Date: June 15-25, 2021
The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the 2021 Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture.
This interdisciplinary program provides an overview of pressing issues related to agricultural investments, as well as an introduction to relevant practical skills. Participants work with practitioners and experts from within and beyond Columbia University. To see topics covered in past trainings, please view the brochure.
CCSI is accepting applications here on a rolling basis until March 31, 2021. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early.
For more information about the course, and to access the application, please visit our website.
Who should attend?
This interdisciplinary program is designed for mid-level public sector officials and civil society representatives from low- and middle-income countries, whose responsibilities relate to investments, agriculture, land or rural development. A select number of representatives from development agencies and the private sector may also be admitted.
The training is delivered in English. All participants must be able to read and communicate fluently in English.
Where and how will the training be delivered?
The training will take place from June 15-25, 2021.
While the Executive Training is usually held in-person at Columbia University, the 2021 program will be held online.
The virtual training will include asynchronous and synchronous learning and peer-to-peer sharing components:
- Short and interactive live training sessions will take place each business day from June 15-25. These sessions will be dedicated to engagement with course lecturers and practitioners, and to peer-to-peer sharing. A detailed schedule of live sessions will be shared with participants in early 2021.
- Background materials for each training topic, including video presentations and readings, will be shared with participants through a dedicated course platform and available for review by participants in advance of the live sessions.
What are the program fees?
The training will be made freely available to accepted participants who fall into the following categories:
- Non-profit organizations (must be registered as a non-profit in your jurisdiction)
- Government officials from low- and middle-income countries
A program fee of USD $500 applies to all other accepted participants, including those who fall into the following categories:
- Government officials from high-income countries
- Private sector
- Funders (including bilateral development agencies and foundations)
- UN agencies
- Intergovernmental organizations
Please note that CCSI adheres to a strict cancellation and refund policy for all executive trainings. See the website for details.
How can I apply?
An online application form is accessible here. Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until March 31, 2021. We encourage applicants to apply early in order to secure a place.
The course draws primarily from among faculty and experts at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Outside experts also teach specific topics related to their expertise. Faculty from the past trainings have included:
- Luiz Amaral, Global Executive Manager for Global Forest Watch Commodities and Finance, World Resources Institute
- Ward Anseeuw, Research Fellow, CIRAD
- Joseph Bell, Of Counsel, Hogan Lovells US LLP
- Karol Boudreaux, Land Tenure Practice Lead, The Cloudburst Group
- Ronald Chari, Legal Counsel, African Legal Support Facility/ African Development Bank
- Lorenzo Cotula, Principal Researcher, IIED
- Esther Delbourg, École Polytechnique
- Heather Eisenlord, Human Rights Director, ISLP
- Joshua Fisher, Director, Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity
- Laura German, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Center for Integrative Conservation and Research, University of Georgia
- Bruce Gilchrist, Partner, Hogan Lovells US LLP
- Michael Jarvis, Executive Director, Transparency & Accountability Initiative
- Kiersten Johnson, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, USAID Bureau for Food Security
- Jon Lindsay, Lead Counsel for Land and Natural Resources, Environmental and International Law Practice Group, World Bank
- Tiernan Mennen, Vice President, Governance and Rights, Abt Associates
- Mark Musumba, Associate Research Scientist, Agriculture and Food Security Center, Earth Institute, Columbia University
- Carolyn Mutter, International Program Manager, Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)
- Amanda Richardson, Co-Founder and Program Director, Resource Equity
- Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
- Alex Ruane, Research Coordinator and Climate Team Lead, Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
- Tess Russo, Research Fellow, Global Good, Intellectual Ventures and Assistant Research Professor in the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, Pennsylvania State University
- Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
- Senior legal, economics, and technical staff of CCSI
What past participants have said:
Jeremy Agyemang, Head of Agribusiness Unit, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana: “The training at CCSI was phenomenal. It equipped me with knowledge that has enhanced my understanding of the investor-state relationship. Those delivering the training were experts in their field, and more than willing to provide participants with assistance to make the learning experience fruitful. Great technical resources were also provided to participants. I highly recommend the training to anyone working in the agricultural investment space.”
Shyamal Chandradathsingh, Vice President, Investor Sourcing, Invest in Trinidad & Tobago: “The quality of the presenters was top notch … I highly recommend it.”
Mohamed Coulibaly, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Mali; Consultant, Institute of Research and the Promotion of Development Alternatives (IRPAD): “The training offered me the opportunity to meet and share experience with people from different countries, continents and different backgrounds for a mutually reinforcing experience.”
Mamadou Diarrah, Senior Development Officer, African Union Commission: “I want to express my sincere appreciation to the organizers for such a wonderful training workshop. … [T]he expertise of the presenters and organizers substantially raised my knowledge bar. Additionally, the discussion with the other participants opened my mind to new and exciting ideas from other parts of the world that could be tested in my region of interest in order to bolster investments into agriculture for the benefit of the populations.”
Sigrid Stensrud Ekman, Private Sector Advisor, NIRAS / Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Kenya: “I would recommend this course for everyone working on land issues and agro-investments. The lecturers were highly knowledgeable, and the diverse group of participants (coming from various geographic regions and backgrounds, ranging from civil society to the private and public sectors) made for insightful discussion. I particularly enjoyed putting theory into practice using case studies each day. The training also provided a great opportunity for networking.”
Syl-Brians Kamara, Deputy Director, Environment Protection Agency, Sierra Leone: “The training course is fantastic, and certainly fulfilled my expectations. Since returning to Sierra Leone, I have already engaged with my colleagues and other institutions to implement solutions proposed and discussed during the course.”
Mary Ndaro, Coordinator, Land Rights Program, CARE International: “I greatly enjoyed the culture and atmosphere at the training, which allowed me to interact with a range of experts and participants with different perspectives. The ideas we exchanged enhanced my understanding of the many factors that affect the governance of agricultural investments, including the impact of international investment treaties and what these agreements mean for efforts to reduce poverty and address inequality in countries like my own. I also appreciated how gender was addressed in several training modules; it was great to be part of a training with a strong dedication to discussing gender issues.”
Naa Oyoe Quartey, Senior Agricultural Officer, Women in Agricultural Development Directorate, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana: “The training was very insightful. I would recommend this course to anyone dealing with agricultural investments in their work, particularly given the holistic approach and range of topics covered. Big thanks to the team and excellent faculty!”
Christian Schulze, Officer, Climate, Energy and Tenure Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): “I can highly recommend the training course …. I gained new knowledge and practical skills to address some of the key challenges posed by international investments in agriculture, which will be valuable for my future work.”
The Honorable George Wisner, Executive Director, National Investment Commission, Liberia on behalf of Ms. Monen Jacquelynn Duoe (Special Assistant to Hon. Wisner): “I am pleased to present my compliments and to extend, on behalf of the National Investment Commission of Liberia, thanks and appreciation …. Ms. Monen Jacquelynn Duoe has since returned and is imbued with a lot of confidence to help us move our development agenda forward.”
If you have any questions about the program, or if you would be interested in sponsoring participants for the 2021 program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.