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Wrapping Up an Online Learning Exchange, In Person: Certificate Award Ceremony for Gov't Officials

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

Online Study Visit participants met in Dhaka to receive completion certificates for their coursework on the E-Citizen Charter.

The past two years have inspired a significant shift in thinking, innovation, and alternative solutions. Platforms for Dialogue (P4D) is constantly adapting to the global and national climate and adjusting our approach to continue to make an impact through our project activities. Despite in-person programme restrictions, P4D has continued to implement key activities to ensure we meet our targets including strengthening government capacity to implement key social accountability tools.

In partnership with the Cabinet Division, P4D had planned a capacity-building programme in the Netherlands on the Citizen’s Charter for government officials and relevant staff members in the Cabinet Division. In light of the pandemic, however, the activity was adapted to be conducted online. The learning exchange aimed to help civil servants gain insight into the process of implementing the E-Citizen Charter and the Burger Service Code in the Netherlands to improve both transparency of government operations and quality of public services for citizens.

To organise the online version of the learning exchange, P4D took the original plan and adapted the lectures into interactive online sessions. To facilitate learning, participants received information about each topic through our facilitating partner Digileren BV’s Learning Management System which operated through Utrecht University's online learning platform.

The online programme was conducted between May 31 to June 14, 2021, and twelve mid to senior-level officials from the Cabinet Division, Dhaka Divisional Commissioners Office, Transport and Highways Division, Local Government Division, Health Services Division, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Department of Agricultural Extension, Dhaka Electric Supply Company Ltd (DESCO), and Department of Livestock Services participated in the training.

Recently, in May of 2022, as face-to-face events resumed in Bangladesh, P4D took the opportunity to coordinate with the participants and plan a certificate ceremony. The Certificate Awarding Ceremony was held on Tuesday, 14 June 2022, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dhaka.

P4D PD, DPD, and TL welcomed Chief Guest Mr. Shamsul Arefin, Secretary C&R, CD.

In addition to issuing certificates to the participants, trainees shared insights about their experiences as well as their future plans to incorporate their learnings from the workshop. Mr. Md Shamsul Arefin, Secretary, Coordination and Reform, Cabinet Division, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Programme Director of P4D Ms. Ayesha Akhter, JS, Cabinet Division, Mr. Arsen Stepanyan, Team Leader, P4D, and Ms. Tanja Nader, Programme Manager- Governance of the European Union, participated in the event as special guests along with the awardees and other P4D project staff.

Ms. Naima Afroz Ema, Senior Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment, shared her experience saying, “it was challenging for us at the beginning to get acquainted with the digital learning platform. Later we became comfortable with the system, and it became easier for us to interact and learn as we did in a face-to-face training. We want to take this learning and put it into practice in the future.”

Ms. Naima Afroz receives her certificate from Chief Guest, Mr. Shamsul Arefin, and Special Guest, Ms. Tanja Nader.

Ms. Ayesha Akhter gave a brief overview of the project outlining P4D’s activities and achievements, highlighting the importance of capacity building activities for government officials. Team Leader, Mr. Arsen Stepanyan, also discussed the changing global environment and digitisation as a viable alternative to learning and project implementation. He emphasised that successful completion of the learning process is merely the beginning of the ongoing process of dialogue and development.

European Union Delegation Programme Manager Ms. Tanja Nader said, “the European Union is also respected in Bangladesh for helping the country consolidate democracy. P4D is an important additional aspect of our endeavour to help Bangladeshi citizens and institutions contribute to a more inclusive, open, and prosperous society. One such example is supporting the implementation of the Citizen's Charter policy through active citizen participation. I am delighted that participants of the learning exchange were able to get acquainted with the example of one of the EU Member States, the Netherlands.”

The honourable Chief Guest Mr. Shamsul Arefin expressed optimism about the impact of the learning exchange’s lessons and for the effective utilisation of P4D’s capacity building activities with government officials. He acknowledged the fact that for almost two years, international travel and face-to-face events have been interrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic also forced all to come up with innovative solutions, which, he said, this activity clearly demonstrates. Mr. Shamsul Arefin concluded by stating,

“I am hopeful that the knowledge gained by the participants who attended the programme can be effectively used to advance social accountability and Sustainable Development Goal 16 in Bangladesh. I believe that P4D will contribute to creating more access to Social Accountability policy tools for the public in general so that they feel more supported while receiving services from different government institutions.”

After the speakers’ remarks, certificates were presented to the participants by the Chief Guest and Special Guest, followed by a photo session.

Honourable Chief Guest Mr. Shamsul Arefin, Special Guest Ms. Tanja Nader, and P4D PD Ms. Ayesha Akhter present certificates to participants.

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Platforms for Dialogue and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

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