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  • Writer's pictureIHS Alumni

When humans meet cities

Updated: Jun 19, 2018

I would like to open this article with a quote from Edward Glaeser, who emphasizes the importance of cities and of urban development. Glaeser states that ‘cities achieve much more than isolated humans. Cities enable collaboration, especially the joint production of knowledge that is mankind’s most important creation- because humans learn so much from other humans, we learn more when there are more people around us. Urban density creates a constant flow of new information that comes from observing others’ successes and failure- Cities make it easier to watch and listen and learn. Because the essential characteristic of humanity is our ability to learn from each other, cities make us more human’. So, human cooperation and professional networking are essential for the successful building of our cities.

This is why IHS has, for several years now, invested in the organization of 2-week regional refresher courses addressed to its alumni and their professional development. These annual courses come as a result of a close cooperation between the IHS staff, IHS alumni and local organisations, as well a significant financial support by NUFFIC.

The refresher courses combine the results from previous urban development issues and current international policy practices, as well as new challenges that have emerged since the participation of the alumni in the IHS courses. Based on a very interactive environment, the courses give the participants the chance to share their urban experiences and thus, build a rapid assessment of the regional situation at the moment. They provide an excellent opportunity for networking among professionals and for assessing the impact of their previous training at IHS.

In recent years, refresher courses have been offered in a wide variety of locations, such as Ecuador, Zambia, Indonesia, India, Zimbabwe, Jordan, Egypt, China, Cuba, Peru, Ghana, Vietnam, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Costa Rica. IHS continuously welcomes and offers its support to Local Alumni Associations or local organisations, which would like to cooperate in hosting such courses.

This year, IHS offers 4 refresher courses on various topics and locations:

  1. The role of women's organizations in climate change induced resettlement (in Manila, Philippines, 5-16 September, 2016);

  2.  Global Competitive Cities: Agricultural Revolution and Urbanization in Africa (in Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 September- 7 October, 2016);

  3. Securing “well located” land for the vulnerable (the poor, women and youth) (in Abuja, Nigeria, 24 October- 4 November, 2016); and

  4. Inclusive city: Migrant women and their right to housing and basic services in the city (in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 5-16 December, 2016).

The refresher courses are part of the sub-programmes of the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) and participants have to be NFP alumni to apply for a fellowship. To find out more information on the eligibility criteria and application procedure, check out the following link on the IHS website and keep an eye on the next blog posts for featured refresher courses.

We look forward to receiving your applications!


About the author:

Eni Bejko is a Marketing and Communications Intern at IHS, who is passionate about urban development. She has graduated in Economics from Bristol University (UK) and is currently following a masters at Erasmus University. She is currently working with Alumni Relations and hopes to contribute to reinforcing the impact of IHS on urban development, as well as the links of IHS with its alumni and partners.


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