The Department for International Development (DFID) is a United Kingdom government department whose goal is “to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty”. DFID’s main programme areas of work are Education, Health, Social Services, Water Supply and Sanitation, Government and Civil Society, Economic Sector (including Infrastructure, Production Sectors and Developing Planning), Environment Protection, Research, and Humanitarian Assistance.
DFID conducted an internal diversity audit the findings of which uncovered a multitude of issues ranging from ignorance to outright denial. In essence, despite operating across national cultures the methods of operating internationally were deemed not to be compatible with equity and principles of equality and diversity. The department was concerned about the backlash that such entrenched views perceived to be shared by many members of staff would unfold.
A three year contract to introduce diversity into DFID’s existing Management Development Training Programme was awarded to Global Diversity Practice. This contract involved the training of 2,000 DFID staff at all levels in the UK and in 40 countries.
The development of the course and the familiarisation was completed in three weeks by a skilled team of learning designers led by Farrah Qureshi.
3 Year Global Diversity Training Program
- GDP developed innovative behavioral models on diversity which were both transferable and transportable to over 40 countries across the globe.
- Aligned the training to the Millennium Goals to incentivise learners.
- Provided an engaging and comprehensive training programme which met the needs of all personnel who worked for DFID across the various disciplines for economists to policy advisors to programme managements.
- Designed and delivered advanced training for leaders and executives of the department.
- Provided bespoke interventions when requested.
- Led to a long terms relationship with DFID.
- Provision of award winning integration of D&I principles into the learning cycle global project.
- Development of individualised coaching of Global D&I manager and competency building of the D&I team for a year.
- In 2012 provision of further refresher training to the policy division of DFID and leadership.
- Facilitation and Provision of away days for DFID departments.
As a direct result of our intervention there was transformation in relation to DFID’s Diversity Agenda which included:
- The appointment of a Diversity Adviser Champion and enhanced engagement to diversity initiatives from the Secretary of State and the Management Board of DFID.
- The recruitment of a Diversity Advisor.
- Launch of the DFID’s strategy was endorsed and supported at the highest level.
- The transformation of recruitment strategies in the India office to ensure that lower castes were not being disadvantaged.
- The creation of a Caste Working Group led to additional research, which culminated into a series of seminars being held in India to employers across the public and private sector.
“My overall impression of Farrah is very positive, and we enjoyed an excellent working relationship with you in your continued delivery of our management development and valuing diversity stand-alone programme. Farrah is very committed to providing the best possible product to clients and has worked hard to understand the intricacies of working in DFID to put together a very relevant and successful programme; not an easy task with a workforce of over 2,500 spread across the world. Farrah has excelled in each area. She has shown a true sense of commitment and conviction on what she delivers.”
Head of Management & Development, DFID