• Highlighting achievements in the CV4C project

    26 March 2021
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    For four years, partners on the Citizen Voices for Change (CV4C) project have explored ways of making forest governance, and particularly independent forest monitoring stronger, more targeted, more effective. They have taken on powerful players and they have assisted government officials. They have integrated cross-cutting issues such as gender responsiveness into each aspect of their work. They have reached across national borders to help each other.

    Here are some of their stories.
    Click the titles to download the stories

    Standardised forest data: Cameroon – FODER

    SNOIE and ISO certification: An innovative approach ensures the reliability of information
    In a sector where reliable data are both crucial and difficult to obtain, FODER has taken the extraordinary step of obtaining ISO certification for its independent system to collect and manage forest information.

    Financial Health: Republic of the Congo − CAGDF

    Replenishing the State’s coffers
    The painstaking work of a tiny team of independent forest monitors truly pays off.

    Judicial Transparency: Central African Republic – CIEDD

    Pulled from oblivion: Toward transparent enforcement of the Central African Republic’s forest law framework
    By rehabilitating forest monitoring and judicial transparency, CIEDD has created the tools that CAR’s forest administration needs to succeed.

    Justice: Gabon − Brainforest

    Impunity is not what it used to be: 17 communities stand up to logging companies
    Gabonese NGO Brainforest has used the rigorous data collected through its independent forest monitoring activities to support community litigation – and to win.

    Peer-to-peer learning: Cameroon − FLAG

    A Regional Toolbox: FLAG develops critical instruments to empower independent monitors of forestry activity
    For the actors who inspect the timber sector in the Congo Basin sub-region, the Field Legality Advisory Group (FLAG) serves as a vital technical resource.

    Synergy of methods: Democratic Republic of Congo – OGF

    Casting a wide net to control illegal logging in the Democratic Republic of Congo
    OGF has helped to enhance the quality of independent forest monitoring and sparked the creation of RENOI-RDC, a network that relies on the synergy of different methods to tackle illegal logging.

    Gender responsiveness: Congo Basin

    Pulling together: Integrating gender in Congo Basin forest governance
    A transboundary project demonstrates how to benefit from greater gender responsiveness in policy-making and throughout the project cycle.

    Gender responsiveness case studies: Turbulence ahead
    Across the Congo Basin, civil society groups are using CV4C tools to craft and implement more inclusive policies and programmes

    Depuis quatre ans, les partenaires du projet Voix des citoyens pour le changement (CV4C) ont exploré les moyens de rendre la gouvernance forestière, et en particulier l’observation indépendante de l’exploitation forestière plus forte, plus ciblée, plus efficace. Ils ont tenu tête aux joueurs puissants et ils ont porté assistance aux représentants du gouvernement. Ils ont intégré des questions transversales telles que la sensibilité au genre dans tous les aspects de leur travail. Ils ont tendu la main au-delà des frontières nationales pour s’entraider.

    Voici quelques-unes de leurs histoires.
    Cliquez sur les titres pour télécharger les histoires.

    Données forestières normalisées : Cameroun – FODER

    SNOIE certifié ISO : L’innovation qui assure la fiabilité des informations
    Dans un secteur où les données pratiques sont à la fois cruciales et difficiles à obtenir, FODER a franchi une étape extraordinaire en obtenant la certification ISO du système indépendant de collecte et de gestion des informations forestières.

    Santé financière : République du Congo − CAGDF

    Renflouer les caisses de l’État
    Le travail de fourmi d’une petite équipe d’observateurs indépendants de l’exploitation forestière rapporte gros.

    Transparence judiciaire : République centrafricaine – CIEDD

    Sorti des oubliettes : vers un contrôle forestier transparent en République centrafricaine
    En réhabilitant le contrôle forestier et la transparence judiciaire, le CIEDD a créé les outils dont avait besoin l’administration forestière en RCA pour réussir.

    Justice : Gabon − Brainforest

    L’impunité n’est plus ce qu’elle était : 17 communautés tiennent tête aux sociétés forestières
    L’ONG gabonaise Brainforest s’est servie de données rigoureuses collectées en tant qu’Observateur indépendant pour appuyer l’action en justice des communautés locales – et pour gagner.

    Partage entre pairs : Cameroun − FLAG

    Boîte à outils régionale : le FLAG développe les instruments nécessaires pour accompagner les observateurs indépendants de l’activité forestière
    Pour les acteurs qui contrôlent le secteur bois dans la sous-région du Bassin du Congo, le Field Legality Advisory Group (FLAG) sert de balise d’alignement et de ressource technique.

    Synergie de méthodes : République Démocratique du Congo – OGF

    RENOI-RDC jette un large filet pour contrôler l’exploitation illégale de bois dans la République Démocratique du Congo
    OGF a contribué à améliorer la qualité de l’OI et a motivé la création de RENOI-RDC, un réseau qui s’appuie sur la synergie de différentes méthodes pour lutter contre l’exploitation illégale.

    Sensibilisation au genre : Bassin du Congo

    Tous ensemble : Intégrer la sensibilité au genre dans la gouvernance forestière du bassin du Congo
    Un projet transfrontalier montre comment bénéficier d’une inclusion approfondie du genre dans la formulation des politiques et tout au long du cycle de projet.

    Sensibilité au genre, cas d’étude : Zone de turbulence
    À travers le Bassin du Congo, les organisations de la société civile s’emparent des outils CV4C pour façonner et mettre en œuvre des politiques et programmes plus inclusives.

    Funder logos
    CV4C partner logos
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  • Alumni spotlight: Ramesh Zutshi reflects on his ‘Forestry, Gender and Development’ programme back in 1992

    24 March 2021
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    Introduction by CIDT’s Des Mahony:

    “Back in early 1992 I was, at 34, the youngest lecturer at the ‘Agricultural Education & Training Unit’ (AETU) and as the one with a forestry background, responsible to coordinate a 12 week bespoke British Council commissioned course called ‘Forestry: Gender and Development’ (FGD) for very senior Indian Forest Officers. The course was tasked to update these mid-career professionals on tools and approaches to increase social inclusion, gender equity, indigenous peoples community level rights and participation in rural development.

    The AETU was within the School of Education and three times a year ran a very popular 12 week course called the ‘Overseas Technical Teachers/Trainers Award’ (OTTA) targeting staff from throughout low income countries technical agricultural/horticulture and forestry training centres (Africa, Asia, South America, the Pacific, the Caribbean etc.) to enhance and improve their curricula and educational delivery to improve food production, farming practices and natural resource management.

    The FGD was the very first course AETU ran for the Indian forest service. It later became known as the ‘Forestry People and Participation’ course and ran annually throughout the 1990s, by the end of which the AETU had been renamed to the Centre for International Development & Training (CIDT).

    Within that first mixed gender course group was a lively quick witted gentleman called Zutshi who had worked as a forest officer in Bihar state and within the Indian forest service that is a very tough state to work in for a variety of reasons. So he had plenty of very grounded experience to refer to in our sessions and discussions.

    Zutshi had never before had the opportunity to visit Europe and he relished the whole experience of being here. For me it was a genuine pleasure to have spent time with Zutshi and later, when I had the opportunity to visit Dehra Dun, be entertained in his home in India. I still smile remembering his jokes and numerous recollections: he is an excellent story teller with fantastic factual recall interested in everything from philosophy to botany to ecology to politics etc. etc.

    Here is his recollection of his time with us at ‘Wolverhampton Polytechnic’ of almost 30 years ago! 

    Recollections of my time at Walsall, Wolverhampton Polytechnic, Spring 1992

    by Ramesh Kumar Zutshi, Retired Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of the Forest Force of Jharkhand State, India.

    Photo 1992, Walsall Campus in front of ‘AETU’ building: 9 senior Indian forestry service program participants and staff involved in its delivery. Ramesh Kumar Zutshi is front 4th from right.

    Photo: 1992, Walsall Campus in front of ‘AETU’ building: 9 senior Indian forestry service program participants and staff involved in its delivery. Ramesh Kumar Zutshi is front 4th from right.

    My time at ‘AETU’, Walsall campus in the spring of 1992

    Thirty years ago in 1991 soon after my posting as a Professor with teaching and lecturing duties at the Indian Forest Service’s Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy the British Government offered me a bursary to go to the UK for one year under their ‘Trainers Training Programme’. I declined and said I couldn’t leave my family for a year and so was put on a 3-month course on ‘Forestry, Gender and Development’. Most of our Indian government systems were British and I had read English literature: Robinson Crusoe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Somerset Maugham, Thomas Hardy, Dickens and dozens of others. From these I was sort of familiar with the aloofness of the British, discipline, pubs and fish & chips! I hoped to see how the British had managed to rule over 64 countries and the course on Gender was secondary, as I saw it!

    In March 1992, we nine Indian Forest Service Officers flew to the UK and landed in Walsall. The course program sounded novel, and I reckoned it had something to do with equality and opportunities for women. It was run by the ‘Agricultural Education & Training Unit’ (AETU) on Walsall Campus, Wolverhampton Polytechnic in the West Midlands, and our course tutor was a young staff member called Des Mahony. In the first week we attended the Oxford Forestry Conference on ‘Wise Management of Tropical Forests’ and learned a lot about management of Tropical Forests. Participants were from all over the world and there was opportunity to talk to everyone during mealtimes. Then we returned to Walsall and had lectures on what Gender Issues were really about, what were our expectations, forestry and development and also exercises in communication and leadership.

    Midway through the programme we had a wonderful opportunity to meet and interview rural people in northern Portugal. This two-week study tour brought gender issues and rural development lectures alive for me. We stayed at the Hostel of Escola Superiora Agricola, at Refois de Lima and began visiting these 2-3 hectare small holding farms in the surrounding countryside. The terrain in this northern part of Portugal was undulating and hilly. The interesting thing was, each farm-lady offering us their own house wines, while questions were asked, information sought. This was probably the only place in Europe where we could see old farming family women riding on top of haystacks in a Bullock Cart. Besides farm visits, we looked at some plantations with Eucalyptus and other Exotic species, visited the Vino Verde Factory. Northern Portugal was chosen for this rural study fieldtrip because participants on our course and other courses were from Developing Countries. In most of Northern Europe, the conditions were not such that could help us understand rural processes, occupations, livelihood issues, role of men or women in rural communities. Concerning gender roles men in this part of Portugal had to work as migrant labourers in northern Europe and leave female relatives to manage these homesteads. In fact, gender roles, in this situation were altered because of the absence of men. So, in this trip we saw with our own eyes and came to understand how people in rural areas of a country like Portugal managed their land holdings, homesteads, incomes and processes involved.  This gave us food for thought to reflect and compare with our own rural communities in India.

    After the Portugal tour we returned to Walsall to make presentations regarding the visit. These presentations were attended by the faculty, two or three of whom evaluated our presentation and lecturing skills. They were noting down things like Repetitions, Gestures, Emphasis, Rambling, Involuntary Movements of Body Parts, and all other things necessary to make a lecture effective and understandable to the audience. These presentations were video-taped and given to us individually to look at them at our leisure along with a report of the evaluators. Fantastic, I thought, because, here you could reflect on the report about your presentation and see it for yourself. In my view, this was what helped establish me as a lecturer at the Indian Forestry Academy where I was teaching; and helped with problems during my lecture sessions with Indian Forest Service probationary trainees.

    During the course we also had outings to the Black Country Museum, plantations and logging sites and a visit to London including Kew Herbarium. We had a trip to Scotland, Edinburgh mainly, where we attended a conference relating to domestication of secondary species and some ecology. We also met with the Forestry Commission personnel in their HQ Building. During my time I learned a lot about local customs and prejudices during such outings.

    Impact of the course on my work after my return

    By the time I came to the UK I had put in 19 years with the Indian forestry service, 15 of these in Bihar State in various Forest Divisions. I had been promoted to the Rank of Conservator of Forests in 1986, a supervisory position. I was posted mostly in areas, where large tribal populations lived so there was plenty of time and occasion to see how, men and women played their roles in the running of their households and affairs of the community they lived in. I had noticed all over my district postings that many tribal males quite often were inebriated from drinking rice beer by mid-morning while females had by then returned from the fringe forests with a head load of fuel wood with girl children trudging along with some edible forest fruits. Females would then provide breakfast of rice flour bread cooked over a terracotta girdle or a few Chapattis to the males and children, whilst males were generally loafing around. In logging season (October to June) they would find employment in forest coupes (delineated areas for felling) and log, billet, stack timber or firewood produced. In our households too, back in Kashmir, males of any family would be employed in remote areas and there being no motorised transport, they would be home once in 6-9 months. During this time, women did shopping for the household, normally the domain of males, alongside their duties of cooking, washing, winnowing and all other housework. Female children’s toys were generally kitchen related! Boys would get Cricket bats, wooden balls to play and bicycles too. So, from the beginning, there was this ‘gender conditioning’ taking place, all the time, in urban educated households too. The Walsall Course opened our eyes a bit more about this. I, personally, could recall practises, processes, traditions etc. in a different light. I must admit though, it was so in my household too.

    It followed that, on arrival back to India to Dehradun and my academic job, I persisted with the Director of our Academy to recruit a female faculty member to support female students on our courses. Since there were always a dozen or more female probationers, it received favour from the Central Government and a female officer was hired on deputation from a State. So the female probationers had someone whom they could go to with problems specific to them. Later, when transferred as Dean and Principal of the State Forest College on the same campus, I likewise insisted on recruiting a woman to the college faculty. I would speak on ‘Gender Issues Related to Forestry Development’ on a regular basis to State service officers coming on short in-service training courses and in our Service Groups. Somehow, issues related to gender vis-a-vis these topics crept into my presentations on topics of Silviculture and issues related to conflict between mining and forestry too!

    The best thing that happened due to the efforts of Walsall Faculty was that, I was now a more confident lecturer with some presence! I received top ratings from groups of probationers of the Indian Forest Service, the State Forest Service Trainees and from the one week courses of my own service people. It would gladden my heart when a participant, a rank or two higher than mine, came up to me, patted my back and complimented me on the content of my lecture, or fielding questions or keeping my lecture or discussion restricted to the time allowed to me.

    This sums up Walsall for me. Trainer was trained, after all!

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  • Supporting a revolution in results-based project management in the Caribbean​

    14 January 2021
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    Supporting a revolution in results-based project management in the Caribbean

    Over 18 months we delivered 2300 hours of training in 19 Caribbean countries, helping to create a step change in results-oriented project management in the region, embedding skills for sustainability and rooting our strong partnership ethos and values across the Caribbean.

    Click the arrows to move through the story.



    This impact story captures our work with the Caribbean Development Bank over an 18-month period between 2017 and 2019. 

    In fact, the story of this partnership starts long before, in 2013, when we undertook a large needs assessment across the region. The journey towards an effective and sustainable project cycle management system in the Caribbean took place over these six years and involved many individuals and organisations working together. 

    The success is down to many people, not least the spirit of determination and focus embodied by local leaders and project managers who were so motivated to increase the quality of their work for their beneficiaries. 

    CDB Logo

    CDB = Caribbean Development Bank
    PCM – Project Cycle Management
    PPAM = Public Policy Analysis and Management
    BMC = Borrowing Member Countries 

    Background and context

    The Caribbean Development Bank recognises that sustainable development is significantly compromised by a shortage of well-trained personnel in the fields of Public Policy Analysis and Management (PPAM) and Project Cycle Management (PCM). 

    In 2013, building on our long and well-respected Caribbean track record of capacity development work, we were commissioned to conduct a Training Needs Assessment to inform the design and delivery of a new programme of PPAM and PCM training. 

    Several major challenges which currently impact the effectiveness of interventions in Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) were identified.

    Two years later, in 2015, we were contracted to provide Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Assistance to Phase 1 of the CDB’s new capacity development programme PPAM and PCM. 

    The open consultation approach signalled to countries that this was ‘their programme’ not a ‘one-size-fits-all’. It generated feedback that allowed the CDB to make the programme more relevant and effective; and it led to an evolution of the programme design and scope.

    Establishing a country-led Monitoring and Evaluation system in six countries and conducting the mid-term evaluation of the first phase of the programme, with a strong focus on lesson learning, led to roll-out to a further 12 countries. 

    We've been here before...

    This wasn’t our first time in the Caribbean. In fact, we’ve been working there for 20 years. Use the arrows to scroll through the timeline below to see our previous projects in the region. 

    What is PCM and why is it important?

    Project Cycle Management (PCM) focuses on strategic, results-oriented design and planning, as well as the use of performance information to improve decision-making, in order to maximise impact while optimising resources. 

    In practice, we use a set of well-structured, practical tools to guide strategic and operational planning, risk management, progress monitoring, and outcome/impact evaluation.

    Capacity gaps in this area had been having implications for development outcomes in the region, with projects being delayed due to late start-up, lengthy procurement processes and extended project implementation. 

    As defined by the European Commission:
    Project Cycle Management (PCM) represents the whole of management activities and decision-making procedures used during the life cycle of a project. PCM helps to ensure that projects are relevant to an agreed strategy and to the problems of target groups.

    Designing the programme

    The programme design featured an innovative capacity strengthening and transfer model by working in partnership with a cadre of regional associates for sustainable outcomes. The partnership approach was based on a set of well-established CIDT partnership principles:

    Supporting the CDB team and its partners to articulate their needs and build their capacity in managing the programme.

    Taking a needs-based and flexible approach, CIDT helped manage the provision of demand-led technical assistance. In order to respond to changing needs, we had to work in a highly open and flexible manner with all partners.

    Giving priority to Caribbean inputs, notably in the design of the case study based curriculum and the composition of the delivery team. International consultants were paired with regional counterparts and this unique approach was very much appreciated by the training audience.

    We focused on building capacity of the CDB staff team and its partners, helping them in articulating their needs, exploring options and ensuring effective programme implementation. 

    Building on existing Caribbean practices and initiatives by bringing new skills that could add value to existing procedures and systems.

    The diagram below shows our capacity development model for this programme.

    PCM model

    The CIDT team

    A large and diverse CIDT team, led by Project Manager Ella Haruna, were able to work together to keep the programme on track, from the complexities of travel and hospitality requirements, to the design and collation of training materials and in-person training and facilitation.

    The crucial role of Caribbean Associates

    Our team of selected Caribbean Associates were key to the both the design and delivery of the training programme. The technical training had to be appropriately designed and delivered for a Caribbean audience. The role of the Associates in helping CIDT to nuance the training design to local Caribbean conditions was critical.

    Working hand in hand, CIDT staff incrementally transferred the curriculum and implementation of the training programme to our regional expert counterparts, whilst maintaining quality assurance (QA) oversight and continuing to manage the process of continuous improvement. This approach promoted sustainability, cost-effectiveness, consistency of methodology and efficiency.

    The diagram below demonstrates how the programme was gradually passed over to the Caribbean team.

    The Associates

    Susan Branker Greene, Barbados
    Alexa Khan, Trinidad
    Nana Hesse Bayne, Trinidad
    Yolanda Alleyne, Barbados
    Joy Mapp Jobity, Trinidad
    Mark Lee, Jamaica
    Sergei Prozarov, UK
    Wouter Hijweege, Netherlands
    Claudia Nicholson, Grenada
    Vasantha Chase, St Lucia
    Teddy Charles, Jamaica
    Lennise Baptiste, Trinidad

    The modules

    The eight training modules covered a wide range of tools and themes around the project cycle, including project design, management, monitoring and evaluation to more specific PCM approaches, such as project appraisal, managing technical assistance projects and procurement. The menu of face-to-face (F2F) training courses was tailored to offer maximum impact within a fixed delivery schedule in each country.

    CDB’s four cross-cutting themes were fully mainstreamed across the curricula: Gender; Climate Change; Governance and Environmental Sustainability.

    Module 1: Introduction to PPAM (delivered by DODS)
    Module 2: Advanced PPM (delivered by DODS)
    Module 3: Principles, tools and skills for PCM
    Module 4: Project appraisal
    Module 5: Project planning and implementation
    Module 6: Monitoring and Implementation
    Module 7: Risk Management
    Module 8: Managing Technical Assistance Projects
    Module 9: Procurement
    Module 10: Train the Trainer

    The programme in numbers

    Webinars conducted to follow up on Action Plan implementation
    People trained in each country
    Staff trained in Masterclasses facilitated by CIDT’s Head of Centre in September 2018
    Average satisfaction rate in feedback on training style and delivery
    Senior Leaders participated in a Regional Leadership event in Jamaica in June 2018
    Participants accessed CIDT’s online courses in Results Based Management
    Trainers trained
    Webinar participants
    Individuals trained
    Hours of training
    Module participants trained by CIDT staff, some taking multiple modules

    Sustainability of the Programme

    CIDT trainers Ella Haruna and Susan Branker Greene facilitated a workshop with national training coordinators from 18 countries, including Heads of Civil Service Training Departments and Units. The event aimed to explore the scope of future Public Policy Analysis and Management and Project Cycle Management training and support training coordinators to action plan to meet training needs in their respective country contexts. 

    Reflections and discussions around training needs and challenges were a key theme of this sustainability focused event with regional representatives commenting on the importance of ownership and buy-in from senior levels, strengthening capacity and competency of trainers, understanding institutional limitations and challengesFind out more about this sustainability workshop.

    In the final programming phase, Des Mahony and Dani Baur delivered a series of facilitated virtual clinics with the aim of enabling Training Coordinators with the aim of deepening Training Coordinators’ confidenceencourage them to take ownership of the programme and to encourage Coordinators to support and learn from each other by building and sustaining their own community of practice.

    What did we learn?

    In the Caribbean Region, delivering results is one of the greatest challenges facing policymakers. In 2017 the rate of successful project implementation in some countries was just 20%.

    Delivering training to such a wide audience was challenging. Each country provided a unique audience and context, and each group were coming in with different levels of understanding and prior training. Another challenge was adaptation of the materials and delivery to reflect a very regionally specific gender picture in the Caribbean. 

    The use of online training before face-to-face training was very useful to get people up to a similar level of understanding. Additionally, having senior leaders champion the activities was very powerful for getting engagement from participants. 


    We have put together a full blog post on the lessons learned during this programme. Click the image below to read the post.

    Voices of the Programme: A quote from each country

    "It was very educational and rewarding. The sessions helped us identify real problems and provided tools through which proper analysis and risks should be evaluated among other things."
    "It was really refreshing to undertake this training session. I have learnt so many concepts and tools that can help me improve the quality of my work and my decision making capacity. I am grateful for the knowledge gain and I am eager to share it with colleagues."
    Antigua and Barbuda
    "It was enjoyable and although it was intense, it created a thirst for more knowledge in the areas and a desire to put the knowledge into practice"
    "The programme is a very effective one. It also comes with very high standards and tried and proven information."
    "It gave me an insight of the importance of evaluation projects/programmes from inception in order to detect issues and prevent over spending. The aspect of monitoring… was very useful to me."
    British Virgin Islands
    The program has injected an important element into government’s operation that should make it effective, accountable, flexible and responsive. This is made possible by the tools and models trained."
    Cayman Islands
    "I learnt immensely from the facilitators who all seemed well versed in their areas of delivery- I believe all aspect of work in the public sector should have the structured approach that was taught during the exercises."
    "The training was truly an eye opener and very timely from Grenada's point of view and it captured a very wide cross section of the public service."
    "I do believe that this training was a wonderful experience. It created an environment for the exchange of ideas and the airing of problems that plague our society. It also allowed officers to provide solutions to those problems. Good Job!"
    "This program is very important for civil servants. I think that from this training we will be able to implement what we have learned and so we can deposit our little stone for the advancement of our dear country"
    "I must reiterate the importance and significance of this initiative. The usefulness of the initiative was to have varying practitioners around the table to have meaningful discussion and perspectives. Thanks again for the training."
    "Very deep appreciation for the wealth of knowledge shared by the facilitators. Encouraged by the experience shared by the local participants who have done significant work with the various aspects of projects ranging from report writing to monitoring and evaluation."
    "Training was practical and applicable. It helped strengthened the need for better project planning, and highlighted the challenges faced in the implementation of projects and the need for finding workable solutions"
    St Lucia
    "I had fun first. The group dynamics were great to bring out different ideas while the facilitator was excellent at getting the point across. Content was great and I really cannot wait to implement on my return to my work place."
    St Kitts and Nevis
    "The training was helpful to me in more ways than one. I think it should continue and be offered to more individuals since it would not only help with the development of one’s personal skills but also the development of the government service."
    St Vincent and the Grenadines
    "It was like given us a brighter and bigger world perspective again, with out of the box thinking and problem solving that we as government officials often forget in time and procedures and challenges we meet."
    "I found the training and the facilitators to be of high standard and great value. If these principles are generally accepted, then they should be affirmed and chartered at the highest levels of government and supported and affirmed throughout the public sector as the new, normal and standard way of operating."
    The Bahamas
    "This training programme was perhaps the most impactful and enjoyable training that I have ever received, thus far, while working in the country's public service. Thank you for taking the time to share the knowledge and approaches with us."
    Trinidad and Tobago
    "This programme has rejuvenated me and gives me the opportunity to truly think outside the box and stretched me. I am already passionate about what I do but I am more motivated"
    Turks and Caicos Islands
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  • Alumni spotlight: Marcel Botelho leads COVID-19 responses in Brazil

    27 July 2020
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    Marcel Botelho on COVID19 panel

    Professor Marcel do Nascimento BotelhoThis month we catch up with Professor Marcel do Nascimento Botelho, who undertook a PhD with CIDT back in 2003. This was made possible through a DFID-funded partnership between CIDT, University of Wolverhampton and the Federal Rural University of Amazonia (Portuguese: Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia, UFRA) a Brazilian public University located in Belem, Pará state, Brazil.

    In 2017, after an election process, Marcel became Rector of UFRA. Since then, he has put into practice all the knowledge acquired from the Pro-UFRA project and his PhD course at CIDT-University of Wolverhampton, to establish UFRA as a key player in the sustainable development of the Amazon Region.

    Leadership of higher education responses to combat COVID-19 in Pará state

    Under Marcel’s leadership, UFRA has implemented important COVID-19 research initiatives and is now leading a research group conducting a series of analyses on COVID-19 to support state government in its decision-taking process. UFRA’s contribution has helped to reduce the number of deaths in Para state by 45%, and positively impacted upon the wider Brazilian economy. Through a single two-week period UFRA interventions reduced state death rates in Para’s population of 8 million by 14%. The research team are using Artificial Neural Nets to predict new cases, deaths and hospital infrastructure, using data in different ways for each region to help optimise use of resources.

    In a recent letter to the UK Secretary of State concerning the success of COVID-19 initiatives, Marcel commented,

    “Back in 2001 your Department generously supported a project run with the University of Wolverhampton and Harper Adams University College to support the strengthening of the Federal Rural University of the Amazon (UFRA) in Belem-Para-Brazil, of which I am the current Rector. As a consequence of that support our institution has become a key player in the development of the Amazon region.  

    “As I write, we are providing vital scientific advice to the local and state governments about the Corona Virus (Covid19) outbreak in our region. Our ability to do this is in no small part due to the support which we received from DFID, and I would wish to acknowledge this contribution and express my thanks for it once again.”

    When did you attend CIDT and what you were studying?

    I was a University Lecturer at UFRA when I was selected to attended CIDT for the MPhil/DPhil programme.

    I started my course at CIDT in 2003 and returned to Brazil to conduct my field research at Universidade Federal Rural da Amazonia (UFRA). Essentially I studied several aspects of institutional and professional development applied to institutional strengthening, comparable to the ‘Rural Extension’ field of research.

    I completed modules in: Development in practice; Effective Communication; Project Management; Research Methods; Advanced Research Skills; Social Perspsctives in Development Practice; and Research Methods and Project Design.

    The following photos show Marcel during his time at CIDT

    How did you find your time studying with us?

    During my studies in CIDT I was exposed to an environment of International Development focused on building professional capacity for change. Thus, all classes, discussions with my professors and classmates and of course, the findings from my PhD research, helped me to understand the need to address change as a process that must be based on internal motivation rather than external factors and that the time for it to occur depends on the level of success in creating this internal motivation.

    How has your career developed?

    Following my studies, I returned to Belém, the capital of the state of Pará in Brazil in order to resume my work as a university lecturer at UFRA. In 2007 I was invited to be the International Advisor of UFRA when I supported two international agreements with the United States and France.

    In 2009 I was elected Director of the Socio-environmental and Hydro Resources Institute (at UFRA) for a four year mandate. During those years I implemented a participatory management strategy to develop the actions and projects within the Institute. As a main result of this management strategy it was possible to triple our research and extension budget with high impact upon the academic community and civil society. Some of our professors earned local, regional and even international prizes for their work during this time. The use of action research, which I had introduced as part of my PhD studies as a tool for professional development, allowed our professors to enhance their classes with clear benefit to our students.

    Following this I was appointed Teaching Pro-Rector from 2013 to 2017, with a focus on implementation of a course assessment and development program, and an academic control system. The first, was a huge success so that our undergraduate courses were, for the first time, ranked level B according to the national exams. The second, brought an accurate control to academic activities, but more importantly, brought the tools for online interactions amongst professors and students.

    During this time, I was elected President of Teaching Pro-Rectors of all the Federal Universities of the Amazon region and Vice President of the National Group of Teaching Pro-Rectors. These two groups were focus on developing strategies to strengthen undergraduate course policies.


    After becoming Rector of the Federal Rural University of Amazon via an election process, some achievements in Marcel’s tenure so far are:

    • The second best university in the region according to Ministry of Education
    • The best university in the use of public funding in the Amazon
    • 80% of the undergrad courses classified at B or A rank
    • The best Agronomy degree course in the Amazon
    • Permanent member of most boards of Agrobusiness in Para

    Individually, and as a result of the performance of UFRA, he received recognition including:

    • Agronomist of the year in 2017
    • Personality of Agribusiness in 2018
    • Commendation Order of Merit Cabanagem 2017
    • Commendation Honor to Merit of Education 2018
    • Commendation Merit of Civil Defence 2019

    The following photos show Marcel in his role as lecturer and Rector, as well as receiving an agronomy award:


    You can view some of Marcel’s publications using the links below:

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  • Alumni Spotlight: We speak with former Chevening fellowship student Khin Khin Mra

    19 June 2020
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    Khin Khin Mra

    Khin Khin MraIn this Alumni Spotlight we talk to Khin Khin Mra, who studied with us back in 2010, when she was a programme officer for ActionAid Myanmar. As a consultant on gender and governance, Khin Khin now works on national strategies to promote gender equality and social inclusion.

    What did you study with CIDT?

    I was awarded the Chevening Fellowship for studies in ‘Government Relations with NGOs and Civil Society’ at the University of Wolverhampton in the UK. The Chevening Fellowship Course took place from 11 January to 1 April 2010.

    How did this course make an impact on you?

    I got a chance to learn about social exculsion and how community engagement strategies worked in practice in the deprived neighbourhoods in the UK. This is the place where I really learnt to see things critically and understand how different perspectives work on social inclusion. These have become critical aspects of my work on inclusion in governance in Myanmar.

    “I can’t believe that the relationship I built with CIDT ten years ago is still going well which makes me professionally resourceful and personally fulfilled connected to people I can rely on.”

    Where are you now in your career?

    I am currently working as a consulant on gender and governance. I worked as a National Consultant to the Department of Social Welfare, at the Ministry of Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement in Myanmar for 17 months, influencing Gender Strategy implementation and acting as a critical bridge between government, donors and civil society. I have worked with UNESCO and the Ministry of Education to ensure gender equality within reforms for pre-service teacher education and with DFID’s Centre for Good Governance programme.

    I have also worked to ensure local governance policies and systems in conflict affected areas are more inclusive of women and other excluded social groups. At the same time, I contributed to evaluation projects in Myanmar for international donors such as UNFPA, UNTF, USAID and the European Union.

    Years of experience with different agencies have enabled me to leverage the important interplay between international and national commitments, and research and practice as it relates to women’s rights, gender equality, local governance and development issues. This provides me with an excellent background to understand the links between the needs of communities and the legislative and policy frameworks. As one example, I contributed to work on the development and implementation of the government’s ‘National Strategic Plan on the Advancement of Women’.

    You can read the following articles by Khin Khin online:

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  • Spotlight on CIDT’s work in Africa

    CIDT spotlight on Africa brochure

    CIDT was invited to showcase its projects and impact in Africa to the UK’s Ambassador for Africa, Emma Wade-Smith OBE, during a Trade Commission visit organised by the Department for International Trade at Derby University on 5th March 2020.

    Focused on Working in Partnership, the event was hosted by the Midlands Enterprise University of which the University of Wolverhampton is a member. A large proportion of CIDT’s work in recent years has focused on strengthening capacity of projects, programming and organisations in over 25 sub-Saharan African countries.

    We are proud to support multi-lateral agencies engaged in regional development including the African Union, UNIDO, UNICEF, DFID and the World Bank. CIDT has implemented three multi-million European Union funded grants in Central Africa and delivered longitudinal studies in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia.

    Click the icons on the map below to explore our work, for example, supporting green growth in Rwanda, infrastructure in Somaliland, education in Zambia or energy in Nigeria.

    Click here to download the full brochure.

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  • Alumni Spotlight: Cecile Ndjebet is a leader in community forestry and inclusion

    18 June 2016
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    Cecile Ndjebet

    We caught up with Cecile Ndjebet at our Forest Governance Forum in Cameroon in March 2016.

    Cecile studied with us many years ago in 1994 on a course centred around Community Forestry for local development. Since then she has accomplished many things around community forestry and the integration of gender and women’s rights in this area.

    View more Alumni profiles.

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