Capacity building programmes

In collaboration with our partners, The HEAD Foundation designs and delivers capacity building programmes for educationalists in Southeast Asia. These programmes expose participants to the latest research and practice around various aspects of education including; policy making, curriculum design, school leadership, and teacher preparation.

If you are interested to work with The HEAD Foundation to develop and deliver a capacity building programme, or if your institution is keen to participate in a capacity building programme do write to us at

Water Resilient Recovery: A Course on Bridging the Gap between Disaster Risk Recovery and Water Resilient Planning

This short course, sponsored and co-organised by The HEAD Foundation, focuses on aligning the short-term focus of disaster recovery and the long term scope of climate resilient planning. The face-to-face portion of this course will be held at The HEAD Foundation facilities in Singapore.

For whom?

Professionals in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), urban planning and management, and urban climate adaptation.

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:

  1. Understand conflicts between disaster recovery and climate resilient planning;
  2. Review policies and practices in South East Asia;
  3. Identify and apply methods to integrate climate resilient planning into disaster relief;
  4. Develop skills to recognise stakeholders, organisational structures and processes during disaster relief planning periods;
  5. Apply these principles to an actual case

Course content

The course consists of an online portion covering much of the theory and background. Participants can run through the material and perform task at their own pace, which makes the course ideal for high level practitioners and executives. The second part of the course will consist of a 1-week face-to-face training in Singapore with a focus on skill and application. Participants will develop a take-home plan tailored to their particular conditions and needs.

The course builds on the knowledge acquired from IHE-Delft courses such as Urban Flood Management and Disaster Risk Mitigation, Water Resources Planning, Water Sensitive Cities, and Water Conflict Management, among others. Yet, the focus on resilient recovery is new and offers an innovative approach that differs from the typical courses on disaster management, flood risk management or climate adaptation.


Part 1: Online course (using IHE-Delft’s state-of-the-art learning platform)

  • Introduction to DRR
  • The Sendai Framework
  • 10 essentials for DRR
  • The DRR cycle
  • DRR: The stakeholder dimension
  • Lessons from recent natural disasters
  • Building urban resilience
  • Conflict between DRR & resilient city planning
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Moving towards resilient cities
  • Climate resilience in practise: urban examples from the globe

Part 2: Face-to-face learning (Singapore)

Based on actual plans from the participants:

  • Enhancing existing recovery plans with water resilient features;
  • Integrating community needs
  • Drafting tailored take-home plans
  • Identifying future challenges

For inquiries, contact us at



Leadership Development Program for Higher Education Institutions in Southeast Asia

Higher education institutions (HEIs) in Southeast Asia face a growing number of challenges, among them the massification, diversification, internationalisation, and marketisation of higher education.

In addition, there are challenges specific to Southeast Asian HEIs, including the need to keep in step with the ASEAN International Mobility of Students (AIMS) initiative, gain recognition through the ASEAN University Rankings system, and prepare themselves for the unique local and regional challenges that come with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) agenda.

For Southeast Asian HEIs to effectively address these issues, a critical determinant would be the quality and capacity of their leadership. HEI leaders must be forward-looking, receptive to innovation and change, and possess strong people leadership and strategic management skills. This would ensure that HEIs are able to leverage their competitive advantage in offering relevant, context-specific learning experiences.

In this regard, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and The HEAD Foundation (THF) are co-organising this leadership development programme that is designed as a capacity building workshop for administrators, middle and senior managers, and academic leaders of HEIs in Southeast Asia.

The programme aims to provide a platform for higher education leadership in the context of local and regional contemporary challenges. In addition, through exercises involving environmental scans, design thinking, and strategic management, the programme aims to engage participants in identifying and prioritising some cross-cutting issues that need to be addressed in light of the rapidly changing needs of industry and the workplace. At the end of the programme, participants are also expected to prepare a strategic agenda for submission to their own HEI management, which will include action points embodying their take-home lessons on educational and managerial leadership.


The intended participants of the programme are 25 administrators, middle and senior managers, and academic leaders of HEIs in Southeast Asia who are at least master’s degree holders and are newly appointed leaders, or are poised for leadership positions in the near future.

Programme Objectives

Participants of this leadership development programme for HEIs are expected to be able to:

  1. Articulate on the current challenges facing Southeast Asian HEIs in the face of rapidly changing internal and external environments;
  2. Discuss present-day principles and best practices in leadership and management in higher education as asserted by experts and seasoned administrators, as well as by fellow participants;
  3. Analyse contemporary issues and problems in higher education leadership and management; and
  4. Propose strategic actions to address the current challenges and to take advantage of present opportunities facing their respective HEIs in particular and higher education in Southeast Asia in general.

Expected Outputs

Participants will prepare their strategic agenda or action points for submission to their respective University managements. These will embody their take-home lessons on educational and managerial leadership from the programme, and addressing their priority needs for levelling up in step with the upcoming AEC.

Programme Content and Approach

The Programme will cover the following topics:

  1. Analysis of external factors and positioning of HEIs including challenges, issues, and opportunities
  2. Understanding and capitalising on one’s strengths
  3. Values and ethics in change leadership
  4. Strategic management
  5. Design thinking
  6. Human capital development in HEIs
  7. Disruptive technologies in teaching and learning
  8. Quality assurance in teaching and learning
  9. ASEAN mutual recognition framework
  10. Transitioning from management to leadership

This one-week programme will use a variety of adult learning methods, including lecture-discussions, Q&A, case analyses, simulations, and workshops. Workshop outputs will be presented in plenary sessions, intended to promote exchange of ideas to assess and to suggest improvements to workshop outputs.



Polytechnic Leadership Development Programme (PLDP)

In support of Indonesia’s economic masterplan, the government is committed to developing and expanding its polytechnic sector to produce the technicians and engineers demanded by the economy. Besides increasing investment, the government has developed an agenda to transform the polytechnic sector by expanding institutions and improving the relevance and quality of programmes.

While it is widely recognised that leadership is a critical component of the polytechnic system, at present there is still no systematic leadership and management training designed especially for polytechnic leaders. MORTHE (Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education), PMU (Project Management Unit) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), who initiated the Polytechnic Education Development Project (PEDP) together, agree that an intensive and continuous leadership training programme for polytechnic leaders and future leaders is urgently needed. The HEAD Foundation was approached and had agreed to support the pilot run of a training programme focussing on polytechnic leaders in the middle management level.

The pilot run was conducted for Madhya (Middle) level trainees from 22 polytechnics over two sessions in October and November 2018, in Jakarta. They were facilitated by Dr N Varaprasad and Prof Ashok Kapoor from THF and local trainers appointed by PUSDIKLAT. Trainees were assigned a month-long assignment between the two sessions. The programme brought together polytechnic leaders from all over the country and encouraged them to create a strong bond among themselves.



WB-THF Professional Learning Programme: Enhancing Indonesian  Teacher Education

The Government of Indonesia has made significant progress in improving teacher quality to mitigate concerns over the low quality of student learning outcomes, e.g. via the Professional Pedagogical Training Programme for teachers (Pendidikan Profesi Guru, PPG).

This Professional Learning Programme, designed by the World Bank and The HEAD Foundation, specifically for Mathematics and Science teacher trainers, will critically examine current arrangements in the delivery and effectiveness of the PPG. This seminar draws upon both Indonesian experience and Singaporean perspectives to recommend strategies to strengthen the capacity of Science and Mathematics teacher trainers in Indonesia.

Participants from leading Indonesian teacher training institutions will learn good practices from Singaporean teacher training experts and will visit; the National Institute of Education (NIE) to observe on-the-ground implementation of its teacher educator programmes and Fajar Secondary School to learn about innovative methods of teaching Science and Mathematics.



Certificate in Educational Studies in Leadership (CESL)

The HEAD Foundation and the University of Queensland’s School of Education are working together to address the relevant issues and challenges in educational leadership in Southeast Asia.

The Educational Leaders for the 21st Century is the collaborative partnership between these two key principal partners. This pilot project represented in this initiative is the Certificate in Educational Studies in Leadership (CESL).

The CESL to be spearheaded by UQ SOE and The HEAD Foundation will be implemented through a collaborative relationship with one of Indonesia’s leading higher education institution: Universitas Negeri Jakarta (UNJ).

Certificate in Educational Studies in Leadership (CESL)

The inaugural Certificate in Educational Studies in Leadership (CESL) is a stand-alone learning module designed to provide qualified teachers and educational officers in Indonesia with a repertoire of knowledge, skills and dispositions enabling them to implement effective, culturally-based and context responsive leadership in the school system.

The design principles of CESL revolve around three core concepts:
(1) the use of blended strategies for leadership learning that balances online and workshop sessions;
(2) the application of experiential learning through guided school and industry visits built around problem-based learning (PBL) approaches and
(3) the extensive use of Communities of Practice (COPs) through guided reflection sessions and planned encounters with Critical Friends/Mentors.

The four courses to be covered in the six-month programme are:
(1) Foundations of Leadership;
(2) Perspectives in Educational Leadership;
(3) Fundamentals of Educational Leadership and Change and
(4) Principles of Work, Careers and Educational Leadership, a group-based action research component

Click here for more details on the courses under the programme.

Watch Universitas Negeri Jakarta’s video below for scenes from the programme.



TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge)

Technology has permeated every aspect of our lives, and education is no exception. The rapid rate of technological advancement has left many experienced and talented teachers in the lurch. Others are well-versed with the latest technologies but do not possess the necessary skills to utilise these technologies in the classroom.

Having observed these gaps, The HEAD Foundation, together with experts from the National Institute of Education (Singapore), Ewha Womans University (Korea) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, has designed and delivered a series of TPACK workshops in Indonesia at Universitas Negeri Jakarta (UNJ) and Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS).

These workshops focused on several aspects of TPACK namely: an introduction to TPACK; meaningful 21st century learning; adaptation of content and importance of school context; the scaffolded TPACK design model; evaluation of a sample lesson; and designing a lesson based on TPACK.





ADB-THF Professional Learning Programme: Improving Schooling Quality

The Asian Development Bank and The HEAD Foundation conducted this bespoke learning programme over two years for education specialists and policy makers from 11 developing Asian countries. This programme is designed to strengthen capacity among education specialists and policy makers to better implement education reform.

The specific purpose of the programme is to develop the capacity of ADB staff and government officials from the selected countries to:

  1. build relevance in curriculum — alignment with national socio-economic development and the future economy;
  2. consider strategies that improve learning quality and the measurement of learning outcomes — navigating through a plethora of new age pedagogies;
  3. learn from global knowledge and best practices in teacher preparation and what best performing education systems are doing;
  4. shape an understanding of factors that assist or impede reform implementation including programme logic; and
  5. develop approaches to improve reform implementation in their own countries.

By the end of the programme, participants developed a country-specific approach on improving student learning outcomes.

Watch the presentation highlights from the 2016 PLP below.




Improving Schooling Outcomes: Developing Teacher and Teaching Capacities for School Improvement

The last half century has seen dramatic changes in the provision of education in ASEAN. In spite of the many achievements, a ‘learning crisis’ has emerged. More and more children are in school but there is concern over the quantity and quality of learning that occurs. Policy makers are agreed on the urgent need to improve teaching as a profession and teaching quality, improve recruitment and preparation, and pay more attention to leadership preparation.

To help address this issue, The HEAD Foundation has organised the Professional Learning Programme on “Improving Schooling Outcomes: Developing Teacher and Teaching Capacities for School Improvement in Indonesia” to be held at Universitas Negeri Jakarta (UNJ) from 24-26 April 2018.

The three-day seminar is designed to critically examine current arrangements in teacher preparation and leadership development in Indonesia and to explore what changes are required, in a context of radical curriculum reform. This programme will draw upon Indonesian experience and international experts to recommend strategies to strengthen teacher capacity in Indonesia.

28 lecturers and academics from leading Faculties of Education in Indonesia will be participating and listening to talks on:

  • Implementing K-12 Education Reforms: The Role of Curriculum, Teachers and Teaching
  • Challenges and Opportunities for Teachers in Indonesia’s School Sector
  • Ensuring Teaching Quality: Teacher Policies, Initial Teacher Preparation and Professional Development
  • Instructional Leadership: The Key to Improving Learning Outcomes
  • Leadership, Teachers and School Improvement
  • Leveraging Technology Learning for Improving Outcomes
  • Education Reform: Redesigning Teacher Education for High Impact

Watch Universitas Negeri Jakarta’s video below for scenes from the programme.