SEARCA’s Institutional Development Assistance (IDA) Program intends to empower and equip strategically located universities with the necessary resources to cater to the demands for human resources required to boost economic development in the region.
It is recognized that different institutions in Southeast Asia—particularly those located in the growth areas—have different institutional systems, structures, and resources. Therefore, designs and interventions for IDA may vary from assistance in the conduct of an institutional review, to fielding of experts to develop curricula or training modules, or capacitating staff and faculty through educational support interventions (i.e., scholarships, in-house training).
The model for IDA is based on what works for each institution, considering the different local contexts, challenges, constraints, and opportunities. What is common among all models is the participatory approach to IDA so that all strategies, plans, and activities are identified by the universities together with SEARCA which acts as the facilitator. In this regard, SEARCA’s IDA program starts with an institutional diagnosis of the identified target beneficiary institution.
Moreover, as SEARCA moves to promote a social learning and sharing of inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development (ISARD) solutions, the IDA program will consciously integrate knowledge management activities in its program implementation, including the documentation and dissemination of success stories.
So far, three universities have partnered with SEARCA under the IDA program:
Savannakhet University, Lao PDR
Savannakhet University is one of Lao PDR’s newest universities, having been established in October 2009. It is strategically situated to cater to the demand for human resources needed to boost the economic development of Savannakhet, Khammouane, and Bolikhamxay provinces, which are located in the East-West economic corridor, envisioned to link Vietnam and Myanmar through Lao PDR and Thailand.
Founded by Prince Norodom Sihanouk in 1964, the Royal University of Agriculture is one of Cambodia’s leading higher education institutions that develop human resources in the fields of agriculture, forestry, and related sciences as well as rural development.
Yezin Agricultural University was formerly known as the Agricultural College and Research Institute of Mandalay, which was established in December 1924. Operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation of Myanmar, it is the first institution to offer agricultural education at the college level. Today, it is still Myanmar’s only institution of higher learning in agriculture.