Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Mekong Institute

Khon Kaen is the commercial and political centre of northeastern Thailand. With a population of over 3 million people, the city is home to the Mekong Institute, an innovative intergovernmental organization that promotes learning and regional cooperation between Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. The institute is funded by NZAID to deliver practical training and research opportunities to leaders and policy makers so they in turn can teach others and build the skills within their own organizations and/or countries.

Building capacity is a phrase often used in aid and development. It may sound like jargon to many of us but the work of the Mekong Institute is an illustration of what it means to upgrade the skills and expertise of others.

Right now, the institute is providing practical training and hands-on experience to young professionals in rural development, trade and investment, public sector reform and effective regional cooperation in the areas of tourism, conflict management and human migration. The six-month course includes field trips and a range of projects that will in turn help the region alleviate poverty. With the skills learnt here, these young professionals will be able to pass on their experience and knowledge to others in their home country and the flow-on impact has the potential to be huge.

The students that I met are enthusiastic about the course and potential it offers them. They are learning how to train others, write proposals, monitor projects and achieve results – putting them in good stead to make a difference to the future of the region. It’s a positive step towards building a more prosperous future.

For more information, visit

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home