With around 20,000 Danida fellows from 120 countries the potential of the Danida Alumni Network is vast and full of possibilities: for the alumni-members, for Danish institutions of higher education, for Danish companies and institutions, for Danish embassies and their local partners.
We think big, but we start small. We are setting up the Danida Alumni Network in phases, one step at a time.
In the first part of 2016 we concentrated our efforts on encouraging current and former Danida fellows, who have been granted a study stay in Denmark at Master and PhD level, to join the network.
During the first phase local Alumni groups in Ghana and Vietnam were also be established as pilot projects.
We know that many former Danida fellows would like to start and join a local Danida Alumni Network in other countries. Based on the experience we'll gain in Ghana and Vietnam we will evaluate how we best support other local Danida Alumni networks.
If you want to set up your own local Danida Alumni Network right now, we have listed 10 steps for you to follow as a starting point click here.
We will be happy if you will share your experiences with us firstname.lastname@example.org
During the second part of 2016, we began to consolidate the network and to take initiatives to establish various network activities and events. We will encourage Danida alumni who currently are attending or already have completed qualifying courses at Danish institutions of higher and further education to join the network.
In addition, Danish companies and Institutions will be invited to become members of the Danida Alumni Network to get access to networking and collaborations with Danida alumni on innovative and sustainable opportunities and solutions.
Three to four times a year we will publish a newsletter. It will include alumni portraits, news about events or networking stories. You will automatically receive the newsletter as a member of the Danida Alumni Network.
In addition, we will seek to build partnerships and increase our fundraising efforts to enable us to take the next steps.
In the first half of 2017, we concentrated on reaching out to Danish companies and institutions to establish a foundation for future collaboration. We are happy that companies such as Cowi, Niras, Sweco, Nordic Power, GrowthAfrica, M-Payg and the Trade Council and the Confederation of Danish Industry, DI responded positively.
Local network activities took place in Vietnam and Ghana and in Uganda the Danish Embassy arranged the very first Danida Alumni Network meeting at the embassy. In addition, we reached out to the group of Danish embassies located in the developing and growth countries that Denmark collaborate with and where there is a significant number of Danida alumni. During the second half of 2017 and the first half of 2018 we plan to establish two new local alumni network; one in East Africa, one in South East Asia.
Danida Fellowship Center celebrates 25 years at Frederiksberg on 31st August 2017. We chose the occasion to award our newly inaugurated Danida Alumni Prize. The prize is awarded to an alum, who, based on his/her studies in Denmark has made important achievements contributing to positive change in his/her home country or area of employment. Danish Minister for Development Corporation, Ms. Ulla Tørnæs presented the prize.
Depending on partnerships and funding we envision:
- Refresher courses for Danida Alumni Network members, e.g. through earmarked spots on Danish Fellowship Centre’s short courses
- Start-up of local alumni associations in collaboration with interested Danish embassies based on the learning from the Ghana and Vietnam local pilot alumni networks
- Thematic conferences in collaboration with institutions of higher education
- Match making events in collaboration with companies
- Surveys and tracer studies
- Issuance of start-up grants for local alumni associations
- Co-funding of local activities
- Identification of additional opportunities in terms of functionality hosted by the alumni portal
- As a long term goal, expand Danida Alumni Network to possibly including all international students in Denmark.