Online course and scholarship for civil society capacity building launched in Beijing

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today in Beijing launched Building Capacity of CSOs in China, an online e-course and scholarship programme to deliver expert training and qualifications to people studying or working in Chinese Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

Civil Society is a field rapidly growing in size and influence in China, with over 547,000 registered CSOs employing around 12 million full-time and part-time staff. The course is designed to improve the capabilities of these organisations by offering a tailor-made series of lectures by experts on technical skills such as fundraising, advocacy, governance and staff management. Participants who complete the five week free online course can receive a certificate of accomplishment issued by UNDP. Building Capacity of CSOs in China will be supported by the UNDP MOOC scholarship, an award worth 30,000 CNY open to course participants.

Speaking at the launch event, UNDP Deputy Country Director Patrick Haverman noted that “UNDP believes that real progress on sustainable development depends on a strong and active civil society. The objective of this course and scholarship is to facilitate learning, encourage the practice of sharing lessons learnt, and ultimately foster positive change in civil society development in China.”

At the launch UNDP was joined by partners in this initiative including Secretary General of the China Development Brief Ms. Chen Yimei and the e-course coordinator Professor He Jianyu of Tsinghua University, who gave a keynote speech and an introduction to the course respectively. Further discussions were led by subject experts serving as lecturers on the course from organisations including Sina Weibo, the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, the Drucker NPO Learning Center, the You Change Foundation and the Beijing Huizeren Volunteering Development Center in front of an audience comprised of stakeholders including representatives from CSOs and the global media.

Building Capacity of CSOs in China offers modules in “Mission and Vision”, “CSO Governance”, “Human Resource Management”, “Fundraising” and “Advocacy and Communication” to people studying or working in Chinese CSOs. It will open for study free of charge via one of the world’s largest online learning platforms from Monday 16 March 2015, and has already pre-enrolled over 2,000 students since February. To find out more and to enrol, please click here.