Every country has its unique challenges and opportunities for development and growth. Many of the more economically developed nations have fully-developed but ageing infrastructure; often facing severe challenges for renewal while maintaining functionality. The less developed nations and rapidly developing economies face the challenges of modernisation and rapid expansion, together with the need to function in an increasingly globalised world, in which international standards are required in every sector.
Adequate funding and physical resources are always necessary, but the over-riding need everywhere is to develop and enable the full potential of the human resources of the nation.
The creative development of education at every level is vital, since this feeds into the professional capacity of everyone involved in the comprehensive and integrated development of the nation.
The rapid pace of progress in technology, industrial methods & global communications presents enormous challenges; challenges that can only be tackled by effective capacity building and training.
It is always fulfilling to deliver capacity building programmes, and witness the improvements in implementation capability and the growth of successful projects. I specialise in capacity building programmes in India, with government and the private sector, and in improving professional education in universities, business schools and engineering colleges.
It is essential that all elements of capacity building, education and skills training are tackled in a comprehensive, joined-up and systematic manner.
My colleagues and I have formed Commonwealth Infrastructure Partners (CIP), to help create such an integrated approach to professional development and capacity building. We engage with our partners, who are specialists in relevant infrastructure sectors or experts in fields such as leadership training, project management and professional engineering, to create capacity building programmes that match local requirements and challenges. See www.commip.org
I also have the pleasure of working with other forums focusing on integrated international development, such as the Indo European Business Forum (www.iebf.org.uk ), the Emerging Directions in Global Education Forum (www.edgeforum.in), and collaborating with leading private sector apex organisations, in particular the Confederation of Indian Industry (www.cii.in).