The Hague Academy is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation established in 2006. Their director Cecile Meijs tells about their mission and activities. “We believe that reliable local services, inclusive local policies and effective partnerships within local communities are crucial to achieve stability, promote sustainable development and increase the quality of life of citizens worldwide. We contribute by developing practice-oriented training courses for civil servants, representatives from NGOs and professionals at donor and development organisations. Through training and education, we seek to develop knowledge and skills required to strengthen inclusive local governance in developing and post-conflict societies.”
Why did your organisation become a member of Partos?
The Hague Academy plays an ever growing role providing practical knowledge on local governance all over the world. On a yearly basis we train about 1000 people, both in The Hague and in countries like Burundi, Sudan, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Ukraine, Pakistan and Indonesia. We have developed an effective network of partners for which we design tailor made short and multi-annual training programmes. Cecile Meijs continues: “Becoming a member of Partos seemed like a natural step for us to connect and cooperate more with other development organisations in The Netherlands. We expect that membership of Partos means new inspiration, exchanging know how, networking and exploring cooperation. We would love to engage with other members of Partos in overlapping themes.”
What are your plans for the nearby future?
After a period of rapid growth, our current multi-annual strategy focuses on quality and innovation. Recent activities are, for example, training of trainers (TOT) and curriculum support for local government training centres abroad. In Jordan, we assist UNDP in developing a Master-programme on local development and in training the university lecturers in applying more interactive approaches. Another activity is developing the ‘action learning’-approach for multi-annual programmes to promote social change. This is a methodology in which training, coaching and learning are centered around solving real problems.
Important for us is also improving monitoring and evaluation. Improved evaluation methods will allow us to measure more accurately the progress that our participants make in achieving action-oriented learning objectives. We use the Sprockler evaluation tool to collect stories from our training participants. These stories do not only relate to the knowledge, skills and networks that the participants gained from the training but also to the impact on the organisations and communities that they work for. From their impact stories, it was very encouraging to learn that 64% started a new project or changed an existing project, 44 % had involved new stakeholders and 36% changed an existing policy or developed a new policy. Also, many alumni were so enthusiastic that they started to train their own colleagues on the lessons they took from the training. This is of course a great inspiration for our team and for pursuing our mission to strengthen local democracy worldwide.