International Partnerships in Governance Capacity Building

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island was the location for a recent international workshop hosted by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) and facilitated by the Centre for Intercultural Learning. It was only fitting that this historic city – the birthplace of Canadian Confederation, would be chosen to wrap up a five-year public sector capacity building program involving eleven developing countries and six Canadian provinces. The Public Sector Capacity Building for Governance and Social Development Program , funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), works to enhance the public administration and policy-making capabilities of institutions involved in governing, designing or implementing poverty reduction programs.

In collaboration with IPAC, the Centre ran a lessons learned workshop as part of their Intercultural Facilitation and Organizational Development (iFOD) line of service. The two-day workshop was attended by 36 participants representing all project partners and was delivered in both French and English. Diana Ivancic, the IPAC Program Manager said this type of intervention was important to her program; "This was the first time in the history of our programming that IPAC ran a participatory workshop for participants and their counterparts. I anticipate the outcome will help focus planning for future activities under the new Good Governance Program (GGP) in a way that results can be measured."

For Paul Bogere, the Assistant Commissioner for Human Resources Development with the Government of Uganda, a key benefit of this workshop was the sharing of experiences and documenting best practices that then can be replicated in his own country. Bogere also welcomed the intercultural facilitation process of the workshop; "We must appreciate each other's cultural differences, be flexible, adaptive and show mutual respect. This workshop has exposed us to new facilitation techniques that have allowed us to open up with a lot of ease and share our concerns and experiences."

Suzanne Montford, Senior Learning Specialist with the Centre and co-facilitator of the workshop says that the participatory process used is a challenging one for facilitators but the results are well worth the effort. "In the end, all members of IPAC were highly satisfied with the results of the workshop. We established a process but the participants identified early on the outputs they hoped to achieve."

"Based on the evaluations and comments we received, I'd say that results of the workshops met and exceeded expectations".