Working as a Multilateral Diplomat pilot a great success!

International Policy and Strategies Faculty image - UN photo by Eskinder Debebe of 2 men sitting at the UN table with signs in front that read 'President' and 'Australia'
28 November 2022
More than 270 learners from 18 APS government agencies located in 13 countries are now better equipped to deliver strong outcomes in multilateral settings after participating in the Diplomatic Academy’s first ever Working as a Multilateral Diplomat Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in October 2022.

Learners gained a renewed understanding of Australia’s global governance priorities and a swag of diplomatic tools to help them pursue these priorities through multilateral process and institutions.

The 4-week, self-paced course was enthusiastically received by learners both inside and outside of DFAT, some of the comments and feedback received include:

  • “I’ve appreciated the practical (and demystifying) advice and enjoyed the interactions with educators and learners alike”.
  • “I was the test subject for the online version of this course for my department and I will be recommending it to all my colleagues”.
  • “Loved every bit of this course… These past few weeks made me rise early and go to bed late – just to read all comments and understand everyone’s view and thinking”.
  • “This was 100% one of the most interesting, worthwhile online learning experiences I've had in the public sector.”

The course brought together 35 current and former diplomats to share their experience, ‘war stories’ and insights on delivering results for Australia in multilateral settings. These experts included the current Australian Public Service Commissioner; a Deputy Secretary from the Department of Climate Change, Energy and Water; Deputy Head of the Office of the Pacific; Ambassador to ASEAN; Australian Representative to the World Trade Organisation; Policy Officers in New York, Geneva and Vienna; and many more.

The course’s unique content, including interviews with some of the APS’s most effective multilateralists, provided learners with access to highly coveted insights and first-hand accounts of some of the most consequential events and negotiations in recent years.

Additionally, the breadth of the case studies presented covered many of the big multilateral issues of our time, including arms control, climate change, agriculture, fisheries, trade, Antarctica, our region, Australia’s national interests, and the inherent geo-political realities learners will confront.

Learners were guided through the course by 7 educators with decades of multilateral experience, discovering topics from what is multilateralism and why is it important to Australia to the various multilateral fora we participate in and the importance of candidacies.

The unique MOOC delivery format encourages online discussion between the learners themselves as well as with course educators, which adds to the richness of the learning experience for everyone. Learners find they are able to learn from their colleagues’ experiences in addition to the official course content.

The Diplomatic Academy prides itself on the currency of the content provided in this style of course, with some learning resources recorded in the week/s prior to course delivery. This helps us to ensure that our content is fresh, relevant and up-to-date.

This course follows on the success of the Understanding Australian Foreign Policy MOOC which won the 2021 Best Capability Program at the Australian Institute of Training and Development Excellence Awards.

If you are interested in participating in the next Working as a Multilateral Diplomat MOOC, please register for an account in Lumi (available to APS employees with a email address) and Express your Interest in this course.