Danida Alumni Network builds connections

Through its diverse membership of highly skilled Danida alumni, associated Danish partners and exclusive member services, the Danida Alumni Network facilitates and helps maintain professional and personal ties across countries, sectors and disciplines.

These connections contribute to cross-cultural knowledge exchange, peer learning and identification of new opportunities that benefit alumni, their home countries and Denmark.

The Danida Alumni Network represents a wide-reaching knowledge ecosystem -  both in terms of geography and subject-matter expertise. It is an ecosystem and community built on a shared identity that is rooted in learning from, and personal connections to, Denmark. Given the very varied disciplines, sectors and contexts in which our members work, the Danida Alumni Network provides a potentially powerful platform for not only fostering cross-sector connections and knowledge sharing but also multidisciplinary approaches to solving complex problems.

Through exclusive member services and opportunities, Danida Fellowship Centre provides a range of support to Danida alumni around the world as part of helping them to not only stay in touch with each other and Denmark but also to nurture connections in support of knowledge exchange efforts, shared initiatives and career development, both within and outside of their local alumni communities.

With Danida Fellowship Centre’s support, and often in partnership with the Danish embassies and missions, local alumni networks lead these efforts on the ground, ensuring that priorities and activities are rooted in their local context, whilst also providing a concrete platform for Danida alumni to share, implement and build on the knowledge gained in Denmark. Local initiatives connect fellow network members in-country but, importantly, also aim to engage members’ wider professional networks as well as relevant Danish stakeholders. Encouragingly, local alumni networks in different countries are turning to each other for support and insights and, in some cases (as seen in Mexico and Colombia) to plan joint activities across two countries. Examples of the support provided to alumni locally includes Danida Alumni Activity Grants, an ever-expanding alumni toolbox and support to local network annual meetings. Access to financial resources is provided on the basis of certain criteria having been met by either the individual alumni applicant and/or the relevant local alumni network.

Danish embassies and missions are an invaluable source of support and inspiration to local networks in those countries where they exist, particularly in the early stages of network development, where the local embassy often acts as the key convenor and thereby helps build the founding connections and relationships between the alumni. Danish ambassadors and diplomats around the world also provide inspiration and resources for individual alumni initiatives by speaking at local alumni events, hosting gatherings on their premises and creating links between Danida alumni and Danish stakeholders in their country.

At the global level, the alumni team at Danida Fellowship Centre provides opportunities for these local efforts and individual alumni to connect with each other across borders, as well as with Danida Fellowship Centre and our many partners and associates within and outside Denmark. These connections are facilitated virtually through the Danida Alumni Network web platform and member communities on social media, as well as through special initiatives that bring diverse groups of Danida alumni together such as through Danida Fellowship Centre’s partnership with the UNLEASH Innovation Lab or the sponsoring of conference seats exclusively for members of the Danida Alumni Network. Importantly, Danida Fellowship Centre provides dedicated support to the upstart of the Coordinating Groups and Boards of local alumni networks. Coordinating Group members are also encouraged to build and maintain dialogue and peer support across the local networks, something that is partly invested in through events such as the 2018 weeklong workshop in Copenhagen for representatives of the local networks.