Australia Awards – South and West Asia

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Scope  Global  manages  Australia  Awards  for  the  Australian  Department  of  Foreign  Affairs  and  Trade  in  Afghanistan,  Bangladesh,  Bhutan,  Nepal,  Maldives,  Pakistan  and  Sri  Lanka. 

Australia  Awards  –  South  and  West  Asia  has  a  focus  on  the  empowerment  and  inclusion  of  women,  people  with  disability  and  individuals  from  other  disadvantaged  social  groups.

Through  a  range  of  modalities  –  including  Australia  Awards  Scholarships,  targeted  Short  Courses,  informal  learning  opportunities  and  professional  development  support  for  alumni  –  the  program  aims  to:

  • Develop  capacity  and  leadership  skills  to  enable  individuals  to  contribute  to  development  in  their  home  country
  • Build  people-to-people  linkages  at  the  individual,  institutional  and  country  levels
  • Support  Australia’s  public  and  economic  public  diplomacy  agenda.

Scholarships

Following  an  intensive  and  targeted  promotional  campaign  that  attracted  almost  2000  prospective  applicants  to  information  sessions  in  2017,  211  Australia  Awards  Scholarships  were  offered  to  successful  applicants  for  study  commencing  in  2018.

Short  Courses

Short  Courses  were  delivered  in  a  broad  range  of  areas  aligned  to  country  priorities  in  2017  including  countering  violent  extremism,  disaster  risk  reduction,  energy  security  and  women  in  leadership. Of  the  495  Australia  Awards  offered in  2017,  284  were  for  Short  Courses  –  an  increase  of  75%  from  the  Short  Courses  delivered  in  2016.

Case Study: Alumni Take on Innovation Challenge

The inaugural Alumni Innovation Challenge was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in late 2017, providing 35 alumni with grants to pilot development innovations in their home countries. The challenge was supported by the BRAC Social Innovation Lab.

The week’s events began with a two-day Design Sprint linking grant recipients to expert mentors and providing an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how to scale up their ideas. This was followed by an Innovation Conference, inaugurated by the Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, HE Julia Niblett.

The conference presented an opportunity for grant recipients to showcase their ideas through presentations to Heads of Missions from South and West Asia, Government of Bangladesh Ministry officials, international development agencies, fellow alumni and other key stakeholders.

The challenge finished with an Innovation Tour, where participants visited Australian Government-supported and Australian alumni-initiated development innovations in Bangladesh.

Opening the Innovation Challenge, Ms Niblett said, “The Alumni Innovation Challenge will further enable us to respond to emerging global opportunities and challenges through innovation by drawing together some of our most inventive, creative alumni across the region.”

“It will also provide a unique opportunity for our alumni to network and share experiences.”

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