Online Course in Decentralised Cooperation

Logotipos cursos 2016

Twelfth edition: 3 October – 21 December 2016

Course presentation

The Observatory of Decentralised Cooperation EU-LA and GOBERNA, School of Politics and High Government are launching the twelfth edition of the online training course in decentralised cooperation.

This course is part of the Observatory's training initiative, spearheaded by Diputació de Barcelona and the Montevideo City Council, aimed at fostering local public policies in the spheres of social cohesion, political leadership and decentralised cooperation.

The online training offered by the Observatory for the 2016-2017 academic year introduces a significant new aspect compared to previous editions: in order to foster the participation of people from the largest possible number of countries, all courses will be taught in both English and Spanish. This will lead to a broader diversity of visions and experiences that will unquestionably result in a richer training.

The courses offered are:

  • Online Course in Local Public Policies on Social Cohesion (Spanish version and English version).
  • Online Course in Local Political Leadership (Spanish version and English version).
  • Online Course in Decentralised Cooperation (Spanish version and English version).

This course aims to provide local governments with the tools to tackle the challenge of finding opportunities to improve the well-being of their citizens through decentralised cooperation relations. This is a specialisation within international relations and cooperation, closely linked to development and local governance.

This training is designed to adapt to the new reality in international relations, taking into account the increased weighting of relationships of exchange as compared to assistance, in a world in which the so-called north-south divide is becoming increasingly blurred. The result is a course comprising 5 modules that is designed to support the efforts of local governments to project themselves on the international stage.

Target audience

The programme primarily targets technical and political decision-makers in international relations and development cooperation at local and regional governments. Similarly, it encourages the participation of applicants from other echelons, who guide and manage decentralised cooperation programmes.

The course will run in Spanish and English at the same time, so that candidates from all countries in the world speaking either of those two languages may apply.

Training goals

Students enrolled in this course will develop the following skills:

  • Pinpoint the benefits of international projection.
  • Highlight the difference between the logic of international cooperation and development in decentralised cooperation actions.
  • Identify the challenges of decentralised cooperation.
  • Embrace the culture of partnerships and agreements.
  • Acquire notions of the management of decentralised cooperation initiatives and instruments: planning, establishment of partnerships, project management and communication management.
  • Learn the rules of cooperation: appropriation, harmonisation, alignment, sustainability, etc.
  • Share various real experiences of decentralised cooperation.


Lesson 1: The international action of local and regional governments
Lesson 2: General framework of development cooperation
Lesson 3: Decentralised cooperation
Lesson 4: Modalities of decentralised cooperation
Lesson 5: Management and evaluation of cooperation projects

How the training is conceived

  • The aim is to tap into the richness and heterogeneity of the political, social and territorial stage by pooling the experience of participants.
  • The focus is on learning-by-doing and a familiarisation with real policies, good practices and case studies from all over the world.
  • A laboratory of ideas is generated for local governments, as well as a forum for debate and discussion regarding topics linked to international projection, decentralised cooperation and development cooperation.
  • The training is proposed from a political-relational perspective, rather than a purely management standpoint.


The training is designed specifically for experts with a professional activity. It is NOT compulsory to be connected to the Campus at any specific time, so each participant may adapt the learning hours to their own agenda.

Furthermore, this online course is clearly designed to be practical.  Accordingly, there is a strong bias towards activities, most notably those that generate an underlying debate or that are conducted in groups and in relation to practical cases. The aim is that the participants' own experience operates as a pillar on which the training is structured. This combination makes it possible to delve deeper into the content through critical analysis, while at the same time encouraging the application of concepts and tools.

Before starting the training as such, the course includes a Module 0 that introduces students to the dynamics and strategies of online training, enabling them to become familiar with the virtual environment and its main tools for communication and interaction with the group.

There will be a teacher and a reference tutor to walk the group through the course materials and the activities of each topic. Throughout the course, webinars featuring experts on the topics under discussion will be streamed; this is an opportunity to bring participants closer together, despite it being an online course.

Applications and admissions

A total of 25 places are offered for each of the two language modalities (Spanish and English). The course carries no cost for participants since the training is offered entirely through scholarships sponsored by Diputació de Barcelona.

Candidates from all nationalities can apply for the course, provided they conduct their professional activity in the field of decentralised cooperation. Once all the applications have been received, the evaluation committee will review the various profiles and select the 25 successful applicants for each of the two language modalities. The selection process will take into account the applicant's suitability in connection with the target audience profile described above, and will seek to ensure a balanced intake, with participants from as many countries as possible. All applicants will receive an email at the end of the process informing them whether or not they have been selected.

The course takes place over 3 months and has a total of 60 equivalent class hours. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate issued by the Instituto Universitario de Investigación Ortega y Gasset (via GOBERNA, its School of Politics and High Government).


To apply for registration, you must send your data by clicking on the link below:

Key dates:

25 September 2016: Registration period closes.

3 October 2016: Course starts.

21 December 2016: Course ends.

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