Crossing Lines: Research and Policy Networks for Developing Country Education

By Noel F. McGinn | Go to book overview

DSE'S EXPERIENCE WITH NETWORKING AND INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Wolfgang Gmelin

The German Foundation for International Development (DSE) is a private organization of German development assistance according to its statutes. However, as it is financed practically entirely out of the German government's development cooperation budget, it is in fact a specialized part of German development cooperation.

DSE's motto, Dialogue and Training, characterizes its specialization on the promotion of exchange of experience and the training of specialists and executives from developing countries, but it also shows its limitations. In spite of being called a foundation, DSE cannot fund.

DSE is organized in specialized departments, called centers: for agriculture, public administration, economic and social development, health, vocational education and training, and general and higher education.

In spite of the limitations of DSE's instruments they nevertheless permit certain points of entry to institution building through training, that is, the qualification of staff. The so-called dialogue facility of DSE, the open exchange of experiences among professionals, researchers, and policy decision makers had fulfilled functions of a network: a forum for reflecting on policy issues and alternatives, for reviewing and disseminating results, and for bringing together the research and the decision making process.

Over the past ten years, DSE has moved from more or less isolated program activities to longer term so-called program packages in which the different instruments of DSE are combined. The dialogue events serve for reflection and conceptional work, that are to establish basis for cooperation. But they also serve the needs assessment for training, the identification of resources available locally or in the region, and the need for external inputs. The dialogue events are also used for reviewing and monitoring cooperative training ventures. These short- and longer- term training programs of DSE are mostly specialized, tailor-made courses fitted

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