Distance learning experience within the "Training course addressed to operators of sustainable agriculture development in mediterranean climate countries": analysis of results
This action concerned the implementation of advanced training course on sustainable agriculture through distance learning. The course was organized by CIHEAM, International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies through the CIHEAM-Bari Institute, within the framework of specific institutional support activities by the Italian Cooperation (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to combat poverty in Southern countries. The objective of the course was to provide participants with update multi-disciplinary knowledge to effectively contribute to implementing sustainable agriculture development programs in their countries also within the framework of plans and actions to combat poverty. Participants were forty-seven fellowship holders coming from Southern Mediterranean countries, and selected among officers of the Ministries of Agriculture and Managers of professional organizations of the agricultural sector. The course length was 7 months (December 2004 through June 2005). It included an initial residential period of about 2 months at the MAI of Bari, a period “at a distance” of about 4 months during which participants returned to their countries to continue the experience “on-line”, and finally the third residential “follow-up” period of about 1 month. This BLENDED SYSTEM, blending a “face-to-face” period with a “distance” one, had already proved to be quite effective, both in terms of learning and psycho-social approach, in a previous experience developed by MAIB. The beneficiary countries of this action were: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Egypt, Lebanon, Macedonia, Morocco, Palestine, Serbia Montenegro, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey and some countries (Georgia, Iran, Libya and Mauritania) indicated by the Italian Cooperation. Priority was given to those countries where country programs of the Italian Cooperation are already working, those where actions specifically addressed to combat poverty or where complementarities and synergies with training of local officials of the agricultural sectors are possible.