Monday, October 27, 2008

Online Training Course on Energy for Sustainable Development:

This online-training course is intended to provide deeper knowledge of energy’s relationship to sustainable development and how delivery of clean, affordable energy services, wise management of energy resources, and the leveraging of technological and institutional energy related opportunities can serve as instruments to reach that goal. Participants will learn of sustainable energy options, available modes of implementation, local resources required, and the policy and institutional conditions required to operationalise such options.

Why an online energy course?
Energy is related to the multidimensional aspects of sustainable development: the social, economic and environmental perspectives. Access to modern energy services is a prerequisite for meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As a result, development specialists need a comprehensive understanding of the energy/development nexus - not only how energy systems work but also the impact of energy services on other development issues such as income, health and environment.

At the present time, courses tailored to the demands of those who are working on energy issues as a means for development do not exist. Too often, existing courses deal only with technical aspects of energy issues and do not adequately examine their broader implications for sustainable development. Further, there is an increasing need to reach out to a wider range of development actors, especially in developing countries. This need is largely unmet. This course is intended to address the gaps outlined. It will provide a comprehensive coverage on the issues of how energy affects sustainable development. The online format of the course is intended to offer flexibility and reach to those who would have not otherwise been able to take advantage of existing courses.

Target audience
The target audience encompasses development specialists from government, NGOs, multilateral and bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) organisations, as well as actors involved in the private sector who are engaged in energy and development activities in developing countries. Participants will typically come from a range of educational and professional backgrounds and will have some years of practical experience. The target audience is broader than merely energy-field experts. It also includes development professionals who may have some insight of energy-related issues but desire a more comprehensive understanding of energy’s role within sustainable development.

The key outcome from this course will be improved understanding of the relationship between energy systems and sustainable development. Upon completion, participants will have significant capacity to conceptualize energy activities – and their link to development issues on the ground. Such skills will allow them to better overcome development challenges encountered in their daily work, and will help build consensus on how energy can be used effectively as a tool for sustainable development. The course will help participants promote energy efficiency and renewables, encourage technologies that offer alternatives for clean and safe energy supply and use, and help find ways for developing countries to avoid the wasteful and destructive stages that have characterised industrialisation in the past. In addition, a formal European university level certification will be granted for requisite European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits.

Who can apply for the Energy for Sustainable Development Online Course?

The target audience for the course encompasses a broad range of development specialists from governments, NGOs, multilateral and bilateral agencies, and the private sector, as well as academic and research institutes who are engaged in energy and development activities in developing countries. Envisioned participants of the course are foremost decision-makers and advisers to decision-makers in developing countries who work in areas related to energy supply and demand, environmental protection, infrastructure and economic development, city and land-use planning, agriculture and rural development, public health, and gender equity issues.

The target audience for Session 1 (Foundation Session) of the course is expected to be mid-level professionals and development specialists from a range of institutions and agencies including governmental, non-governmental, private sector and the academic community. The target audience for Session 2 (Advanced Session) of the course is expected to be senior professionals and specialists and those who have already participated in Session 1.

Formal admission requirements include a completed higher secondary certificate/ diploma that gives access to universities in the applicant’s home country and a minimum of two years work experience. More details on how to apply for admission can be found here.

When does the next course start?
The next Foundation Session of the E4SD-Course is scheduled for 26 January - 8 March 2009.

The concept of the Advanced Session is currently under revision and the next session will be offered in early 2009. If you wish to be informed of the detailed session dates when announced, please register here for the course newsletter.

When is the application deadline?
The application deadline for the next Foundation Session is 15 December 2008.

When do I get notified whether I have been accepted to the course?
We plan to inform applicants whether they have been admitted to the course about three weeks after the application deadline.

I cannot attend the upcoming course sessions. Will there be additional course sessions later this year or next year?
We plan to offer the Energy for Sustainable Development course on a regular scheme with 2-3 sessions per year. In 2009 we plan to offer at least two full course packages, each comprising of a Foundation Session and an Advanced Session.

How many participants will attend the course?
For the upcoming Foundation Session and Advanced Session of the course there are about 50 places each.

What type of Internet connection do I need to participate in the course?
Any type of Internet connection should work fine. The course has been designed in a way that even users with limited bandwidth (e.g. modem dial-up) can participate. Also, for participants who prefer to work offline, all compulsory reading materials can be downloaded and saved as pdf-files.

Do I have to be online at certain times in order to participate in the online discussion forums?
No. Due to time constrains and multiple time zones, the forum (interactions) will not take place in real time, but as a sporadic building of virtual exchanges over one week in the designated online forum of the distance education platform.

Are there scholarships available for applicants who have been accepted to the course?
No, there are no scholarships available for this course.

Is there a tuition fee?
The next E4SD Foundation Session
from 26 January - 8 March 2009 will be offered at no charge to accepted participants.