The recipient of the Rausing Public Service Fellowship for Barbados 2020 -2021 is Allan Franklin. Mr. Franklin is currently enrolled at the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, in the one-year Master’s in Public Administration.
And, reports from the educational institution suggest that he is already making a positive impact on his peers and the school.
During his 15-year career in the public service, Mr. Franklin started with the Ministry of Energy and the Environment as a technical officer, where he worked on a series of research studies and initiatives to study and preserve native flora, fauna, and agricultural lands.
He also worked at the Ministry of Tourism, where he used his knowledge of sustainable development to advise on environmental factors affected by national tourism.
In January 2020, he joined the United Nations Development Programme as a programme analyst, specialising in climate change, renewable energy, biodiversity, and natural resource management in the Caribbean, with focus on small island developing states (SIDS).
In a Harvard Kennedy School newsletter, Mr. Franklin said his application to the prestigious institution came after intense personal and professional reflection.
“As my sense of identity has evolved from Barbadian to Caribbean to a more global perspective, the certainty of climate change and other challenges affecting the region are demonstrably less isolated. The MC/MPA programme, with its focus on diversity, will allow me to seek solutions and ideas the world over,” he explained.
He later told the Barbados Government Information Service he was very excited about being accepted to the programme, and was even more honoured to have been selected for the Rausing Fellowship.
“For me, receiving it means that others see and understand what I want to contribute to Barbados, both professionally and personally. I am grateful for the award, but the acknowledgement humbles and grounds me in equal parts,” he stated.
His online studies started with the summer programme last June, but the formal fall semester got under way in September. He arrived in the USA early in January and began the spring semester. He remarked that his studies were going well, and he was enjoying the programme.
“The full-time-remote learning environment and the technology involved took some getting used to, but the summer programme did an excellent job in helping me get acclimatised for the fall semester. Both the courses themselves and the professors have been great, and even remotely there have been lots of interesting discussions and seminars with other faculty and experts. It’s a stimulating environment,” he posited.
On completion of his studies, Mr. Franklin will return home and continue working on the environmental and sustainable development issues that affect SIDS, such as Barbados. “I have always enjoyed working on public policy issues and would like to continue working in that capacity as well,” he indicated.
The Learning and Development Directorate, of the Ministry of the Public Service, through the Rausing Advisory Committee (RAC), is responsible for promoting the fellowship and programme.
The RAC has responsibility for selecting the recipient of the Rausing Fellowship, which was endowed through a gift from Hans K and Eva Rausing because “of their commitment to supporting Barbados and its citizens”.
It is open to any Barbadian admitted to the Edward S. Mason one-year Master’s in Public Administration, at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Successful candidates are required to return to serve Barbados in a non-profit, non-governmental organisation or government position.
The Mason Fellow Programme is the Kennedy School’s international flagship programme. It is designed for current and future leaders from developing and transitional economy countries.
To date, the programme has produced 14 Mason Fellows from Barbados.