Annual Report 2009

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Despite the turbulence of 2009, Diplo successfully navigated through the year, not only surviving, but maintaining a steady growth in the number of course participants, study opportunities offered and other activities. Diplo’s main focus for 2009 was on ensuring medium-term sustainability through introducing new activities and diversifying funding. This approach saw significant results: with the introduction of new courses and a promotional campaign, the number of paying online course participants increased by 65% from 2008. Furthermore, Diplo concluded an important training agreement with the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Under the umbrella of an inter-governmental memorandum of understanding signed by Mexico, Malta and Switzerland, Diplo now provides online diplomatic training for Mexican diplomats. Another significant achievement was making the long-running Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme sustainable without significant financing from Diplo’s core funding. In 2009, Diplo started providing services in this field, including professional Internet governance training for the government of Egypt and the Council of Europe. AT&T supported research and publishing projects. In September 2009, Diplo was awarded the EU/ACP tender for its IG/ICT capacity development programme for Africa-Caribbean-Pacific regions. In addition, a new European Internet Governance Capacity Development Programme was introduced and successfully delivered. Diplo’s Climate Change programme was further developed in 2009, with updates to course materials and two course deliveries. The course is now well established as an effective and professional training opportunity in the field of climate change policy. Diplo also intensified awareness-building activities on climate change, including illustrations and web materials. With its tested and well-developed course and emerging policy community, Diplo has gathered the necessary elements for introducing a capacity development programme on climate change combining online courses, policy research and policy immersion. During the year, Diplo continued the organisational consolidation which started in 2008. Procedures, project reporting and monitoring were adjusted to the organisational standards required by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and other donors. Diplo also initiated improvements to communications as a crucial element of fund-raising activities. Diplo continued to develop and strengthen various alliances and partnerships. In September 2009 Diplo signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the Consortium for European Diplomatic Training with the Vienna Diplomatic Academy, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, the Oxford Centre for Diplomacy and the College of Europe. Within the International Forum on Diplomatic Training (a network of 80 diplomatic training institutes), Diplo has been serving as the coordinator of online training initiatives. Working with IKM Emergent, Diplo organised an e-participation and reporting exercise at the Internet Governance Forum in Sharm el-Sheikh, in November 2009. Following on successful cooperation in 2008, Diplo worked together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Criminal Police Organisation – INTERPOL, to develop and deliver three capacity building programmes on international cooperation to counter terrorism. In spite of numerous successes, one of the remaining challenges is finding a proper framework for transferring Diplo’s online training methodology to other institutions. The excellence of Diplo’s work was formally recognised in October 2009: Diplo won a prestigious award as one of the “Top 10 Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics” for contributions to capacity development in Internet governance.