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Training News
How volunteering at Unesco changes lives
Contributed by Melinda Sung, The Nation, Thailand   
Sunday, 04 November 2007
In international organisations such as Unesco, interns are welcome to work alongside staff on development programmes and special projects. And, fortunately for the agency, many young people are willing to do just that, offering their time in exchange for experience. So, what drives this motivation, and what challenges and lessons are learned along the way?

Unpaid labour makes up a relatively sizeable part of the workforce at Unesco's Bangkok branch. At any one time, there are usually 15 to 30 young people volunteering for anything between a month and a whole year.

Apart from interns, there are other classified volunteers as well. Mostly female, they come in all ages, though most average in their late 20s, with a wide range of experience, educational backgrounds and nationalities, mainly Europe, North America and developed Asian nations like Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. Unesco's director Sheldon Shaeffer hopes to see more interns from Southeast Asia, especially Thailand.

To be eligible, interns should be enrolled in university and be able to volunteer a maximum of six months. Although they receive no stipend, Unesco internships are well regarded by young people seeking international careers. The process for many begins at www.unescobkk.org/index.php?id=2703.

However, opportunities as great as this come at a price with many volunteers learning unexpected lessons.

For starters, the work can be intense with volunteers investing both passion and energy to contribute to Unesco's mission. Just like paid staff, they find themselves working long hours in order to maximise success. The key motivational factor for volunteers is their sense of achievement and contribution to a great cause.

When asked about the biggest challenges, financial concerns and disappointment rank highly. All agree that longer stays amount to a better, more satisfying experience, as it takes time to get to know a project well. But long stints as a volunteer don't come easy or cheap. Apart from the cost of flying to Thailand, expenses include accommodation, food, a laptop, visas and even transport to and from work-related events, such as meetings and conferences, even when outside of Thailand.

Feeling unappreciated in the rush to get things done also affects motivation, though some volunteers feel more frustrated than others. "We don't expect payment, but more appreciation would be nice," one volunteer said. Being at the bottom of the hierarchy where credit for good work can be overlooked may result in diminishing enthusiasm, and enthusiasm is a volunteer's most essential attribute.

Read the full article: How volunteering at Unesco changes lives

Log frames Made Simple!
Contributed by Catherine Lowery, Senior Consultant and Course Trainer at IMA International   
Sunday, 26 August 2007
Is that possible I hear you ask…

There will never be the perfect logical frame, and furthermore there are people operating in the field of M&E (Monitoring and Evaluation) that see logical frameworks having a number of intrinsic problems; such as they do not allow for process orientated projects.

This having been said, they remain a tool used by many donors and organisations. So I am going to share some of the main stumbling blocks I have come across when reviewing logical frameworks and some handy hints I use that help me developing them.

Course offers expertise on UN anti-poverty goals
Contributed by International Journalists' Network   
Monday, 14 August 2006

Journalists in Moldova who want deeper knowledge of the development goals of the United Nations can participate in an upcoming course. Application deadline: August 25.

The UN Development Program (UNDP) office in Chisinau is organizing the course, scheduled for September 14 to 16. The training will help educate journalists about the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, in the hopes that it will help raise public awareness about the goals.

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Capacity Building for SPDC Staff in Nigeria
Contributed by Kennedy Lweya, IMA International   
Wednesday, 09 August 2006
IMA international has recently completed a short training programme in country for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria. IMA International and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) have worked in partnership in capacity building for social development since the 1980s, largely through regular attendance of SPDC staff to IMA scheduled courses held in either Brighton, UK; Bangkok, Thailand or Cape Town, South Africa. This growing partnership has increased the level of confidence and the need for more to be done to enhance SPDC’s staff capacity for the programming and delivery of sustainable community development in the Niger Delta. As such, IMA International was invited by SPDC to develop tailor-made courses to be delivered in Nigeria to SPDC staff drawn from the Sustainable Community Development (SCD).

The FEMIP Internship Programme: building capacity in Mediterranean partner countries
Contributed by Eurofunding Mag   
Wednesday, 12 July 2006
The European Union is launching an internship programme at the European Investment Bank to recent graduates nationals of the EU's Meditarranean partners. The goal of the Programme is to offer successful candidates an opportunity to improve their skills as well as the experience of working in an international multicultural environment.

The EIB seeks talented young individuals who can help to contribute towards improving people's lives by promoting economic and social progress in the Mediterranean partner countries.
 
This Programme, funded by the FEMIP Trust Fund, will look for candidates specialising in a field relevant to international development banking, such as economics, finance, the environment, engineering (ports, roads, energy, etc.) or urban planning.

Application deadline is set on 25 August 2006.

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