From Struggle to Deep Learning, then Action!

Guest blog written by Kojun Nakashima

This is a blog series written by the alumni of the Leading Economic Growth Executive Education Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. Participants successfully completed this 10-week online course in July 2020. These are their learning journey stories.

2020 will surely be the unforgettable year for all the people around the globe. Everything has been required to be changed. Everybody has been stopped to rethink the course of life and work. 

In May 2020, the first ever Leading Economic Growth (LEG) Online was launched. The timing was perfect. Everybody was gradually adjusted to new-normal lifestyle. Online meeting became common. What is more, everybody seek opportunity for being equipped for next step towards post-COVID era.

It should have been an experimental course for Harvard Kennedy School too, but it turned out to be a huge success. More than 200 students from 70 countries joined at maximum, and kept on actively enjoying and engaging with live lessons, group works and reading/writing assignments every week (though it was tough, actually). 

My Struggle: Am I trapped in status-quo?

I have been working in Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for 7 years. JICA is bilateral development agency, which provides ODA towards more than 180 countries with more than 90 overseas offices. 

Since 2017, I have been assigned to JICA Myanmar Office and responsible for Electricity Sector Development. With total 1.2 billion USD Loan portfolio, we provide supports to Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) on developing electricity infrastructure for Generation, Transmission and Distribution together with capacity building programs for electricity development planning and engineering.

Due to COVID-19, all the operations were required to be reconsidered. But even before COVID-19, I had been struggling as one development officer. The core question was “Is our cooperation effective enough to bring real change?”

Continue reading From Struggle to Deep Learning, then Action!