Press Release of 16 February 2009
Since 1965 the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) trains German young professionals in its Postgraduate Training Programme for Development Cooperation. Alumnis of the Training Programme are, among others, Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Dr. Michael Hofmann, German Executive Director at the World Bank, and two of the three department heads at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Today, the present 22 members of the 44th Course of the Postgraduate Training Programme took off for their 11-week research trip to Laos, Namibia, South Africa and Turkey. The four practice-oriented field studies focus on (1) Laos’ accession to the WTO and the implications for agricultural policy and agricultural exports, (2) biofuel production in Namibia, the opportunities, threats and the institutional environment for rural development and food security, (3) South Africa - An emerging provider of environmental innovations for Africa? and (4) social and environmental standards for the sustainable development of water and energy projects in Turkey. Each Country Working Group, comprising between four and six members, is supervised by a member of DIE’s academic staff. The results of the field studies, which are carried out in cooperation with institutions in the host country, are presented jointly in a report by the members of the country working group.
Since the first Course more than 800 young professionals have been trained Postgraduate Programme. Of the more than 400 applicants 20 highly qualified academics are selected each year. The Institute’s Training Programme is concentrated on courses dedicated to development-related themes and issues bound up with shaping the process of globalisation as well as with improving trainee communicative and social skills. The Programme serves to provide trainees with an opportunity to gain practical experience with what they have learned by participating in concrete consulting-oriented research projects. Once they have completed the Training Programme, the graduates find career opportunities with development organisations at home and abroad.