UNITAR Fellowship for Afghanistan
The Fellowship is an annual eight-month long programme which builds the capacity, and enhances the leadership, management and professional skills of a core group of senior government officials, academics and practitioners from Afghanistan. Sharing Hiroshima's lessons in post-conflict reconstruction, the Fellowship discusses important themes such as organization development and change, project design and management, and human resource development/management.
The Fellowship’s two long-term objectives are:
- To support an Afghan cadre in the application of their increased knowledge, and confidence in the transformation of their respective ministries
- To build a committed and highly capable Fellowship community in Afghanistan which can serve as a resource for planning and implementing capacity-building and training activities at the local and national levels
Workshops and Web Seminars:
Three workshops are held during each Fellowship cycle, alternating with other training activities. In addition five on-line web-seminars are offered as part of a module on human resource development and management. The Fellowship’s substantive topics are, in part, determined by the needs of the Fellows, but in general come from the following themes:
- Organization development and change
- Project design and proposal writing
- Project management and reporting
- Accounting and budgeting
- Leading and mentoring teams for development and change
- Team-building and teamwork
- Communication skills
- Strategic planning
Mentors and Coaches:
Each Mentor/Coach team commits to oversee at least one group of Fellows. Mentors are experts, practitioners, or academics in a variety of disciplines who are based in different countries. They assist Fellows in meeting their professional goals, offer feedback on work submitted and give specific advice where needed. Coaches selected from the most capable graduates of previous Fellowship Cycles constitute the Fellowship’s mentoring arm in Afghanistan.
Coaching for Coaches:
To guide and support the Coaches in fulfilling their roles a training module on Coaching for Coaches has been offered since 2007. The careful selection of committed and competent alumni as Coaches and providing them with the appropriate training and preparation to serve in this role plays a key part in ensuring the success of the Fellowship programme.
Based on their professional backgrounds, Fellowship participants are divided into groups and are required to identify a suitable team project that will constitute the basis of their work during the course of the Fellowship Cycle. The projects are related to the Fellows’ own work and departments, and focus on organization development/organizational change through various interventions including training/capacity-building.
Since 2006 the University of Texas at Austin (UTA) awards three graduate academic credits each for any Fellows who meet the Fellowship requirements.
Curriculum Emphasis on Leadership and Mentoring:
Endeavouring to widen the impact of the Fellowship, UNITAR has placed special emphasis on methodology and skill development related to leadership and mentoring. The objective in this respect is to develop the capacity of each Fellow to be a leader and facilitator able to contribute to organizational and human resource development within his/her respective ministry or organization. It is also important to note that the Fellowship curriculum is "Learner-driven" and based on a “Tool Box” of HRM and organization development tools, selected and refined with each cycle.
Combination of Different Training Methods:
The Fellowship undertakes a combination of different training methods with a series of skill-building activities, such as on-site workshops and study-trips, Mentor-Coach-Fellow communication, team projects, and distance learning activities.