SEAMEO-Canada Programme of Cooperation in Human Resource Development


On 15 January 1985, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Canada and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) was signed. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) approved the SEAMEO Pilot Project for Integrated Community-Based Human Resource Development, with a total CIDA contribution of Cdn$ 8,9586,000 over five years. The Project involved two stages, with the first stage of the Project officially ending in December 1989.

The stated purpose of the Pilot Project was to enhance the technical and professional competence of nationals of participating SEAMEO Member Countries eligible for Canadian assistance through SEAMEO Centres/Project with special attention given to those who are, or will be, engaged in integrated, community-based development projects that attempt to satisfy the basic human needs of the poorer segments of the population in both rural and urban areas (CIDA, 1985).

The Pilot Project involved SEAMEO's seven regional Centres/Project in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. These institutions serve human resource development needs of the SEAMEO Member Countries through organizing and implementing training and research activities, seminars, workshops and conferences to facilitate social and economic development of these countries.

Phase II of the Project, the SEAMEO-Canada Programme of Cooperation in Human Resource Development, covered a period of six years from 1 August 1990 to 29 February 1996, and provided Cdn$ 7,201,000 to SEAMEO. The programme supports the ongoing regular programme and strengthens the institutional capacity of the SEAMEO centres and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Secretariat (SEAMES) in responding to human resource development needs in the area of education, science and culture in the member countries.


Phase I


To provide appropriate interdisciplinary skills in agriculture, innovation and technology in education, tropical biology, education in science and mathematics, language training, tropical medicine and public health, archaeology, fine arts, and to develop an integrated human resource base appropriate for community-based development.
To mobilize, through regional cooperation among the participating SEAMEO Member Countries and particularly the SEAMEO Centres/Project, SEAMEO trained personnel for functioning as interdisciplinary service teams to develop human resources by training them for this purpose.
To provide technical assistance to SEAMEO Centres/Project for their basic needs-oriented, human resource development programmes through a separate institutional cooperation component. (CIDA, 1985)

In 1990, after three years of project implementation, the project was recognizably successful. In Ban Boh-non Nakhon Si Thammarat, villagers were involved in their own decision making and initiated meaningful project activities. The most successful projects found villagers with significant increases in income or improved sanitary and environmental conditions. This phase of the project could also be considered successful based on the continuation of the activities of the projects, once the projects, one the projects were completed.

Phase II

Objectives and Areas of Interest

Provide financial assistance for the regular programmes and activities of SEAMEO Centres.
Provide technical assistance, training, equipment and material support so as to strengthen the institutional capacities of eight participating SEAMEO Centres in Brunei Darrussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Provide technical assistance to SEAMEO so as to develop its strategic management capacities
Women in development
Environmental sustainability

The SEAMEO-CIDA Project has been successful both in institutionalizing strategic planning throughout SEAMEO and in initiating a number of new strategies. The project has introduced and strengthened strategic planning in SEAMEO in a variety of ways, including: the introduction of a Strategic Planning Group as part of the annual Centre Director's Meeting; strategic planning and management at both the Centre and SEAMEO levels; an emphasis on more demand-driven programmes and activities as well as more policy-oriented programmes; inclusion of women in development components in programmes and activities; and the development of more systematic monitoring and evaluation systems.

The project has assisted many centres in identifying and acquiring new sources of funding. Centres have identified a number of new sources of funding, including: income from fee-paying participants in Centre courses/workshops; income from consultancy services; and funds from collaborative activities with other member countries, universities, national and international agencies. Most Centres attributed increased staff skills, through technical assistance and in-Canada training activities, as a significant factor in enabling them to acquire additional sources of funding - either through providing consultancy services or obtaining grants from other organizations.

Extension of Phase II

The SEAMEO-Canada Programme of Cooperation was extended for another 39 months, beginning 1 October 1996 until December 1999. The allocation for the extension was Cdn$ 850,000 increasing the total amount of assistance to Cdn$ 8,051,000. The intent of the extension was to provide more linkages between SEAMEO Centres and Canadian universities and colleges in the areas of education planning/management, distance learning, science and technology applications, and women and gender issues.

In the first round of selection, eight SEAMEO Regional Training Centres with one proposal each, were granted a total amount of Cdn$ 596,500.

Current Projects in Extension of Phase II

Selected Project Proposals for the
1997-1999 SEAMEO Canada Programme of Cooperation

First Round CIDA Funded Projects


Title of Project

Approved Budget In Cdn.$

INNOTECH Competency-Based Continuing Education Programme for Teachers Utilizing Distance Education Technologies and Materials
RELC Distance Education in ESL
RIHED Higher Graduate Diploma in University Administration
SEARCA Agricultural Enterpreneurship Development for Lao PDR
VOCTECH Distance Programme for Developing Vocational and Technical Teachers in Indochina Member Countries
TROPMED/Malaysia Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and University of Ottawa Linkage Programme
in Human Resource Development in Environmental Epidemiology, Health Outreach and Education, and Distance Education
TROPMED/Philippines Responding to Health Human Resource Development through Distance Learning
TROPMED/Thailand Management and Technical Training for Middle Level Health Care Personnel in Indochina
Second Round CIDA Funded Projects


Title of Project

Approved Budget In Cdn.$

BIOTROP Training on Environmental Information Management Application in Tropical Biology
RETRAC Business Management Training Programme for Female Entrepreneurs of Small Medium Size Industries
SEAMOLEC Training on Planning an Open Learning/Distance Education System in the SEAMEO Regional Training Centre, Viet Nam
SPAFA Development of Distance Education Material for Discipline Based Art Education for Primary Schools in Indochina

Ongoing Projects
SEAMEO - Jasper Fellowship

The SEAMEO -- Jasper Fellowship is an annual grant bestowed by the Government of Canada and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization on outstanding researches conducted by SEAMEO nationals. The Fellowship was established under the SEAMEO-Canada Cooperation to commemorate the occasion of the Silver Anniversary of SEAMEO, 30 November 1990. Jasper was the venue of the first ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting held in Canada in October 1990. The Government of Canada awarded a grant to SEAMEO in the amount of Cdn$ 250,000 for the establishment of an endowment, the interest of which will be used to fund the fellowship benefiting citizens of the Member Countries of SEAMEO. The Fellowship award was first implemented in 1993, and continues today.

Year Recipient Subject

1993 Assoc Prof Dr Khoo Hong Woo Transgenic Fish Production with Particular Emphasis on Sperm Mediated Gene Transfer
1994 Dr Violeta Lopez-Gonzaga People Empowerment and Environmental Management: The Pumuluyo Experience in Cauayan, Negros Island, Philippines
1995 Dr P M Sivalingam Biopreservation of Local Fruits
1996 Dr Suwatchara Piemyat Young Adolescents' Perception of AIDS
1997 Dr Alicia P Magos The Concept of Mari-it (Dangerous Zones) in Panaynon Worldview and Its Impact on Sustainable Development
1998 Dr Ir. Happy Ratna Santosa The Potential of Coastal Settlements in Supporting Tourism and in Eradicating in East Java

SEAMEO has clearly moved towards the goal of increasing the pool of skilled human resources in Southeast Asia.

The project has exposed many people and institutions in Southeast Asia to the people, institutions and approaches used in Canadian higher education as well as Canadian development assistance, resulting in generally positive reactions to Canada by those involved.

The project has achieved its objectives in strategic planning both at the SEAMES and Centre levels.

The Canadian context took major turns in that the linkages have been replaced by partnerships, development assistance is increasingly influenced by the notion of mutual benefits, and supply-side financing has been replaced by demand or performance-drive programming.

Canada remains as a SEAMEO Associate Member, but in an inactive status after 2015.