MI Gears Up through Enhancing its Staff Capacity to Support ACMECS

Khon Kaen, Thailand – To strengthen its position as a center of excellence in the Mekong region, the Mekong Institute (MI) has completed a capacity-building training program aimed at enhancing its institutional capabilities and service offerings which are crucial as it prepares to assume back-office support responsibilities for the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Interim Secretariat (AIS). The training program was conducted under the Project on Capacity Building for Enhanced Secretarial Support and Development in the Mekong Region, supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia. ACMECS aims to strengthen cooperation among Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Initiated by Thailand in 2003, it aims to enhance development and connectivity of the Mekong subregion. Through collaboration, it addresses shared challenges and fosters shared prosperity and growth.

The 1st phase of training program, conducted from April 29 to May 3, 2024, focused intensively on refining skills crucial for effective policy formulation, strategic planning, and coordination. This foundational phase was followed by a 2nd phase training  held from June 10 to 14, 2024, which concentrated on equipping MI staff with the expertise to craft compelling project proposals and develop robust communication strategies. Both trainings were facilitated by distinguished experts and professors from the Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration, Chiang Mai University,

The overarching objective of these initiatives was to enhance the capacities of MI staff, including department directors, unit heads, program managers, coordinators, officers, and assistants. While directly benefiting those involved with the AIS, other MI personnel also participated, recognizing their indirect support roles crucial to regional cooperation frameworks.

Prior to the training sessions, an online needs assessment was conducted to tailor the content to the specific requirements of MI staff. Each training module was designed to encompass theoretical insights, best practices, and practical tools essential for bolstering MI’s capabilities in providing secretarial support. The training methodology emphasized interactive formats, allowing ample time for discussions and the examination of pertinent case studies.

Additionally, as part of the project’s holistic approach, MI will facilitate learning visits to subregional secretariats and organizations, supplemented by an online knowledge-sharing session with regional and international experts in 2024. These engagements will provide invaluable insights into supporting regional development frameworks and enhancing secretarial functions.

“We are immensely grateful for the steadfast support from DFAT, which has been instrumental in empowering our team with the expertise needed to elevate MI’s service delivery,” remarked Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, Executive Director of MI. “These trainings mark a pivotal step in our journey towards becoming a center of excellence in the Mekong region, poised to effectively support the ACMECS agenda and other regional initiatives.”

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