Food Security Center taps Filipino expert to train Malawi PhD students
A Filipino communication specialist, Dr. Lily Ann D. Lando, was tapped by the Food Security Center (FSC) of the University of Hohenheim (UHOH), through SEARCA, to conduct a training-workshop to strengthen the proposal writing skills of PhD students in the Aquaculture and Fisheries Science Program and the Agricultural and Resource Economics Program of Bunda College, University of Malawi. SEARCA is a network partner of UHOH in its FSC project supported by the Government of Germany.
Currently Director of the Applied Communication Division of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), Dr. Lando implemented the “Proposal Writing Course for PhD Students and Selected Staff at Bunda College in the University of Malawi” on 19-23 July 2010.
The training aimed to enhance the participants’ skills in proposal development and writing, specially developing proposals for dissertation, and targeting specific calls for proposals (e.g., International Foundation for Science call for 2010). The course also aimed to enhance the participants’ skills in communicating proposals, specially in proposal presentation to an evaluation body. Dr. Jeremiah Kang’ombe, PhD Program Coordinator, and Dr. Alexander Kalimbra, Dean, Postgraduate Studies and Research, both of Bunda College, gave the welcome and opening remarks, respectively, at the opening program of the training course.
A seasoned technical editor and author of several books, journal papers, and teaching manuals, Dr. Lando used lecture and discussion, demonstration, workshop, presentation practice, and critique and group discussion were the training approaches to deliver the course.
Participants of the training were 10 PhD students, two of whom were also Bunda College staff. According to Dr. Lando, the small group was an advantage as it kept all participants attentive and closely involved in the training activities. Furthermore, she noted that the small group fostered a positive perception of the training among the participants as it gave the training an “opportunity-for-all foundation.”
In her post-training report, Dr. Lando said “the participative training methodology was identified as one of the key strengths of the course, which was structured largely around independent, self-directed work that was fueled by internal motivation. The work was broken into manageable tasks that would eventually help them meet job-related needs. Through their sharing sessions, the participants were recognized for their knowledge and even for their prior accomplishments. All in all, these aspects acknowledged the participants as adult learners.”
Dr. Lando’s visit to University of Malawi was coordinated by Dr. Editha C. Cedicol, Manager, Graduate Scholarship Department, and focal person for the FSC at SEARCA and Dr. Wellington N. Ekaya, Program Manager (Training and Qualtiy Assurance), Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) and FSC Regional Coordinator for Africa.
The FSC is a newly established center of excellence in development collaboration at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany. It is one of the five excellence centers of the program “Exceed- Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation,” supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of Germany. FSC’s mission is to make effective and innovative scientific contributions in research, teaching, and policy advice to eradicate hunger and achieve food security in collaboration with partner Higher Education Institutions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as well as national and international development and research organizations. The FSC activities deal with issues of sustainable food availability, food access, food use, and food utilization.