Nepali government officials bring home infrastructure development knowledge
Posted: 7 August 2020
Four Government of Nepal officials were among 15 South Asian policymakers who recently completed an Australia Awards Regional Short Course on Promoting Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure Development.
The Short Course increased the capacity of policymakers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan in emerging areas of need and priority for infrastructure development. Delivered by the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, the course consisted of three components.
The first component was delivered online in December 2019 and focused on infrastructure projects and finance, gender sensitivity and inclusivity in infrastructure development, developing professional networks, and finding a mentor.
For the second component, participants travelled to Australia in January 2020 for three weeks of academic instruction, site visits to major infrastructure projects, and networking events with key infrastructure industry leaders across the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Sydney.
The third component, the Return to Work Plan workshop, was initially planned as an in-person event but was adapted to online delivery in June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three-day program included an e-conference on Post-COVID-19 Infrastructure Development, a two-day global webinar, video tutorials, and coaching on how to implement Return to Work Plans during the pandemic.
Participants developed their Return to Work Plans, drawing on their own COVID-19 recovery efforts across the South Asia region.
Australia’s Ambassador to Nepal, HE Peter Budd, congratulated the Nepali participants in a certificate presentation ceremony held virtually on 24 July. During the certificate presentation ceremony, the new Short Course alumni shared their course experiences and feedback with Australian Embassy officials and Australia Awards staff.
Participant Sunil Poudel, Senior Divisional Engineer at Nepal’s Department of Electricity Development, complimented the Short Course and underlined the importance for Nepal of sustainable and resilient infrastructure development. He commented that he can now implement the knowledge he obtained from attending the Short Course in his upcoming work.
Another participant, Kedar Prasad Pokhrel, Deputy Director of Nepal Rastra Bank, said that he gained helpful knowledge of physical, financial and environmental infrastructure, especially financing modalities for infrastructure project implementation. He also added that he gained know-how on developing infrastructure in a post-crisis period.
Before digitally presenting the alumni with their certificates, HE Ambassador Budd offered congratulatory remarks and strongly emphasised that now, more than ever before, participants’ “skill, expertise and contribution will be needed for Nepal’s recovery from COVID-19: resilient and sustainable infrastructure will be imperative as we navigate the current scenario aftermath of COVID-19”.
Image at top of page: Australia’s Ambassador to Nepal, HE Peter Budd (centre) with Nepal’s four participants of the Short Course, Sandip Kumar Dev (left), Kedar Pokhrel (second from left), Sunil Poudel (second from right), and Madhu Prasad Bhetwal (right).