Written by Mekong Institute

This report evaluates a learning programs within the Mekong Institute( MI) Professional Development Series 2006/2007: “Regional Cooperation in the Greater Mekong Subregion” conducted at MI from 25 June to 13 July 2007. MI designed, developed and delivered this course based on priority learning needs of GMS government agencies complied in 2005. Despite regional cooperation has been announced as one of the MI cross-cutting issues for many year, it was the first attempt of MI to run it as a stand-alone learning program.

A total of thirty participants from the six GMS countries attended the course. Women’s participants accounted for one third of total participants. Participants hold a mixture of junior to senior level positions from both government departments and private company. Regional cooperation in the GMS was a three-week leaning program aimed at developing participants’ appreciation of the importance of regional cooperation as well as increased their capacity to assess, plan and intensify subregional cooperation in order to improve GMS cooperation and mutual development. It was thus started with the analysis of GMS history, commonalities and conflicts in order to develop a sense of regional identity before examining institutions established in the GMS, how their aims and objectives affect to their policies implemented region-wide. Finally, the course explored further to the future state of the GMS integration by comparing with other regional integraton initiatives to learn what other have done to achieve the current stage and whether te current GMS cooperation necesssarily leads to integration n the region.  

The learning program also aimed at nurturing friendship and strengthen “GMS Spirit” among participants. The learning activities included presentations by resource persons and guest speakers, class discussions, exercise, field research visits and group work assignments as well as the social and recreational activities. Outcomes of the programs therefore comprised of knowledge and skills gained through all mentioned program activities which received high satisfaction from most participants. They also expressed their appreciation on most resource persons fro their valuable knowledge which made the three modules well connected and useful. Overall, participants expressed that MI facilities and services are efficient and well-run with dedicated, friendly staff.

With its outcomes and recommendations drawn from the participants’ feedback and MI staff observation, this report concluded that the learning programs were successful. Recommendations for future program improvement are provided on section 5 of this report.

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