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DCID provides leadership development training for emerging leaders from MENA region

As part of the Leadership Development Fellowship initiative, the Duke Center for International Development delivered a program focused on civic engagement, innovative leadership and climate action.

Eighteen young professionals from 11 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region completed a leadership residential program at Duke University in spring 2024 as part of the Leadership Development Fellowship (LDF Fellowship), an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of State’s U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and implemented by World Learning.

The LDF Fellowship seeks to advance and empower civic engagement and social entrepreneurship leaders from the MENA region. Over the course of 12 months, LDF Fellows develop the skills needed to solve complex local, economic, environmental, political and social challenges affecting their communities.

The Duke Center for International Development (DCID) hosted the LDF Fellows for a 2.5-week leadership development program, which focused on three primary themes: civic engagement, innovative leadership and climate action.

The cohort, comprised of 11 women and seven men, explored topics such as citizen participation; change management; community organizing; diversity, equity and inclusion; social entrepreneurship applications; program impact and evaluation; conflict resolution; sustainability and climate initiatives; and human-centered design. 

Led by Roy Kelly, professor of the practice emeritus, and Jon Abels, executive director of DCID, the program included lectures, group discussions, case analyses and role-playing exercises facilitated by Sanford faculty and staff, outside practitioners, and local government and non-profit managers. The cohort also participated in cultural outings and field visits to local organizations including the City of Durham offices, International Civil Rights Center and Museum, Uneven Ground: The Foundation of Housing Inequality in Durham, N.C. exhibit, Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers, Keep Durham Beautiful, Eno River State Park, and the Durham City Council.

Prior to coming to Duke, the LDF Fellows completed a two-week training in Istanbul, Turkey, which covered systems contributing to societal challenges, building effective partnerships for social change, and developing inclusive and equitable interventions. Wayne Mayer, a senior fellow at DCID and CEO of When Everything Matters, led sessions on integrated environmental systems and systems thinking. 

The LDF Fellows have now returned to their respective countries and are focusing on the individual action plans they developed during the program for making positive changes in their communities.

This is the fifth year DCID has administered this program in partnership with MEPI and World Learning.