To ensure inclusive and sustainable development, the Government of Mauritius is developing a Vision 2030, a political strategy with key focus on addressing unemployment, alleviating poverty and fostering sustainable development. Government efforts are supported by the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) through advisory and capacity building services. Indeed, relative knowledge and capacities for inclusive green economy (IGE) are needed at all levels of the civil administration to support the implementation of Vision 2030.
“Many civil servants do not have a clear understanding of the benefits of green economy and the concrete steps that can be taken to enable it” – says Mr. Satchuda Arnachellum, Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reform (MoCSAR). “This workshop helped raise awareness and sensitize them of the need to work together, across ministries and sectors to push forth a holistic vision for Mauritius’ development”. The event was attended by almost 50 representatives from a wide range of Ministries and the civil society sector. One of the focus areas of PAGE in Mauritius is capacity building and learning for green economy.
In recent decades, Mauritius has transformed itself from a low-income, agriculture-dependent economy to an upper middle-income diversified economy with high levels of human development. As a small developing island state, Mauritius is on the front-line of climate change impacts. Economic development is forecasted to grow further at 4% during 2016-19. Yet, Mauritius’ rapid economic development has come at a cost: coastal ecosystems are under threat from tourism and terrestrial biodiversity has degraded by intensive agriculture and deforestation. While Mauritius has one of the highest Human Development Indexes in Africa, income inequality is growing and opportunities for decent, green employment are scarce.
“Green Economy is rather an abstract term for many people in Mauritius. So, it is very helpful when we link it up to main priorities for the country, key sectors, and concrete measures and projects – as we did during the workshop” says Ms Rubyna Boodhoo, Office of the Prime-Minister. Rubyna is one of the participants in the one-day workshop on “Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) in Mauritius: What Skills Do We Need?”, which took place on 3 April 2017 in Port Louis. The event has been organized within the framework of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms (MCSAR), the Civil Service College, Mauritius (CSCM). Opening speakers included the Hon. Mr. Eddy Boisezon, Minister, MCSAR and Mr Simon Springett, UN Regional coordinator & Head of UN Development Programme, Mauritius.
E-learning presents itself as an efficient way to quickly up-scale foundational learning across institutions. With the support of UNDP, an e-learning platform for civil servants was built in 2016 and has been operating under the auspices of the MCSAR. Recently the management of the platform has been conferred to the Civil Service College in Mauritius. “CSCM has the potential to reach out to 80 000 learners in Mauritius. Even though the platform hosts a number of courses, interest on the part of civil servants to participate in online trainings has so far been relatively low, compared to face-to-face trainings”, says Prof Ramesh Durbarry, Director of CSCM.
With the goal of realizing the full potential of the e-learning platform for training civil servants and deliver effective and high-quality education on IGE, UNITAR organized a two-day training of trainers on “How to design, develop and deliver effective e-learning?”. The training was attended by 25 key stakeholders engaged in the development and delivery of trainings in various department of the public administration, representatives from universities in the country, as well as the collaborators of the CSCM.
The training was very practice-oriented. “During the two days, we went through the various stages of the development process of an e-Learning course: from the assessment of the learning needs, to the evaluation of results. Now we understand the biger picture and are better equipped to develop relevant and useful courses”, says Ms Ashveena Antee Mewa, Training Coordinator at CSCM. Five fully-fledged concept notes for new e-learning courses were developed during the trainings on a variety of topics, including “Better Management of Household Waste” and “E-learning Tutorials to Improve of Secondary Level Education, e.g. on environmental issues”.
The events organized by UNITAR, within the scope of PAGE during the week of 3 April 2017, aimed to stimulate both the demand and the supply side of the provision of quality e-Learning education. “Officials are now better aware of the benefits of learning for IGE, as well as the usefulness of the e-Learning platform managed by CSCM. In the same time, a pool of new trainers was created, who can now conceptualize, develop, deliver and evaluate the impact from quality e-Learning courses on IGE”, says Ms Asha Poonyth-Seewooram – “This is a relevant and timely activity, which benefits stakeholders in Mauritius and contributes to advancing the sustainability agenda”.
UNITAR will provide follow-up support to CSCM and other training institutions in the country working on the development of e-Learning courses for IGE. At the same time, within the following months, a detailed learning needs assessment on the knowledge gaps and capacity needs of civil servants with regard to IGE learning will be carried out in the country, in collaboration with the Civil Service College. The results from this analysis will indicate to the newly trained e-Learning professionals where to concentrate their efforts in developing relevant courses that advance inclusive and green economy on the beautiful island of Mauritius.