A new program developing the capacity of research organisations in the Pacific was launched today at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
The Institutional John Dillon Fellowship (iJDF) will provide training support for ACIAR partner organisations throughout the Pacific, furthering professional development and strengthening linkages to Australia.
The first iJDF involves 15 fellows from institutions across Papua New Guinea, including the National Fisheries Authority, National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), University of Technology, Science and Technology Secretariat and the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Department of Primary Industries, and regional partner the Pacific Community (SPC).
Since 2002, the John Dillon Fellowship has supported the career development of outstanding agricultural scientists and economists. This new ‘institutional’ version of the JDF includes participants from interconnected organisations and aims to assist in developing innovative solutions to contemporary challenges in the agricultural research sector. The program combines in-country mentoring, context-based projects and professional development workshops with industry visits and networking opportunities.
“With this new approach to the John Dillon Fellowship, the institutional program will focus training and mentoring approaches on specific agencies’ needs to assist our partners to navigate real-world challenges and develop leaders who can advance agricultural research in the Pacific region,” said ACIAR’s General Manager Outreach and Capacity Building Eleanor Dean.
“Each participant is strategically positioned. In providing training support for the Fellows as a group, the iJDF will amplify the benefits to the individuals, which will benefit the work cultures within and between our partner institutions, locally and regionally.”
The iJDF Program works with senior managers to identify institutional capacity needs and with Fellows on case-study thematic projects to address those needs. The Fellowship will ultimately strengthen the Pacific region’s capacity to identify, create, design and implement successful agricultural policies and programs to tackle the numerous challenges facing local agriculture and food systems.