During a two-week skills training in strategic policy planning eight senior civil servants from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan gained new academic knowledge and practical skills. Through this cooperation between Clingendael Academy and the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Clingendael is directly supporting the enhancement of policy capacity in Afghanistan.
Providing the necessary skills to set strategic policies
Strategy and Policy planning is a specialised and too often underestimated task, which needs constant training and upgrading of skills. Therefore, apart from the substance of policy planning, the skill in itself needs reference. To do so, besides various technical lectures, various skills training exercises were conducted. All lectures and skills training sessions were designed to help the participants translate goals and objectives into strategic and effective policies. The overall objective was to contribute to the development of skilled civil servants and diplomats in order to make Afghanistan better capable of finding domestic revenues and of maintaining appropriate international and regional support.
Thematically, the course focused on three main pressing themes in Afghanistan’s road to self-reliance: Safety and Security policies, Economic Independence and Multi-Lateral Negotiations.
Clingendael’s strong focus on the development of relevant skills complements the pre-existing academic and professional background of the participants. It also prepares them to be more effective in their work. All participants were very enthusiastic about these interactive components and indicated they will implement their newly gained skills in their work back in Afghanistan. Examples of practical skills training included:
- A multilateral negotiation simulation exercise and negotiation style assessment
- An exercise in designing a structured policy brief
- Debating policy issues with effective argumentation and convincing presentation
- Conducting SWOT analysis, stakeholder analysis and scenario planning exercises
- Broadening their network and bilateral relations with representatives from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and gaining knowledge of the Netherlands’ policies towards the region.
For over ten years the Clingendael Institute has been training diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, and we look forward to continuing our cooperation. For more information about this course, or other training programmes, please contact the course coordinators Ms. Sharon Beijer or Mr. Paul Hendrix, Training and Research Fellows, Clingendael Academy.