Chevening’s International Development Workshop

20 Dec 2017
Melissa Guadalupe Social Media Ambassador

On Wednesday, 6 December, scholars studying all over the UK gathered at King’s College London for Chevening’s international development workshop.

Our morning started with a presentation from Myles Wickstead CBE, Acting Chief Exectuive of Wilton Park and visiting professor at KCL, who gave us a thorough and dynamic overview of the history and relevance of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. He shared with us the memory trick he uses to carry with him the essence of the SDGs’ scope: remembering the ‘five ps’: prosperity, people, planet, peace, and partnerships. There’s also an extra ‘p’ meaning ‘political will’, because without this the SDGs won’t have the impact they require.

After this inspiring talk, we divided up into two groups for our breakout sessions. One group of scholars participated in a session on ‘Logic models for programme conceptualisation and development’ led by Eleonore Jones and Hazel Hopkinson from Christian Aid. The other group engaged in a session on ‘Conflict analysis and theory of change’, which was led by Alice Salisbury from Conciliation Resources. In both sessions, scholars were engaged in discussions between each other and with the speakers.

We spent lunch break exchanging ideas and impressions of both sessions and also meeting new scholars. The Chevening network is so extensive that you never go to an event without making a new friend!

The afternoon sessions were equally interesting: Sam Mercadante from the Chevening programme officer team presented the session titled ‘Does higher education matter? Exploring the civic bonus of university education’. Dr Robyn Klingler-Vidra from King’s College London led a session on ‘Promoting productivity advances to escape the ‘middle-income trap’’.

We wrapped up the day with a plenary session led by Nicola Pollitt, Director of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Directorate at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, titled ‘International development: policy challenges’. This session presented scholars with the process and importance of connecting government bodies to create common policies in order to address development issues. The most interesting part of this presentation came when we were divided into groups representing different actors and interests in an imaginary case scenario of a global health crisis.

Altogether, this workshop was a great opportunity to learn from acting professionals in the field as well as to share experiences and insights from our own journeys studying this fascinating subject. We left feeling inspired to continue working in the local issues we face in our own countries, but united by the common global goal of achieving inclusive and peaceful development for all.