In 2020, a survey was conducted among all participants of The Hague Academy's (THA) open training courses of 2019. The survey was conducted from August to early October 2020. The survey had the objective to learn more about the impact of the training courses and to identify possible points for improvement. In this publication the answers to the different questions of the survey are shared.

Click on one of the dots to read the respondent's story of change. The story will be shown on the left of the page. You can open multiple stories. Swipe from left to right to read them all.

Training attended in 2019:

The course was incredible and life-changing, and one of the most impactful aspects was the diverse group of people we got to meet and work with.


Are you still in touch with your fellow participants?

Which medium did you use to stay in contact with your fellow participants?

The contacts with your former participants are mainly fun or work related?


Did you try to initiate change after you returned from the training?

To what extent did the training contribute to the change you initiated?

Level where change was initiated:

My actions for change involve the following (multiple choices possible):

I shifted my focus to the local level because I learnt that development is local and as a development practitioner I needed to work more at the local level if I wanted to push for a change."


Moment of inspiration:

  • The application of Knowledge from the Academia to find Development Solutions - Triple Helix Approach;
  • I love to learn about the concept of the islands of integrity as a way to reduce corruption. This approach is likely to be relevant with the Indonesian context because it provides a non-invasive strategy to the status quo. However the success of this strategy highly depends on the top leaders' political will.
  • more that one moment were inspirational. we can take as an example when we discussed the ladder of citizen participation, and we can also take the example of the practical application of the theories studied, through our visit to Eva Lanxmeer project in Culemborg.
  • briefly, the moment I found that our work has an impact and then being introduced to every national strategy is linked to SDGs. study visits like Amsterdam Economic Forum, Yes Delft are eye opening for me how we can change and take advantage of Academia, government, and private sector joint work.
  • I do not remember the exact event that inspired me about water harvesting; however, I am getting more information about this topic to communicate effectly in my rural extension activities. Actually, I want to learn more about this topic.
  • explanation of local economy after conflict
  • That was a 3-day session with Ms. Sundus Balata about gender analysis. It was eye-opening to me why and how to do gender analysis and how to embed it as part of the project management.
  • During the training, the moments that inspired me to initiate change were the experience and story sharing from the different participants and experts. Sometimes, especially when working with a public institution, one can feel all alone and as if the challenges they are facing are isolated from others. But once you hear that you are not alone and there are solutions for them, there is hope. Based on that, I was refreshed and motivated to cause change.
  • We had a guest lecturer, one of the last ones about Change in Complex Environments. The session provided very insightful thoughts for professionals like us who would struggle to create change in our working environments and it really helped to think about how I could implement gradually all the knowledge acquired during the course.
  • In the work and discussion spaces with my colleagues from other countries
  • A session about development in rural settings. The context of Rural settings can be different in different countries and it stood out to me that in my context it would be twice and difficult as there are lack of basics services and infrastructures that are needed to ignite the development, so it it required a joint effort from different sector and services needed to support a specific initiative.
  • When we discussed Women in Development and Mainstreaming gender I got to know the difference between the two positions - one had to do with women and the other is more encompassing of all the populations. I now understood the full meaning of gender mainstreaming and decided to implement it in my work.
  • 1- experts participation as Care organization, David Jackson, Nicolas, Maarten, Irma, ... 2- Site Visit as Waste management, social Protection, Utrecht municipality and factory. 3- Group team work 4- action plan discussion for all team
  • To be frank, all the training sessions were live-changing and were very helpful in every area in my country - Liberia.
  • The Smart Objective
  • I remember the session of Change management in complex environments by Matt Barnaby & Rick Torseth from ImpactBasis. This session inspired me to initiate change. I learned how to thrive in a complex environment and embracing agility. How to move to a new dynamic way and inspire me through leadership. The session was so interactive. Basically the concept is so hypothetical, but I learned practically. I always remeber the session in my mind.
  • Definition of inclusiveness is not only physical presence but more important is ability to express and reflect his/her opinion. I remember this by heart and I ensure that my attempt on inclusiveness promotion embed these two elements.
  • What I liked about the training was personal stories of the trainers as well as the participants. Though these stories were in different contexts, such as in Bolivia, they were really essential to understand how corruption manifests itself in different places, but importantly, how approaches to counter them are designed and formulated.
  • My initiate has inspirited since I saw a good structure for water management in the Netherlands Which was presented in the multilevel water governance course at The Hague Academy in September last year  
  • Several special sessions discussed the specifics of efforts to achieve GCF. Besides that, several sessions also provided a lot of understanding on how other alternative funding alternatives could be used. Visits to various locations provide many real pictures in the implementation of the Green Climate.
  • The entire idea of citizen's involvement was motivation for my training program. however, events such as the visit by the Umbudsman and the field visit to the eco-friendly city stood out as great inspirations. Getting to know the way a system allows individuals to easily put forth complaints and get response almost immediately and how society can be better off by getting things done collectively were inspirational. Self organization and social entrepreneurship are two topics that were also quite inspiring and refreshing. As Liberia is extremely poor and governments time and time again fails to provide solutions, these seemed very interesting concepts that could help Liberians improve themselves, whether government is willing or not.
  • The session taken by David Jackson, Director, United Nations Development Fund on blended finance, fiscal decentralization and financing with special focus on a dam project done in Tanzania. 2. The session on stakeholders identification from which I learnt about involvement of physically challenged as stakeholders.
  • The municipal ombudsman session is really inspired for me though we don't really have such a kind of system in the country yet. But as a facilitator who is working on local governance and decentralization process, such initiative and idea should be introduced to the local government in order to improve accountability and citizen participation in municipal works.
  • The session on Public Finance for Local Governments delivered by Henri Schreurs. This was an eye opener for me as it laid bare the fundamentals that guide public sector finances and the advantages and disadvantages of each chosen approach. This was delivered based on the four main topics under financial management; 1. Budget Planning & Control 2. Optimising of Own sources 3. Accountability 4. Cost saving activities
  • Il s'agit principalement des notions sur la sécurité humaine, la réforme du secteur de sécurité. J'ai pu comprendre plusieurs difficultés que nous rencontrons par exemple dans le travail avec la police. Les notions acquises m'ont permis particulièrement à circonscrire l'approche de travail
  • Yeah, of course, the most inspired moment when I did my final presentation
  • I reckon the session on transitional justice was very relevant for Indonesia's context
  • I learnt the area based development, the other two important moment was to learn how localize the SDG. the visit to one of the municipalities was an eye opener.
  • The session regarding 'The Hague Municipality Climate Adaptation' how they deal with climate change issues, the initiative taken ect. Also the 'Mexico case Climate Adaptation' was usefull and the city tour in Rotterdam was very inspiring.
  • Was inspired when the facilitator defined and explained the adaptation to us and indicated that adaptation involves making changes at individual behavioral level, institutional level and policy level
  • I remember the concept that work is participatory among all, not only those responsible in a particular sector, but everyone is concerned with making some change, no matter how little work. As well as the concept of minimizing issues into very small pieces and thus easy to deal with
  • .
  • I would have to consult my notes.
  • The most inspired moment in the training for me was the presentation of “Community Score Card (CSC) Approach”. I found it very useful for me because it refers to participatory process that engages service users (citizens), service providers and authorities in assessing the quality and effectiveness of public services and initiate changes in the quality of the basic service delivery. I firmly believe that interface meetings between service providers, authorities and the community provide an invaluable opportunity to receive immediate feedbacks, reflect them in the delivery process and, promote the strengthening of accountability and the transparency of local government.
  • sessions were useful and have practical usage
  • Actually it day 2 with Aurelie Seinos with the session of vulnerability assessment Climate adaptation and Local Resilience.It was so contributing to me because I have captured when to use the climate vulnerability, when to conduct a vulnerability and to get to the Local resilience using community participatory tools. Also good practices and examples of Climate adaptation and Local Resilience for both in class and at the field.
  • Basically, every aspect of the training inspired me to pursue the change. However, the introductory papers and sessions with Ronald Maclean Abaroa as well as country presentations were very instructive. They spurred me to go ahead with the change process I had nursed even before going for the course.
  • Primarily, the knowledge gained during the short training at The Hague Academy was all important, which I am currently using daily in my field. In particular, the knowledge provided by Climate Resilience Specialist Ms. Aurelie Ceinos about the Climate Adaptation Tool and Approach during the training was crucial to the success of the project currently being run by the municipality. I was very impressed by the fact that any project can be successfully implemented only with the participation of multi stakeholders and I was able to implement that in practice. Also, when I returned home at the end of the training, I was very impressed by the words of Coordinator Elma, who encouraged me to work for change.
  • When I heard stories from African colleagues on how NGOs interventions that cost million of dollars were useless due to lake of inclusive stakeholders engagement from the planning phases.
  • .in general all the session contributed to initiate the change , but the field visits had the biggest impact .
  • I was inspired by the visit to the rural area, in the municipality. It was an eye opener for me especially the environment and the fact that people eat organic food, that was amazing. The lesson I came out with is the fact that we are the change agents and we can influence the change we want.
  • The training tours that relates in the Dutch cities and the sessions on designing climate policies and action plans
  • As a researcher in agricultural sciences, Katrien van't Hooft and Wouter Wolters presentations encouraged me a lot to initiate change in my field of research due to the fact that these two presentations were closely related to agriculture and climate adaptation.
  • yes during the discussion on the key elements of success, it's gave me hope that there is still a chance for peace, being a victim of war.
  • Citizen participation is very essential to solve an existing social problem. Citizens can assist and even initiate a change to happen inside a given government institution not only by making the government responsible but also by engaging and educating the community to achieve certain outcomes. For instance, the organization that we established will educate citizens about their rights and responsibilities, about the benefit of peaceful co- existence with real examples from Africa such as the genocide in Rwanda. Hence, citizens must assist the government and themselves initiate solutions for their problems thereby it can easily enable us to get solutions to our problems.
  • The whole training and the approach that is mainly built on engaging different stakeholders in the LED process which is extremely relevant in the context of my country and region
  • the stories shared by the participants and the initiatives implemented in different countries.
  • In Local Economic Social Development (LESD) session because this session give a lot of information and knowledge relate to condition in my country.. actually it works and give solutions
  • Water is finite and had to be managed at the lowest level of governance. There is already water scarcity in some part of the wolrd and it increase significantly due to climate change. Hence, we have to shift toward a more adaptive management involving multiscale governance partnership. We have to utilize every source we have to make a change especially in the lowest level.
  • From the beginning, every class was inspiring.
  • Since I was employed in a research center "Synaps" on research projects, and moved to ALEF in December (a month following the training), the missions I was working on changed slightly (mainly from research to advocacy). But the sessions on SSR and transitional justice were very interesting to me since they touched several thematics I've been working on for the past few years.
  • During the conflict mgt discussion
  • Yes i do. This was first during deliberations when we were sharing our individual country experiences. I got to learn that some countries have already been through most of the challenges were facing Eswatini. A good example is the issue of decentralised water resources management. In Eswatini the national government is not fully supportive to decentralised water management. I was impressed o learn that in the Netherlands, decentralised water management has already been achieved and the Ministry responsible for water is fully supportive. This changed my thinking and made us think towards what could be done in Eswatini to help us reach that stage as already we have a partnership with the Dutch Water Authorities through the Blue Deal. The other instance is on the financing mechanism and problem analysis. So many time we often fail to resolve problems because of the techniques we use to solve the problem. Often this end up complicating the problem yet if we analyse the problem properly and see how we can influence or control the situation, good positive results are achieved in the process.
  • What inspired me is that water is for all and not for some, and maintaining equity of water usage will prevent instability and ensures growth
  • Too many females in that training and just 2 male participants was a call for gender equality. We are usually either on one extreme or another. It is a general observation, not particular to any session. I think training on gender is more needed for men than for women because if a woman participates in decision making at any level, she is already looking at the matter from a woman,'s lens. By more participation from women, it apparently becomes a women empowerment course and fades out the real meaning of gender. Here gender means both genders so men should not be left out.


Importance of the factors in the success of the initiated change:

Most influencial external factor (positive or negative) in the succes of the initiated change:

Most helpful aspect of the training:

The organisation I work for has responded positively to the project I have proposed for change. The necessary policy, programmes and budget have been provided for the implementation of the project.


What would have helped you increase the impact of the training (max. 2 options)?

Which of the following types of follow-up support would have been most useful to you (max. 2 options):


How would you describe your gender?

What age are you?

Which type of organisation do you work for?

How big is the organisation you work for?

At what level is your function?

Who funded your participation in the training?