Apply for Online Course in Decentralised Cooperation

The Observatory of Decentralised Cooperation EU-LA and the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) are launching the thirteenth edition of the online training course in Decentralised Cooperation (17 April – 30 June 2018). This course is part of the Observatory’s training initiative, spearheaded by the 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 in 2018 introduces a significant new aspect compared to previous editions: in order to foster the participation from the largest possible number of countries, all courses will be taught in English, Spanish and French. This will lead to a broader diversity of visions and experiences that will unquestionably result in a richer training.

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 spheres of government, who guide and manage decentralised cooperation programmes.

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

Training goals:

  • 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 governmentsLesson 2: General framework of development cooperation
Lesson 3: Decentralised cooperationLesson 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 management perspective.



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 linked 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 35 places are offered for each of the three language modalities (English, Spanish and French). The course carries no cost for participants since the training is offered entirely through scholarships sponsored by the Barcelona Provincial Government.

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 35 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 as to 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 Open University of Catalonia (UOC).


Key dates:

  • 25 MarchRegistration period closes
  • 17 April: Course starts
  • 30 June: Course ends

Pre-inscriptions: Application form

Observatory contact email: