Annual Report 2006

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Education and Training: In 2006, Diplo faced the challenge of how to scale-up the number of courses and participants without compromising Diplo’s learning methodology, characterised by a high level of interaction between lecturers and participants. The first step in addressing this challenge was to develop robust policy and technology structures. We codified and upgraded our educational policy to cover a wide variety of issues. Policy improvements included clarification of issues such as the responsibilities of lecturers and assistants, anti-plagiarism procedures, and the evaluation and organisation of research activities. A new course development scheme facilitates rapid involvement of new lecturers and a smooth transfer of skills in the development and conduct of online courses. On the technology side, the introduction of new evaluation features, reporting systems and modules for assignments strengthened the Learning Management System (LMS). As result of these infrastructural developments, Diplo increased the number of courses offered, and at the same time, facilitated a significant increase in the level of interaction between lecturers and participants, and among participants. In addition to a large number of course participants from developing countries, we saw an increase in paying participants from developed countries. In 2006, we introduced three new online courses, and also our first course in French (Multilateral Diplomacy). In the area of accredited courses, delivered in cooperation with the University of Malta, we began offering an MA in Contemporary Diplomacy. Within our Postgraduate Diploma programme, the main innovation was a modular approach that provides participants with more flexibility in selecting courses. Internet Governance Following the conclusion of the WSIS-Tunis in November 2005, one of the main policy tasks for the global ICT community was to introduce the Internet Governance Forum. In February 2006, we hosted a conference in Malta on Internet Governance. It was the first follow-up event after Tunis that gathered many experts and policy-makers in the field of Internet Governance. Some preliminary policy conceptualisation on how to develop the Internet Governance Forum took place during the Malta conference. In early March, our 2006 session of the Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme began, with 77 participants from developing countries. One of the main objectives of the 2006 programme was to provide a concrete example of a successful and functional capacity building programme. It was particularly important after the policy confusion around the concept of capacity building at the WSIS in Tunis. The programme members participated in various training, research and policy activities. A particular effort was made to involve them in the policy process. They attended various regional and international meetings. The most successful participants took part in the first Internet Governance Forum in Athens. Diplo also delivered a few short courses for policy makers. One course, held in July of 2006 in Addis Abeba, trained African Internet Governance policy makers. Diplo’s Internet Governance DVDs and booklets provided background material in numerous training activities in developing countries.