Advanced Certificate for Myanmar's interim governance institutions
The Advanced Certificate course is designed for 20-25 advisers who are forming Myanmar’s interim governance institutions (National Unity Government (NUG), Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), etc.) following the 2021 Myanmar coup d’état. The intensive training to be delivered online will not only deepen their understanding of the role of policy advisers but enhance the skills they need to undertake core tasks and policy-making functions within interim governance institutions.
The innovative structure of this certificate course builds around two modules designed to develop concrete skills needed to address sensitive policy issues with curricular content specifically tailored to the needs of participants.
Also fostering dialogue between these officials, some of whom have never met before joining the interim governance institutions, the course fulfils functions at the nexus of capacity building and dialogue facilitation. The course will last a total of six days and will be delivered in two blocks of three days, with a period of one week between modules to work on a policy exercise in teams.
Candidates need to submit their application at:
What is the Advanced Certificate about?
- Building and enhancing capacity of Myanmar's interim governance institutions and its government officials
Sessions over 6 days include: policy making, policy impact analysis, scenario-building and forecasting, gender-sensitive policy making, policy writing and advocating for policy change, crisis communication, speech writing and delivery, media training as well as negotiation and mediation (scroll down for a detailed description of modules). Sessions will be offered in two blocks over three weeks. The time between the first and second module will be bridged with exercises on which participants will have to engage as teams.
- Fostering dialogue between government officials through joint learning
Dialogue is established in a safe environment that does not focus on issues of contention, but on joint skills equally valued by all participants in their respective professional environments. In this way, solid, long-lasting professional networks between advisers within Myanmar's interim governance institutions are formed.
How do I sign up?
We will be recruiting participants with the ability to understand, speak and write in fluent English.
Interested particpants should submit their application documents at
How much does it cost?
There is no charge for this course.
The course is taking place on a regular basis.
How is the course delivered?
The course will be delivered by a team of five “mentors”, each an expert with specific professional background in their respective field, over a period of eight days spread over three weeks.
The training will be delivered online. Online-delivery has been successfully implemented five times in 2020 and 2021 (for policy advisers from the EU as well as from the EU Eastern partnership countries), and a web-based platform has been designed for delivery.
Throughout the pilot course, a focus will be put on collaborative processes and learning. Methodologically, emphasis will be laid on self-guided and peer-to-peer learning and reflection, less on frontal teaching.
What is the track record of the course?
The course has been delivered successfully 15 times for various target audiences over the past six years. The most frequent groups of participants were government officials from the EU’s Eastern Partnership: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. Courses have been held for participants also from the Western Balkans as well as from EU’s Southern Neighborhood (MENA and Israel), but also for participants from Poland, Germany, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary.
As an intervention designed to practice collaboration on policy analysis, communication and implementation, the course has in the past provided rare opportunities for cooperation among Armenian and Azerbaijani as well as among Israeli, Egyptian and Jordanian officials.
Each course has triggered a new cascade of applications from colleagues of past iterations. Adding an important element of sustainability, all former participants, upon graduation, become members of an alumni group (200 professionals currently) that is also linked on a web-based platform.
What does the programme look like?
The first day of the PolAd training gets to the core of public sector management and policy design. It is tailored to those who want to make things happen, despite the obstacles that might stand in their way. It is about understanding power dynamics, including gender dynamics, and learning to use dynamics as effective tools for analyzing your surroundings and achieving goals in the public sector. It is also about key techniques behind effective policy development and delivery, including establishing the objectives behind a new policy, linking these to longer term objectives, and assessing actors with influence on the policy objectives. The training will help participants to observe effective and ineffective uses of power in different organizational contexts and career stages, as well as recognize the significance of policy cycles and have explored various valuable analysis tools like influence mapping.
The objectives of Day 1 are to help participants to:
- successfully develop a conceptual framework for understanding the role of the policy adviser in the public sector;
- practice diagnostic skills that will enable participants to map out the political land-scape, understand others' perspectives and power bases, and learn to predict and influence their actions;
- assess your own power bases and develop your own strategy for building and exercising power and influence ethically and responsibly;
- understand the principles of the policy cycle (including Agenda Setting, Policy Formulation, Implementation, Evaluation) using an image of the policy cycle;
- use a number of key tools such as: Influence mapping, gender-inclusive analysis, stakeholder mapping, PESTLE, SWOT, pressure analysis, back casting, scenario scoping;
- look in particular at good practices employing gender-sensitive policy analysis and tools to evaluate policy through the lens of ethnic diversity.
Lead: Besa Shahini and Alex Aung Khant
Policymakers tend to be pressed for time and receive too much information. Government officials who want their arguments to influence policy must learn how to communicate data and key messages as clearly as possible, not only to the ministerial / cabinet level but also, especially as NUG, to foreign governments and donors. Based on the methods and tools discussed on the previous day, participants will learn how to structure a policy argument, write an executive summary and formulate recommendations vis-à-vis policymakers. They will also analyse the strengths and weaknesses of selected policy briefs.
The objectives of Day 2 are to help participants to:
- understand the various background conditions governing information overload in the sphere of policy and devise ways in which to increase the potential for writing to have an impact on the readership;
- choose among policy brief templates and produce effective policy writing: under-standing your audience / audience scanning; choosing among types and templates of policy papers; asking about the who, what and why of a policy brief;
- understand that all policy writing can potentially be improved;
- avoid certain expressions and features in policy writing – detail, wordiness, clichés, etc. – and know how to apply this guidance to their actual writing (in classical style) of a policy brief;
- understand why certain policy papers have more impact than others: some employ stale bureaucratese; others excel in clarity, use data at crucial points of the argu-ment, build up dialectics as part of dramatic sequencing and provide a policy solution that use imagery in a strategic manner.
Lead: Bernhard Knoll-Tudor
Day 3 offers participants the opportunity to develop practical skills necessary for effective briefing and reporting. Participants will use hands-on approaches to improving their briefing and reporting skills, while also underpinning the importance of effective briefing and reporting vis-à-vis institutional decision-making and policy-making.
The objectives of Day 3 are to help participants to:
- write clear and concise talking points, conduct effective meetings and draft reports capturing the essence of a meeting;
- brief their principals in an efficient, coherent and professional manner;
- engage in exercises in which talking points and a background brief need to be written, on the basis of which a demarche simulation is undertaken.
13 - 23 January 2022: team exercise bridging period between modules 1 & 2)
Day 4 seeks to translate principles of speech writing into practical advice. This session is especially useful for political candidates, active politicians as well as their staff. It opens with an introduction to speech-making by breaking down the overall objectives of public speeches and discussion of the three persuasive appeals / building elements, i.e. ethos, pathos and logos. The introduction is followed by practical discussion on how the appeals can be applied in public speaking, e.g., memorability, structure, the importance of the opening, right tone, humanising qualities, repetition and messaging, the use of transitions, brevity. In the course of the day, participants will write and deliver a speech and discuss in groups how they made use of the three appeals.
The objectives of Day 4 are to help participants to:
- devise a checklist to speech writing;
- understand the elements they need to employ for good speech writing;
- practice good posture, breathing, memory;
- work individually to craft their own speech, deliver it in a small group setting, and receive feedback from mentors and peers.
Lead: Bernhard Knoll-Tudor
Day 5 ensures that participants understand the complexity of modern day strategic and crisis communications and the policy advisor’s role in coordinating communication flows both internally as well as externally. Participants are introduced to key topics as well as a number of exercises which translate the theoretical parts to practical hands-on training with a focus on developing a comms strategy and interviewing techniques. Given that organisations can be struck by a crisis at any time, and that communication advisers, whether in politics or in government, are ultimately measured by how well they perform and communicate during (and after) the crisis, the day will close with framing, priming and messaging as crucial success factors for any organisation in a crisis situation.
The objectives of Day 5 are to help participants to:
- understand and apply communication principles with view to shaping strategic communication (objectives, target audience, key messages, comms products and timelines);
- practice how to communicate as an organisation such as NUG, with a particular focus on including ethnic and linguistic minorities, and women;
- appreciate the new communications landscape including social media;
- get their message through in individual television interviews and applying effective communication techniques on camera and receiving one-on-one feedback from mentors;
- recognize crisis situations as they are developing and understanding the role crisis communication plays in moderating and stabilising such situations;
- engage in crisis communication scenarios that illustrate the various stakeholders and players that play integral roles in shaping crisis communications, and how to prepare for the unexpected and make decisions in highly evolving situations.
Lead: TBC and Thin Thin L Win
The final training Day 6 introduces participants to the principles of negation and to different styles of negotiation and their potential effectiveness in varying situations. Participants will do a self-assessment test with the aim of discovering their own strengths and weaknesses and participate in a pentagame – a mock negotiation where different participants are repre-senting different countries in a UN Security Council negotiation.
The objectives of Day 6 are to help participants to:
- understand and apply negotiation principles as well as various negotiation styles (competing, compromising, collaborating, accommodating, avoiding);
- engage in a simulated negotiation lasting three hours.