My graduate studies have lead me to Brussels, Belgium, to intern with Jlag Europe and FEST, agencies devoted to sustainable development. The purpose of my internship is to evaluate Jlag’s Project Management for Sustainable Development (PM4SD™) training materials and identify its potential as a tool for capacity building within sustainable projects.
PM4SD™ is a project management training system with a goal to improve the sustainability of tourism projects. I will study for the Practitioner certification, a course that instructs practitioners on how to manage sustainable tourism projects through stakeholder engagement, results-driven action and other important techniques, including capacity building efforts.
Capacity building is on the international agenda. In 1992, at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development drafted the details of Agenda 21, a voluntary action plan for all levels of government to guide sustainable development. Within the document, Chapter 27 was devoted to the definition and exploration of capacity building and its importance in achieving sustainable development goals. Since then, capacity building has been recognized by numerous global conventions as an important factor in achieving sustainable development.
My internship with Jlag has the overall goal of identifying the capacity building techniques embedded in the PM4SD™ training, and demonstrating how the program can be a useful tool for this purpose. In order to do this, I will take the course and exam, familiarize myself with the capacity building techniques the program offers, and reach out to PM4SD™ certified professionals to build a case study for different projects that have successfully utilized PM4SD™ capacity building techniques. Working with practitioners that have employed the training material in real life scenarios will give realistic insight into the effectiveness of the program as a capacity building tool.