REGIONAL PROGRAMME ON THE MANAGEMENT OF SUSTAINABILITY (RPMS)
The Sustainability Challenge Foundation (SCF) offers tailored Regional Programmes (RPMS) in response to requests from past participants, foundation sponsors, and their colleagues in national, regional and international organizations interested in improving the theory and practice of management for sustainable development.
Like the SCF’s International Programme on the Management of Sustainability (IPMS), its regional programs are designed to help professionals and leaders in particular countries or regions meet the central challenge of sustainable development: overcoming disagreement on how to balance economic, environmental and social priorities, by building consensus on innovative strategies and solutions that simultaneously sustain people, the planet and shared prosperity.
The topics, participants, curriculum and faculty for each RPMS are selected jointly by SCF and the regional organization(s) responsible for developing the program. Past programs have focused on a variety of sustainable development issues including natural resource management, protected areas management, coastal zone management, forestry, agriculture, community development, poverty alleviation, and strategic environmental assessment. Regional organizations take the lead in raising funds and managing logistics for RPMS, with support from SCF staff.
WHO IS IT FOR?
Since 2004, over 375 mid-career professionals from more than 30 countries have participated in one of our RPMS programs. Programs have been held in different parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Participants have come from a variety of government ministries and field offices, community-based conservation NGOs, management consultancies, electricity and mining companies, and academic faculties. If your professional work and personal commitments require you to work effectively with other stakeholders to negotiate agreements, initiatives and partnerships that deliver economic, environmental and social benefits, then RPMS can help you become more effective in your work. Click here for comments from RPMS graduates.
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN, AND HOW WILL YOU LEARN IT?
At the core of RPMS are three skill sets: Mutual Gains negotiation, multi-stakeholder consensus building, and multi-disciplinary analysis of sustainable development diplomacy. The negotiation and consensus building principles and skills we teach have been honed through more than 30 years of research and practice at the Consensus Building Institute, whose founders and senior staff are affiliated with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and Wageningen University and Research Center in the Netherlands. Our faculty also draw directly on a wide range of practical experience as facilitators of multi-stakeholder negotiation and consensus building processes in developed and developing countries. Click here for more information on the SCF Learning Framework and faculty.
At RPMS, you will learn a clear and useful framework of principles, strategies, and tools that integrate these skill sets through a carefully designed series of presentations, discussions, and exercises. You will practice applying them intensively through a series of multi-stakeholder cases and simulation exercises drawn directly from real life. The simulations are the centerpiece of RPMS. Each involves several hours of preparation and role play with other participants, closely observed by the faculty, followed by group and individual debriefing and feedback. Along with the intensive group work comes the development of relationships with faculty and participants. The program also includes social activities and informal time.
APPLYING THE PRINCIPLES AND SKILLS IN YOUR WORK
RPMS provides a substantial opportunity not only for learning through analysis and role play, but also for direct discussion of issues and opportunities in your ongoing work. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own work into group discussions, and there is a carefully designed exercise for participants to present and work on their own cases, with feedback from faculty and peers. All participants have an opportunity to seek direct advice and guidance throughout the week from faculty, and many find conversations with their peers equally valuable.
JOINING A GLOBAL COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE
Your engagement with RPMS does not end after the program. You will become part of the SCF alumni network, which includes alumni from the main IPMS program as well as other RPMS programs, including over 1100 professionals in over 120 countries. Using the SCF alumni directory available through our Web site, and the secretariat of SCF (the Netherlands-based organizer of RPMS and IPMS), you can connect with colleagues in your own country, and those around the world working in the same field. Participants periodically post news of their challenges, successes and learnings, and faculty are available for informal consultation as well.
Most important, you will find thousands more colleagues around the world who will appreciate the principles and skills you have learned at RPMS, share your passion for bridging divides and building strong agreements and partnerships, and become your allies in the ongoing work of realizing sustainable development together.
In close collaboration with the participants, the Sustainability Challenge Foundation organizes regional training programs around the world. These are tailored to meet the specific needs of local groups, with examples and problem solving exercises relevant to each area. The regional programs offer particular scope for participants to work closely with SCF on a region's sustainability agenda.
In the autumn of 1998 a regional program was organized by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) in South Africa. Since December 2004 SCF has organized regional programs in Kenya, Mozambique, Moldova, South Africa, Senegal, Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia.