Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI) had been providing international short courses to mid-career professionals in low and middle income countries for many years. Short courses normally took place in Wageningen and occasionally abroad. In the last few years WCDI developed a strategy to transit from a predominantly face-2-face to a blended learning approach, combining facilitated online and face-2-face learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed WCDI’s way of working for 2020 and 2021, and speeded up the transition that was already ongoing.
Facilitated learning remains the common thread
Systemic thinking, active participation, exchange of experiences and leadership development have always been key building blocks in our courses and remain equally important in our online courses. These skills have become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants are encouraged to take control of their own learning process. Through facilitated interactive learning and training methods, the online courses help participants to develop capacities needed to be creative, adaptive and responsive to the dynamics of a rapidly changing world. The online courses continues to offer great opportunities to share ideas and experiences between participants and trainers and build professional networks.
Access to expertise
By following an online course from WCDI, participants are assured to be exposed to the best experts in their field. Participants have access to WCDI and WUR experts who guide complex multi-stakeholder processes involving governments, businesses, civil society organizations and the scientific community to work towards sustainable and inclusive development. All online courses are designed to make academic knowledge of Wageningen University & Research available in a practical and accessible way and to enhance professional skills.
Online Learning: International WCDI Courses
WCDI has an outstanding track record in providing high-quality short courses for mid-career professionals working towards inclusive and sustainable food systems in low and middle income countries. The highest priority is to provide the same high quality in the online courses under the given circumstance.
This will be supported by individual assignments and self-study, which can range from reading a scientific article, watch an educational film on technical topics, collecting data from the field and/or interviewing of other professionals in the country of residence. For the latter activities, we will observe individual countries’ COVID-19 measures. Reflection and monitoring and evaluations of participants’ progress and satisfaction will continue also in the online courses, through discussion about individual learning expectations, tracking of the participants progress in the assignments, conducting one-to-one sessions with participants and regular reflection and evaluation moments throughout the course.
Also the online course portfolio focuses on a variety of topics such as farmer entrepreneurship, linking farmers to markets, food and nutrition security, urban or resilient food systems, climate change, agro-food sector transformation, managing for impact and multi-stakeholder partnerships amongst others.