Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation: Local Economic Development Catalysing Vibrant Rural Economies

A regional course organised in collaboration with Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) of South Africa.

Market-led economic development is ‘hot’ these days. It is considered to be an important vehicle for poverty reduction and sustainable development. However, the focus tends to be on global and niche markets and international trade. But for most smallholder producers, rural economies driven by the dynamics of local-to-local markets are far more important.

Course focus:

The focus of the course is on the changing roles of rural policies and services to revitalise rural economies in sub-Saharan Africa. It shares experiences and presents (new) insights on developments, concepts and innovative approaches that promote demand-driven, rural economic development that is both inclusive and sustainable. It centres on rural wealth creation through increasing the robustness, resilience and adaptive capacity of rural communities in relation to developing the (economic) performance of local market systems. This is done by looking at options of pro-poor agribusiness development models in selected agricultural sub-sectors that are interlinked with the effective delivery of rural services, leading to increased levels of local industriousness.

Aims and objectives:

The course aims to support the stakeholders involved in developing market-led inclusive local economic development by enhancing their capacities. More specifically, the course aims to:

  • Introduce participants to conceptual frameworks to identify development opportunities for rural communities and spin-offs for rural wealth creation;
  • Assist participants to appreciate the linkages between poverty and livelihood strategies, the potential of local-to-local markets and value chains to ‘work for the poor’, and the role of agribusiness development and effective services delivery in an integrated manner;
  • Expose participants to participatory approaches and methodologies for innovation and chance processes;
  • Provide tools and instruments to develop appropriate strategies and effective interventions that tackle causes rather than symptoms.

This regional course is designed for mid-career professionals of government departments, non-governmental and civil society organisations, business associations, development agencies, universities and colleges for higher education, and for other professionals working in the domain of market-driven local economic development.

Typically, the course will be beneficial for:

  • Policy staff responsible for drafting strategic development policies and/or the implementation of these, in particular related to local economic development;
  • Programme managers of developmental organisations responsible for drafting and/or implementing rural development projects;
  • Staff of universities and colleges involved in curriculum development, training, capacity building and/or outreach activities;
  • Staff of local service providers, civil society organisations and business associations.

Participants should meet the following requirements:

  • Relevant tertiary education;
  • Three years of professional experience;
  • Proven competence in the English language.

Training methods

The course is highly interactive. It builds on the participants’ own experiences and personal cases. These serve as the building blocks for ‘bankable’ project proposals that will be developed during the course.

The course programme offers a ‘balanced diet’ including:

Introductions to concepts, practice, participatory group work, guest lectures, case study presentations, exchange of experiences, panel discussions, a seminar and excursions. Learning is encouraged through the application of innovative processes and formats based on the principles of life-long learning and competency-based education.

The course will follow a modular approach in which the concepts and relevant frameworks of analysis will be discussed and practiced. Content-wise, it will first assess how rural poor people can engage in local marketeconomic activities in a sustainable way.

Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) reserves the right to change the programme. The course will be tailored to the needs of the participants, based on an inventory of their expectations.

Fees and accommodation:

The tuition fee is €3300 for two weeks. This amount includes administration fees, lecture materials and excursions. The course is residential and will be held in Pretoria, South Africa. The exact place of venue and accommodation will be announced at a later stage.

Interested candidates should always apply to Wageningen UR CDI for admission to the training. If you are admitted, you will receive an admission letter within a week. In case you are not admitted we will also inform you.

For additional information and online application, refer to www.cdi.wur.nl/UK/services/Courses/Overview_Courses_2012.

Application deadlines:

  • The admission deadline for application directly to Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation with other funding is 24 August 2012;
  • The Nuffic NFP fellowship application deadline is 1 February 2012, through the Nuffic Scholarship Online (SOL system).

For more about the Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation, refer to www.cdi.wur.nl.

Event Start Date: 
Monday, 24 September, 2012
Event End Date: 
Friday, 5 October, 2012
Event Venue: 
Event Type: 

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NGO Services