Participants' voice: focus on local development

A new year has started and we’ve got plenty of new projects, new courses and new participants ahead of us. Course participants are indeed at the heart of our work. Their unique experiences and viewpoints are, without a shadow of doubt, the Centre’s main asset. By listening to, and learning from, our beneficiaries, we will improve the quality of our products. It is a never-ending process and a challenge, but it is our main resource. Because of this, we have decided to regularly share significant feedback we receive from our alumni, together with some of their numerous success stories. Click on the headline to read more.

In June 2008, the Centre ran a distance-learning course on the management of local development for 37 participants, including 20 ILO officials serving in Asia. The course aimed to boost both individual and institutional ability to design, implement and evaluate sustainable local development strategies and policies appropriate to the local socio-economic context. It was designed to provide theoretical models and practical tools for participants to use in their daily work. We are pleased to publish first-hand feedback from two of the course participants.

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Dear Tutor,

I am delighted to say that the first three training units have inspired me a lot and, as a result, in spite of all odds (mega economic failures), we have started moving from theory towards practice. In my project area, we have started moving towards establishing a Local Economic Development Agency primarily focusing on "Tourism".  The agency is named "Tourism Promotion Association of Kaghan (T-PAK)".  The main facilitators of this association are the ILO (my project), CNFA (a US-based NGO funded by USAID), Pakistan Workers Federation (Trade Union), the Provincial Government and the local Hotel-Owners' Association.  The Association is mainly focusing on the following areas: a) expand / modernize tourism choices for visitors and ensure best facilities; b) protect natural beauty and environment of the area; and c) create more and decent job opportunities for local people.

The ILO (my project) had taken an initiative to invite all stakeholders for a roundtable discussion on "Improving Livelihoods through Employment-Intensive Tourism", where a number of issues, opportunities and possibilities were discussed in detail (report of discussion session attached).  The Country Director ILO Pakistan, Country Representative UNIDO, Country Officer CNFA and Minister for Industries (Provincial Government) were among the participants. We are now nearing the formal establishment of T-PAK and the current Training Unit (Management Structures) is immensely useful in shaping the Association. I will keep you posted on the developments of this initiative and will seek your guidance to firm it up further.

With best regards,

Syed Saad Hussain Gilani
Project Manager
Community Based Livelihood Recovery Project International Labour
Organization Project Office for Earthquake Response, Pakistan

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Dear Nuno,

I've received very good feedback from my two counterparts at the Secretariat of State for Vocational Training and Employment (Mr. Carlos
Bento and Ms Alexandrina Verdial) on the DelNet course on Local Development. Congratulations! It is a great contribution indeed to the work the ILO is undertaking in Timor-Leste, as both of them are fully involved in our community development activities and play a lead role in the national LED programme. I would be interested, when they have finished the course, to explore with you the possible follow-ups that you may propose for them.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation,


Roberto Pes
International Expert on Small Business Training
ILO Office in Timor-Leste

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