University to train 40 Afghan officials in policy making

By on 21/01/2018 | Updated on 24/09/2020
The Institute of Public Policy and Administration is based at the University of Central Asia headquarters in Bishkek,The Kyrgyz Republic (Image courtesy: Firespeaker).

The Afghan government has created an opportunity for civil servants working as policy analysts to strengthen their skills by taking a new Master’s degree.

It has struck an agreement with the University of Central Asia to deliver an Executive Master’s programme in economic policy to officials tasked with implementing the National Peace and Development Framework: a four-year plan for re-booting Afghanistan’s economy.

A total of 40 civil servants are expected to complete the programme offered by UCA’s Institute of Public Policy and Administration by 2020, according to a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two parties at a ceremony in Kabul.

Naheed Sorabi, Afghanistan’s deputy finance minister, said at the ceremony: “The Executive Master’s Program in Economic Policy will help build a strong foundation in economic analysis and management skills for Afghan civil servants who are working as policy analysts and implementing Afghanistan’s National Peace and Development Framework.”

Foreign funding, local policymaking

The programme is designed to build a strong foundation in economic theory and its applications, as well as quantitative methods and the basic tools of management analysis. It is funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre, the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, and the Afghan Ministry of Finance.

Dr. Bohdan Krawchenko, dean of UCA’s Graduate School of Development, who signed the MoU on behalf of the university, said: “The Ministry of Finance is where policy making and financial authority connect, and we are delighted to have this opportunity to engage with our Afghan colleagues in the exploration of economic policy.”

A similar collaboration that took place in 2015 enabled 26 Afghan government officials to gain a Certificate in Policy Analysis at UCA after following a programme that was designed in collaboration with Carleton University in Canada.

Afghanistan’s deputy finance minister Naheed Sorabi and Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, dean of the University of Central Asia’s Graduate School of Development, sign the MoU (Image courtesy: University of Central Asia).

Central Asian academia

The IPPA, which is based at Bishkek in the Kyrgyz Republic, also operates a visiting fellows programme for public servants from Afghanistan and Central Asian countries to spend two months at the UCA carrying out research related to their departmental responsibilities.

The UCA was jointly founded in 2000 as a secular university through an international treaty between the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, with funding from the Aga Khan Development Network.

The university aims to promote the social and economic development of Central Asia, especially in its mountain communities. It receives funding from 45 global partners, including the European Commission, the British Council, the French government, the University of Cambridge, and the US Department of State.

About Liz Heron

Liz Heron is a journalist based in London. She worked on daily newspapers for more than 16 years as an education correspondent, section editor and general news reporter. She was Education Editor of the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and has contributed to a wide range of British media including The Independent, The Guardian and the BBC.

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