Yen was also complementary of the various policy development aspects that were integrated into the program and the experts who managed the debate sessions, working groups and team exercises. "The experts are really knowledgeable, skillful and committed. They did well in keeping in-class and outside-class debates and discussions going on in a relaxed and efficient manner. With their supervision, assistance and recommendations, we did a series of team work and made satisfactory presentations on various issues related to the six modules of the course. This helped us to improve our skills in preparing and making presentations, which is so important in demonstrating effectively what we had learnt."
Ken had this to say, "we learnt from the experts as for me, this is the most important factor and corresponds to what we need as policy makers. The team exercises were very good as it enabled us to prepare policy recommendations in the case study that was presented in the class. But the simulation exercise on trade negotiations in trade in services was the best one. It is a real case study that reflected the reality of our work and one that looks at trade and development particularly in term of the trends of globalization." Anna agreed, "the modules were interlinked and built on the lessons and knowledge learned from the previous module. What we learned throughout the three weeks was put to the test and challenged in a simulation exercise on the last day."
All four participants also complemented how they had learnt from each other and from other participants who had much to share in terms of their experience and knowledge. "The course allowed us to establish an important network amongst the participants. We learnt and understood from each other the importance of policy coordination, an issue that we face daily in our work", said Ken. Both Yen and Sanjeewa agreed, "We learnt a lot from the participants who made us feel strongly that all nations in the world, when they work hand in hand, can aim for a world free of poverty". Anna had this to say," it was a very interactive and intense and we were required to carry out research and submit short papers before the course. During the course, we had to carry out numerous activities in groups and present their findings to the rest of the participants. We learned the value of communication and coordination amongst ourselves in fulfilling the various activities that were required of us in each module. When the course ended, I had learned a lot more than what I had set out to achieve from the course." Sanjeewa added, "for me, it was the best training course I ever attended" and all four added that, "we have to thank UNCTAD, ESCAP and the Singapore Cooperation Program for that".
All participants at the course made new contacts and now have access to an enlarged network of colleagues, professionals, and experts. Rondine confirmed that "my stay in Medellin was very pleasant and safe and the entire experience was wonderful and life enriching in so many ways; and I cannot think of any negative aspect of it. I highly recommend the course to others who may be interested." Roberto agreed: "Honestly, I hope that other Mexicans and colleagues from Latin America and Caribbean would have the opportunity to learn from this course. Almost immediately after its completion, we the participants now see the world with more critical eyes but also with a constructive and consistent view. For all these reasons I highly recommend this flag course of UNCTAD". Tanya went on to say, "I feel privileged to have been given this opportunity to participate in the programme and become part of the P166 network. I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in international and regional economies to become a part of this valuable, relevant and practical programme".
"It is a continuous, challenging and mind-stimulating course that takes your thinking to the next level" says Rami Al Hadid.
I have gained a lot, as a member of the department that handles Egypt's position at WTO negotiations. I learnt new concepts that will help me have a wider view for these negotiations and to link the current economic situation of my country with these negotiations. For instance, the role of FDIs and SMEs in Egypt's economy is essential and therefore in WTO negotiations it is my role to support and form policies that will encourage more FDIs into my country. Further, I am very interested now to learn about the difficulties faced by SMEs in Egypt and to understand how WTO negotiations can encourage and protect this sector.
I will needs days to discuss how beneficial this course was, but I encourage everyone to try and join this training program because at the end you will learn new issues and concepts that can be added to your knowledge and which will help to improve your understanding of different economic issues in today's world. Finally, I should thank the head of my department (CD/WTO) for selecting me to participate in this course. I also thank UNCTAD for the professional organization of this program and also to the Kingdom of Bahrain for hosting this activity. Finally I need to thank my colleagues from different Arab countries that participated in this course for the spirit of friendship and brotherhood that I have felt throughout the course.
Associate Professor at Belarus State Economic University praises UNCTAD's regional course By Mohan Panicker, Thursday, 24 July 2008
"The course exceeded my expectations," Petrushkevich said. "It focused not just on presenting information and theory but on generating debates, brainstorming and presentations from participants. This is an essential advantage of the course that distinguishes it from many others." There were a lot of examples from international practice, supported by facts and statistical evidence. UNCTAD experts used active methods of training and communication that generated lively discussions often extending through coffee and lunch breaks, she adds. "The simulation exercise on GATS was unique. It synthesized the concepts learned in the training modules and provided opportunities to learn about WTO rules and to acquire negotiating skills.
"In my opinion, the level of the course was very high and the participants are lucky to have had an opportunity to gain from it," she concludes.