The Fund Coordinator and FMT have consistently reached out to develop relationships and have earnt credibility for having good systems and processes: ‘the staff and technical advisors have done an excellent job’.

“The outreach work (Jan-May 2013) was well done and we filled a range of portfolios and had a pretty good spread of proposals even in the early days. We later filled some gaps in a pretty effective manner. One of the good aspects was that the team knew the needs and had good grip on the Capacity development needs of different staff and projects/programmes. This was key.

The issue of Value for Money (VfM) raised its head in DFID and this was an additional challenge to the team. The overall response of the bigger FONERWA support team was however very good.

Looking back the design was very good. Most useful was the ‘Operational Manual’ which gave good direction and just enough for people to follow.”

From Director General Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA) (Dr Emmanuel Nkurunziza)

  • CIDT has brought in technical expertise that has helped us move from an idea to practical intervention.
  • CIDT has helped make FONERWA credible, confident and competent.

From Director General of the Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) (Dr Rose Mukankomeje)

  • CIDT has brought expertise, a positive fusion combination of internal Rwandan expertise combined with international expertise
  • CIDT has engendered a positive working relationship and transfer of knowledge
  • CIDT has offered a very good process approach allowing Rwandan Fund Manager to flexibly call down from a pool of international experts as and when needed.

 From FONERWA Project Manager (Bright Ntare)

  • CIDT provided the Operational Manual, a very useful document. This document then guided the establishment of the Governance structures, the project screening process, systems of checks and balances
  • CIDT has provided good finance control and guidance on funded project M&E and finance management.
  • CIDT is perceived as ‘part of the Rwandan team’.
  • CIDT has built up skills and tools over 2 years such that handover to the Secretariat is possible

From DFID-Rwanda (Simone Bannister)

CIDT have gone the extra mile. The capacity development work has been absolutely key. Giving support to others is sometimes harder than actually doing things yourselves. Coaching and mentoring are really key to success. Learning has also been key – there were cases when the Outreach training didn’t quite work. The response to this was very good, the issues were quickly picked up and addressed by the team. This demonstrated good hands on reflective practice. Capacity development is not easy but is key – this has been done very well and the FONERWA team were empowered and had their confidence built in a really constructive manner. Innovation also needs a mention – this was very useful. The District level work must also be mentioned – this was seriously challenging but really required. CIDTs role in this work has been really good and very effective.

From KfW (Eva Paul)

  • CIDT has empowered the FMT to demonstrate drive and ambition

From FONERWA CDKN District Capacity Building project final evaluation

The approach and methodology adopted by the project was sound and generated good results. The co-location of the CDKN project team with the FMT and alignment of objectives with FONERWA facilitated a “team approach” that led to many of the project’s achievements. The flexibility of the project and FMT in adjusting the content and delivery of the workshops and the coaching and mentoring by the project was well targeted and effective in developing the capacity of key individuals within the respective organisations as evidenced by the continuing high demand from districts for this support

The project adopted an approach that was flexible and responsive to emerging priorities and changing conditions on the ground.

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