After months battling for a golden opportunity to join the 2018 Asia Foundation Development Fellows Leadership Program, 12 candidates were selected from a competitive pool of over a thousand applicants. With the aim to engage and empower a dynamic community, this program was launched in 2014, recruiting ‘emerging change-makers’ all over Asia. This year, participants from China, Vietnam, Mongolia, Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and more, formed the selected group of the 2018 Asia Foundation Development Fellows Leadership Program.
Every year, the Asia Foundation Development Fellows headquarters in the United States of America organizes a year round program hosted in South Korea. The closing ceremony is held in the USA, while a select third Asian country is included for participation; this year, it is Sri Lanka.
Korea Development Institutes’ always had a long-standing partnership with the Asia Foundation Development Fellows organization. As part of the one week knowledge-sharing and learning experience in South Korea, participants visited the KDI School premises on April 19th 2018, where they partook in two seminars offered by the well-rounded and experienced Professors in their respective fields.
The first seminar held during the morning period was delivered by Professor. KIM, Booyuel, titled Leadership Training Program & Global Development Agenda from MDGs to SDGs. The second seminar, titled Korea’s Economic Development, was directed by Professor. PARK, Jin, followed by a lunch break period during which participants were given the opportunity to meet some of their native peers currently enrolled in KDIS. Additionally, a tour of the premises was also incorporated into the agenda.
According to Mr. RHODAS, Julian from the Asia Foundation Development Fellows headquarters, who for the first time accompanied this years’ batch, the 2018 fellowship program was divided into two intensive modules. The first module consisted of a two weeks stay in Asia; one week in South Korea (facilitated by the present partnership with the Korea Development Institute) and another week in Sri Lanka. The commencement of the program took place in South Korea, April 2018, with a Leadership Development Workshop, hosted between Seoul and Sejong City. The remaining week in Sri Lanka was contributed by various development practitioners with an aim to provide a better understanding of the mechanics of change through practicality for participants. Lastly, towards the end of the year, Fellows will be invited to the United States for another two weeks workshop and a closing ceremony of the 2018 Asian Foundation Fellows program. In branching the fellowship program in this manner, the organizers hope to mold future innovative leaders through in-depth knowledge sharing and international exposure whilst not jeopardizing fellows’ current occupation throughout the year 2018.