United Nations fellowships are a core component of the organization's technical cooperation programme and are intended to respond to the needs of Member States for enhanced national skills development and training.
Their purpose is to:
Promote strategic human resource development to help countries reach national economic and social development objectives
Assist Member States address acute shortages in advanced professional skills
Build national capacity for development in areas that are of a high priority to Member States
Enhance national training opportunities.
In the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA), training and fellowships activity is carried out in the form of fellowships, study tours, and group training:
A Fellowship in the UN system is a specially tailored or selected training activity that provides a monetary grant to qualified individuals for the purpose of fulfilling special learning objectives.
A Study Tour is an award for a development cooperation activity, commonly given to an individual or group of individuals to visit pre-arranged sites and institutions in one or more selected countries - normally no more than two weeks and never exceeding two months. The objective is to observe developments, gather information and exchange experiences with counterparts in fields pertaining to specific country agreements or project documents.
Group Training is a flexible arrangement made to meet the requirements of two or more nationals working in a project or programme. They receive practical training within the country designed to upgrade skills, or attend specially designed, practical training courses, seminars, symposia, workshops or technical meetings outside the country.
Fellowships are awarded only to candidates nominated by their respective Governments and are not, in principle, awarded for the pursuit of academic studies leading to degrees or diplomas.
They are intended to give persons entrusted with functions important to the development of their countries the opportunity to broaden their professional knowledge and experience by acquainting themselves with advanced methods and techniques.
A particular training programme may include attendance at an academic institution where a fellowship holder may be called upon to qualify for a specific professional diploma.
However, the main purpose of fellowships is to enable the holders to derive from their training the knowledge and professional competence which will enable them to participate more actively in the economic and social development of their countries, and to increase their ability to help solve practical problems upon their return home.
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