Busy summer for Dods Training International

UK and EU flags
9 August 2016

It’s been a busy summer for the international training team at Dods. June saw the delivery of two intensive week-long Programmes and in July we piloted the first event as part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Fellowship Programme.

In mid-June Dods delivered an Overview of the UK Justice System Programme for the Lagos State Judicial Service Commission. Building on the success of a similar Programme delivered in 2014, the high-level delegation included the Honourable Chief Judge and Chairman as well as the Hon. Attorney General. Programme highlights included tours of the Supreme Court and Royal Courts of Justice and opportunity to sit in on a public inquiry of the Justice Select Committee in Parliament. The Programme was very well-received and the delegation leader (Chief Judge and Chairman of the JSC) commented that it “was very well-arranged and tailored to [our] needs/requirements”.

Having finished the Justice Programme we moved straight to the delivery of the next project, a week's programme on the historic EU Referendum.

Following the successes of our 2015 General Election Programme, the UK Electoral Commission had tasked us with delivering a similar Programme of activity for the Referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.

The event was delivered in the North West of England over four days during the week of the EU Referendum. Representing over 20 countries, from Zambia to Finland, Mexico to Bangladesh, electoral experts from all over the world took part in the Programme bringing their own expertise to the event. Beginning with a Briefing Conference in plenary ensured delegates heard from a range of experts from the Electoral Commission, academia and the media about the history of the UK in the EU, administering UK referendums and expectations for 2016. For day one’s Briefing, the core group of participants undertaking the full four-day programme were joined by some additional 30 participants drawn from Embassies in London, Universities in the UK, Netherlands and Japan and NGOs. On the second day, delegates visited Macclesfield Town Hall to see the opening and counting of the postal votes. On polling day itself, participants were split into smaller groups to travel round polling stations. The day culminated in all groups reuniting at Manchester Town Hall for the count event and national declaration by Jenny Watson, Chief Counting Officer and Chair of the Electoral Commission. The fourth and final day saw an optional debrief, providing delegates with an opportunity to share their experiences from the previous days and offer any comparisons with their own counterpart systems. Feedback from both delegates and the client has been incredibly possitive. Delegates were grateful to have been part of a Programme during such a historic week for the UK and watch this space for a full report on the week’s activities (available shortly).

In July, Dods Training delivered the pilot Programme for the FCO Bosnia and Herzegovina Fellowship Programme. Having won the contract in April, the international team quickly started work on designing and developing the one-week pilot.

One of the major objectives of the Programme and overall Fellowship, is to build a body of professionals who will become future leaders. With that in mind, the week featured a variety of interactive exercises and networking activities to encourage group working and collaboration. It also gave the opportunity to feature different learning methodology in the Programme to incorporate the Fellows’ differing educational backgrounds and learning methodologies.

The Programme, which covered and extensive range of topics including UK Government, Parliament, policy-making, media handling and political campaigning, was well-received by the delegates and we’re currently preparing for the three-week Programme, which will be delivered in the autumn.