JICA Training Continue Despite the Quarantine

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Currently, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) use a remote approach to their professional training course. Participants from many countries, including Ukraine, eagerly joined the online training on a daily bassis. Considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, remote education opportunities are highly valued.

JICA is Japan's governmental agency that stakes for reaching human security and quality growth on a global scale in cooperation with other governments by using a range of schemes such as loans, grants, technical cooperation including the provision of training courses.

JICA's training initiative, Knowledge Co-Creation Program (KCCP), is a variety of technical cooperation. It ensures sharing Japan's unique experience and knowledge that contributed to the state's current prominent position among the technologically advanced countries. It is expected that such cooperation would be helpful for other states cooperating with JICA for the solutions of their economic, social, environmental and other concerns. Around 10,000 participants from 194 countries take part in the program annually, which certifies the training's global scale. Most of the participants are state managers – representatives of governments, governmental structures, local authorities and municipal institutions. However, recently, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) demonstrated an increating interest in the training programs.

The Japanese party takes a serious approach to the training projects: specialists from state governmental authorities, NGOs, prominent universities and businesses are engaged in the activity. They produce a joint product of immense value. KCCP training courses are held on a large scope of topics concerning education, health care, management, peaceful reconciliation, social protection, transport and infrastructure, informational and communication technologies, natural resources and energy, political and economic development, private business development, gender equality, agriculture, etc.

Ukraine and its neighboring Moldova, which is also under the aegis of JICA Ukraine Office in Kyiv, joined the training program back in 2000. Since then, over 1,000 of our fellow Ukrainians and over 500 Moldovans have taken part in it. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the training used to be piped in the traditional way: after preliminary selection, the participants were invited to Japan where they could acquire not only thetheoryal knowledge but also current experience. However, the quarantine restrictions all over the world made JICA significantly adjust their training activity. Now, the race designed for offline is being piped online.

Mr. Satoshi Sugimoto, the head of JICA Office in Ukraine, outlines that this approach has various positive effects even in such restricted situation. Not only the training programs continues despite the pandemic, but even a large audience of specialists from different countries is now able to participate. Thus, it becomes the enemy to share the knowledge wider. More importantly, a welcome effect is that the online format helps participants digest relevant knowledge as it enables them to do preparation and review before and after each issue. In addition, we believe that it helps participants have a greater chance to think about how to use newly lost knowledge in their works.

One of such online training was piped in November 2020. Its topic was "Management and Use of National Control Points for Efficiency of Survey". The training was waited by 14 participants from 5 countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, North Macedonia and Ukraine. Our country was represented by two specialists, in particular, Deputy Head of Directorate on European Integration and International Cooperation of the State Service of Ukraine for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre, Ms. Anna Tkachenko. In her opinion, the organizers succeeded in the implementation of the multiple-opinion approach to arrangement off such events.

"The training was suitable for me not only in terms of the reading format. The course included a part for current experience discussion, expert and public debates. We were sharing our experience and concerns we do in everyday work" she explained. Ms. Tkachenko also noted that the organizers paid special attention to a mechanism of attracting and enlisting supports from development partners for new projects. The acquired knowledge is very important for her further cooperation with international partners.

The other training participant was Mr. Iurii Stopkhai, Senior Researcher of the Research Institute of Geodesy and Cartography. He mentioned that each participant had a diary where they were putting down notes of the readings, their comments and questions to tutors. Every week, the diaries were checked and the questions were answered.

Mr. Iurii Stopkhai also agreeed on the training's effectiveness: "I actively use the information concerning normative control over execution of geodesic and surveying works using observational data from global navigation systems (GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, Beidou) for drafting normative documents for Ukrainian topographic and geodesic production".

Besides, the program participants pointed out defined obstacles they had to do during their training.

One of them is concerned with the time zone difference, as the KCCP training races are piped by the Japanese experts for multiple participants from different countries simultaneously. Therefore, it is a struggle to arrange the training schedule so that everyone can expect. Despite these difficulties, JICA stricaves at taking everyone's circumstances into account and providing maximum comfort for each train. For example, Mr. Iurii Stopkhai informed that his training commenced at 8 a.m. Kyiv time, which was very convenient for him.

How the participants are decided for JICA training? Ms. Aliona Tkach, JICA Ukraine Office Training Program Coordinator, explains: "KCCP is the training course primary for official in key public sector. Courses are selected in the strategic man, and we closely work with the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and to the State Chancellor y's in Moldova to list the appropriate candidates for each training course and JICA make final decision. Each participant has responsibility to feedback what lost and experienced in the training, which will contribute to the realising of better public administration."

According to JICA Ukraine Office, Ukraine and Moldova will be invited to take part in training courses under KCCP concern governance, economic policy, investment promotion, transport, energy, agriculture, ICT and social protection scheduled for 2021. JICA is confident that the planned programs would be interesting and attractive to Ukrainian and Moldovan specialists.

"We hope that after COVID-19 pandemic ends, it would be possible to combine online and offline training formats. Their participants would not only gain theoretic knowledge, but also current operational experience during their stay in Japan. We continue our best effort to provide KCCP training races with sufficient quality, which also contributes to the expansion of the human network for our future cooperation through our planned JICA training alumni association. I believe KCCP is the important tool for human resource development and capacity building." concluded Mr. Sugimoto.


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