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Customised Training Enterprise Office

Association of Development Cooperation Client: Association of Development Cooperation (AGEH) Regional Focus: Africa Content: Development, Politics and Economics of the Region

Background and Requirements SOAS has been working with the Association of Development Cooperation, the specialist agency of the German Catholics for international cooperation, for a number of years. AGEH staff come to SOAS for country-specific preparation for assignments in countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda to broaden their understanding of issues such as aid and development, post-conflict justice, reconciliation work and regional dynamics.

Approach AGEH staff follow a bespoke one week programme involving face-to-face sessions with country experts during the morning and guided research in the SOAS library in the afternoon. This approach enables the client to raise key concerns and questions then follow up with research which will help them to develop their understanding of the region. The SOAS library holds one of the largest collections on Asia, Africa and the Middle East in the world.

Outcomes and Benefits The AGEH aid workers who have trained at SOAS leave much better equipped for their postings and have also been able to gather useful contacts to help them on the ground. Philipp Langlotz who came to SOAS for a Sierra Leone programme was particularly impressed by the knowledge of the briefers, the amount of current information he received and the “very useful literature list�. He also enjoyed the informal atmosphere, the flexibility of the briefers and the amount of time allowed for questions.

Participants Said... “ The programme provided an especially good learning environment” Phillip Langlotz, Peace and Human Rights Commission Advisor for AGEH

“Training like this should be offered to everyone going abroad who needs to understand the culture they will be working in” Christina Modder, AGEH

Bespoke training for diplomats Client: Ambassadors and Senior Diplomats Regional: Asia, Africa and the Middle East Content: Historical, political, economic and cultural background

Background and Requirements A number of overseas ministries of foreign affairs including those from Ireland and Sweden have a long-standing relationship with SOAS and have sent a large number of their senior diplomats for tailored briefings. The objective of these briefings is to provide informed and up-to-date insights into the destination country and surrounding region, helping the diplomats to prepare thoroughly for new postings to countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Approach A short programme is prepared following a detailed needs analysis which establishes existing knowledge and specific requirements. A team of academic experts is gathered to cover key issues and a series of one-to-one sessions is delivered. Background reading is provided prior to the training and a reading list for follow-up to the discussions.

Outcomes and Benefits The priority given by senior diplomats to attending these programmes demonstrates the value and relevance these have to their work. In many cases Ambassadors return to SOAS within a few years as they take up their next posting. A key benefit often cited is the opportunity to gather up-to-date information about key contacts and the latest developments in a particular country. Participants often comment on the clarity given to complex issues, the open and knowledgeable response of the briefers and the value of hearing personal insights to support the factual information.

Participants Said... “I could not rate the briefings highly enough; they were varied, yet formed a coherent whole. I am very grateful indeed to the contributors.” Breifne O’Reilly, Irish Ambassador to Israel

“The two days I spent in London and at SOAS was the best possible preparation for me; the briefings made it possible for me to discuss issues and learn things that cannot be found in books or newspaper articles. To be able to “pick the brains” of your briefers was certainly a privilege.” Lars Danielsson, Swedish Ambassador to Hong Kong

John Swire and Sons Client: John Swire and Sons Regional Focus: Asia Content: Historical, political, economic and cultural background

Background and Requirements John Swire and Sons is a large multinational operating in a wide range of industries including shipping, distribution, airlines and property. It was one of the original Western companies to establish a presence in China during the 1800s. SOAS has been providing a tailored programme for Swire graduates as part of their induction training for over 15 years.

Approach A 3-day programme is delivered at SOAS and focuses on Swire’s key markets which are China and Hong Kong, South East Asia, India and the Middle East. The programme is designed to provide participants with an overview of the key historical, political, economic and social factors of these countries and regions as well as some practical advice for living and working there. Each session has a regional focus and is conducted by a leading academic expert who has spent time living and working in various countries. Sessions are interactive with the graduates encouraged to participate in discussion on the key themes covered Swire have an extensive company archive which is kept at SOAS. This is visited by the group during their training to enable them to find out more about the history of the company.

Outcomes and Benefits Feedback from the participants indicate that it is an excellent opportunity to get up to speed with the latest issues in the regions where they will be working as well as an opportunity to challenge any misconceptions.

Participants said... “A great lecture providing a lot of useful information about the region, and involving a good degree of interaction, I left feeling that I had a real grasp of the present situation in the gulf, and the problems inherent in it.” “Fantastic content. Brought up to speed quickly and concisely on an area I “An extremely good lecture previously knew very little detailing the culture, history about.” and politics of Korea. Very interesting.”

Swire graduate recruits

Great Ormond Street Hospital Client: Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Regional Focus: The Arabian Gulf Content: Culture, Society and Religion

Background and Requirements Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has a dedicated hospital wing for international patients, in particular from the Arabian Gulf. In order to provide the best care for their patients, GOSH asked SOAS to provide a series of one-day cultural training sessions on the region.

Approach The dedicated training day is usually attended by a group of approximately 50 hospital employees including both clinical and administrative staff. The day is split into two parts, the morning session focuses on the broad history of the region and The Five Pillars of Islam. The afternoon looks at cultural practices, and how they differ from Western culture, specifically in a medical environment. The session in the afternoon is usually discussion based, as many of the staff have detailed examples and case studies that they want to explore with our cultural experts.

Outcomes and Benefits As this programme is run twice a year, it is a fantastic opportunity to have a meaningful relationship with one of the leading children’s hospitals in the world. The staff that attend the training day are left with a better and more in-depth understanding of some of the cultural differences between Western culture and Gulf Culture. They are then able to apply what they have learned within clinical situations and have better working relationships with clients and their families, which in turn give the children a more comfortable experience during an already difficult time.

Participants said... ‘’The lecturer was very knowledgeable, open and honest’’ “I very much enjoyed this study day, it was well presented and very informative. I learnt a great deal from the session and the lead lecturer was excellent”.

‘’The appropriate subjects were covered, in a good length of time’

For more information on any of our bespoke training options, please get in touch. T: 020 7898 4837 E:

Soas enterprise customised training case studies  
Soas enterprise customised training case studies