Colombian CLED project moves forward despite pandemic


Like the rest of the world, Colombia was also hit by the current pandemic. For the Cauca Local Economic Development (CLED) project in the Cauca region of Colombia this meant adjusting to online activities where possible or postponing activities to a later date. In this news item we give you an update about the latest and planned activities of the CLED project.

Rural Participatory Innovation training
In March, three sessions with participating organizations from the participatory rural innovation training: the Caldono´s  Agribusiness Center coffee farming associations,  the Fish farming Federation of Cauca - ACUIPES, and the cooperative of former Farc members, Coomep were scheduled. The sessions should have taken place in Siberia village, the territorial space for the guerrilla group, both in Caldono and at FUP facilities in Popayán. However, due to the pandemic, it had to be postponed.

In the sessions, participants should have got trained on how to apply rural innovation diagnostic tools to farming organizations. Luckily, the project team was able to move two training sessions online in which participants from the educational institutions participated. Unfortunately, due to limited internet access in the rural municipalities it is still challenging to connect with the Caldono farmers.

Quality Assurance workshops
A series of trainings have been organized with the directors of academic programs and the staff responsible of the office of quality assurance of FUP These sessions are to discuss and learn about the current challenges in quality assurance and to share international good practices especially in the field of tools to measure assurance of learning and how to improve the curriculum proposals. This has the goal to be a relevant step based on the certified processes that FUP has achieved and to implement new mechanisms to continue improving the quality of its education with relevance for the sustainable development of the region.

Conflict and peace seminar
The Universities of Utrecht and Medellín are responsible for the peacebuilding pillar in the project and have developed a training proposal that consists of a conflict and peace seminar. The training will be carried out online in 4 modules between July and September. Each module will be developed monthly and are focused towards the 4 project partners.

Gender approach
One of the outputs of the project is to strengthen the institutional capabilities of the project partners in terms of the gender approach since it is one of the issues that should be strengthened. In this regard, the project team has decided to implement a proposal to improve gender capabilities.

University Foundation of Popayán´s lecturer, Maria Eugenia Erazo, will implement a proposal that will consist of initial diagnoses for each institution. Later on, she will carry out capacity building activities according to the institutional individual needs.  The aim is on implementing this proposal at the end of 2020.

The municipalities of eastern Cauca, including Caldono, Silvia, and Totoró, have established a peace association supported by the Reincorporation and Normalization Agency. One of the aims of this alliance is to strengthen community and sustainable tourism. The CLED project will support this initiative by providing technical assistance to strengthen as a cluster.

Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme. Nuffic OKP contributes to a society’s sustainable and inclusive development by providing access to education and training for professionals and organisations in technical vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education. It is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of its development cooperation policy. The subsidy programme is managed by Nuffic, a Dutch non-profit organisation for internationalisation in education. It offers funding for long-term, demand-driven partnerships between Dutch knowledge institutions and organisations in 19 participating countries, as well as individual scholarships and Tailor-Made Trainings in all 53 selected countries. The € 195-m, five-year programme ends mid-2022, enabling tens of thousands to change their future. From the Dutch development cooperation policy, 4 priority themes have been selected on which to focus in the programme: Food and Nutrition Security; Water, Energy and Climate; Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; and Security and Rule of Law. Cross-cutting themes in this programme are inclusion, employability and environmental sustainability.

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