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The next generation of leaders in health and education in Myanmar is set to take an important step in their development with specialist training in Melbourne devised and managed by Burnet Institute.
Twelve second-line managers from public health and education organisations have received Australia Awards Fellowships through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)-Australian Aid to attend the two-and-a-half week course, Strengthening Civil Society in Myanmar – improving public health outcomes.
The Manager of Burnet’s Myanmar Program, Lia Burns, said the course includes orientation, training workshops, interactive seminars and panel sessions on a range of themes including:
• Governance of NGOs
• Strategic development and planning
• Managing risk and organisational change
• Budget management
• Developing effective workforce principles of non-discrimination and equality
• Fundraising fundamentals.
“It’s about supporting local organisations in Myanmar, particularly their second-line management, to understand what it’s like to run a non-government organisation in a democratic environment,” Ms Burns said.
“The program will address how they engage with government and community, knowledge transfer from research to policy, their role in advocacy and influence, and best practice organisational policies including gender and diversity in the workplace.
Organisations lending their support and expertise for the course include Living Positive Victoria, Harm Reduction Victoria, World Vision Australia, PLAN, Oxfam and Médecins Sans Frontières.
Ms Burns said the Australia Awards Fellows are drawn from a broad range of organisations based in Yangon and Mandalay, including Myanmar Catholic HIV/AIDS Network, Karuna Myanmar Social Services, Myanmar Business Coalition on AIDS, and Myanmar Positive Group.
“We’ve had a long-term relationship with many of these organisations working in partnership on issues of HIV prevention and care or organisational capacity strengthening which is a core element of our program,” Ms Burns said.
“We have either delivered services with these organisations or through them, or they are part of a network that we’ve facilitated.”
Head of the Centre for International Health, Professor Robert Power said Burnet is excited to be able to deliver another Australian Aid-funded Australia Awards Fellowship (AAF).
“This is our third program with Myanmar colleagues in five years,” he said.
“Capacity strengthening is an important element of collaboration with civil society in the development context, and Burnet’s Myanmar program prioritises approaches that enable local civil society to provide long term and sustainable service to communities.”
“The AAF program provides a complementary mechanism to our bilaterally-funded program.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to provide a diverse and important link in the chain of support.”
The course runs from 11 to 27 May.