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E-diplomacy walks the line between continuity and change in our digital era.

Diplomatic activities are increasingly supported by Internet and digital tools, and other information and communications technologies (ICTs). Diplomats rely on the Internet to find information, communicate with colleagues via e-mail, and negotiate draft texts in electronic format; diplomats are also increasingly using new social networking platforms such as blogs and Facebook. This course focuses on the opportunities and challenges Internet tools offer for diplomatic activities. It also examines the policy implications inherent in these processes.

Some of the questions discussed include: How do we address the (mis)use of social media not only in public diplomacy, but in all diplomatic outreach and, communications, networking and optimising information use? Who is responsible for our cybersecurity? Can we really negotiate online? Can we find a balance between transparency and security? What are the best ways to implement online engagement to realise its advantages for inclusion and economy without losing the advantages of face-to-face meetings?

ALL OUR COURSES
Open for applications: No
Application deadline: Credit: 4 March 2019; Certificate: 1 April 2019
Start date: 6 May 2019
Duration: 10 weeks
Fees: Certificate: €690; Credit: €850; Scholarships available
Course code: IRL 5012
ECTS credits: 9
Mode(s) of study: Certificate - Credit - Master/PGD

Lecturers


Course details

E-diplomacy walks the line between continuity and change in our digital era.

Diplomatic activities are increasingly supported by Internet and digital tools, and other information and communications technologies (ICTs). Diplomats rely on the Internet to find information, communicate with colleagues via e-mail, and negotiate draft texts in electronic format; diplomats are also increasingly using new social networking platforms such as blogs and Facebook. This course focuses on the opportunities and challenges Internet tools offer for diplomatic activities. It also examines the policy implications inherent in these processes.

Some of the questions discussed include: How do we address the (mis)use of social media not only in public diplomacy, but in all diplomatic outreach and, communications, networking and optimising information use? Who is responsible for our cybersecurity? Can we really negotiate online? Can we find a balance between transparency and security? What are the best ways to implement online engagement to realise its advantages for inclusion and economy without losing the advantages of face-to-face meetings?

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • List, describe, and analyse the current and potential use of Internet tools for diplomatic activities.
  • Identify security risks in the use of online tools for diplomatic activities and describe practices to improve security.
  • Identify appropriate situations for online negotiations and e-participation; plan, and run such activities.
  • Suggest guidelines for appropriate use of social media and other online tools in diplomatic activities, especially in public diplomacy outreach, and organise effective diplomatic campaigns using such tools.
  • Identify and analyse the basic elements of data use in diplomacy.
  • Locate relevant information on the Internet, evaluate the validity of that information, and describe appropriate contexts for using the information in diplomatic activities. 

Course outline

  1. The Internet and changes in diplomacy - Tools, techniques, approaches: The Internet has revolutionised two core aspects of diplomacy: information and communication. Social media, blogs, Google, Wikipedia and numerous databases offer simple and powerful access to information. Communication patterns have changed deeply through e-mail, Skype, Facebook, Twitter and other tools. How has diplomacy adjusted to these deep changes? What are the new topics, tools and environment? Has the Internet brought a revolution, or is this simply another stage in the evolution of diplomacy? We look at trends in social media tools and provide an initial mapping with the main diplomatic functions.
  2. New online tools and diplomacy: This module presents practical considerations for social networks, blogs, and other tools. We are witnessing an evolution in Internet resources, especially for professional applications. We look at trends in social media tools and provide an initial mapping with the main diplomatic functions.
  3. Safe use of the Internet: Any Internet user is exposed to risks from viruses, hacking, identity theft, and other threats. Diplomats are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks. However, higher security often involves trade-offs in functionality or reduced access to Internet services. Many diplomatic services limit access to the Internet, blocking some services such as Facebook and Twitter. In this module, we discuss Internet risks and propose ways that diplomatic services can ensure safe and reliable communication without substantially reducing Internet functionality.
  4. Online engagement and diplomacy: In any conference room today, most delegates have an open notebook computer, tablet, or smart-phone in front of them. These mobile devices and the ubiquitous Internet have changed the dynamics of conference events. Discussions take place in the online space in parallel to the official floor statements. Increasingly, some texts can be drafted online. E-participation in events is becoming easier through video streams, text capturing, and group meeting tools. What is the future of traditional meetings? What must be done face-to-face and what can be done online? What are the advantages and disadvantages of e-participation?
  5. The Internet and public diplomacy (1): This module takes a closer look at how the Internet can enhance public diplomacy functions, from well-designed websites to the use of appropriate social media platforms. Targeted use of such tools can shape public perception and opinion worldwide. Many people follow influential blogs, Twitter, and YouTube for current information, comments, and views. However, the danger of information overload and the difficulty to find, filter, and analyse accurate and useful information adds new levels to the need for information management skills.
  6. The Internet and public diplomacy (2): This second module on public diplomacy focuses on the way social media can be deployed in public diplomacy strategies, and provides examples of effective use of social media and communication in public diplomacy.
  7. Data diplomacy: This module gives an overview of data diplomacy and its importance. It focusses on the use of digital tools for humanitarian diplomacy while reviewing the opportunities and challenges related to the use of big data in diplomatic activities.
  8. Working with information: Information gathering and analysis has been one of the core diplomatic functions since the early days of diplomacy. In the past, gathering information was a complex task; today, vast amounts of information can be found through Wikipedia, social media and other online sources. However, the Internet poses new challenges in navigating through information and identifying reliable sources. To what extent can diplomatic services rely on information obtained online? How can diplomats evaluate, contextualise, and effectively use this information?

This course will be of interest to:

  • Practising diplomats, civil servants, and others working in international relations who want to refresh or expand their knowledge under the guidance of experienced practitioners and academics.
  • Postgraduate students of diplomacy or international relations wishing to study topics not offered through their university programmes or diplomatic academies and to gain deeper insight through interaction with practising diplomats.
  • Postgraduate students or practitioners in other fields seeking an entry point into the world of diplomacy.
  • Journalists, staff of international and non-governmental organisations, translators, business people and others who interact with diplomats and wish to improve their understanding of diplomacy-related topics.

This course is conducted entirely online over a period of ten weeks. Reading materials and tools for online interaction are provided through an online classroom. Each week, participants read the provided lecture text, adding questions, comments and references in the form of hypertext entries. Lecturers and other participants read and respond to these entries, creating interaction based on the lecture text. During the week, participants complete additional online activities (e.g. further discussion via blogs or forums, quizzes, group tasks, simulations or short assignments). At the end of the week, participants and lecturers meet online in a chat room to discuss the week’s topic. To complete the course successfully, participants must write several essay assignments. Courses are based on a collaborative approach to learning, involving a high level of interaction.

This course requires a minimum of five to seven hours of study time per week.

For more on Diplo's approach visit Capacity development in e-diplomacy

All course applicants must have regular access to the Internet (dial-up connection is sufficient, although broadband is preferable).

Applicants for certificate courses must have:

  • An undergraduate university degree OR three years of work experience and appropriate professional qualifications in diplomacy or international relations.
  • Sufficient ability in the English language to undertake postgraduate level studies (including reading academic texts, discussing complex concepts with other course participants, and submitting written essay assignments of up to 2500 words in length).

Applicants for accredited courses must meet University of Malta prerequisites:

  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject with at least Second Class Honours.
  • English language proficiency certificate obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements: Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) – 95 (with a writing score of at least 24); IELTS: 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each element); Cambridge: Advanced Certificate with Grade C or better). Please indicate on the application form if you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results.

Course fees depend on whether you wish to obtain university credit for the course:

  • €850 (University of Malta Accredited Course)
  • €690 (Diplo Certificate Course)

Applicants must pay full fees upon official acceptance into the course. The fee includes:

  • Tuition fee
  • Access to all course materials online, via Diplo’s online classroom
  • Personal interaction via the online classroom with course lecturers, staff and other participants
  • Online technical support
  • University of Malta application fee (for University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Access, via the Internet, to the University of Malta e-journal collection (University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • For Diplo Certificate Courses, postgraduate level e-certificate issued by DiploFoundation on successful completion of course requirements (interaction and participation, all assignments) which can be printed or shared electronically via a permanent link

Financial assistance

Discounts are available for more than one participant from the same institution. A limited number of partial scholarships are available for diplomats and others working in international relations from developing countries.

To apply for a scholarship please upload your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include:

  • Details of your relevant professional and educational background.
  • Reasons for your interest in the course.
  • Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country?

As Diplo's ability to offer scholarship support is limited, candidates are strongly encouraged to seek scholarship funding directly from local or international institutions. 

A number of routes for application are available:


Apply for a Diplo Certificate Course

Applicants for certificate courses should apply online.

If you are applying for financial assistance, please upload your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include:

  • Details of your relevant professional and educational background.
  • Reasons for your interest in the course.
  • Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country?

Please note that financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries. Late applications will be considered if there are spaces available in the course.


Apply for a University of Malta Accredited Course

Complete application packages must be received by specified application deadlines in order to be considered.

  1. Two copies of the University of Malta application form filled out in full (download form for overseas applicants; download form for applicants with Maltese qualifications).
  2. Certified copies of original degree(s) and official transcripts.
  3. English translations of degree(s) and transcripts if they are not in English, signed and stamped by translator.
  4. English language proficiency certificate obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). Please indicate on the application form if you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results.
  5. Photocopy of personal details pages of your passport.
  6. If you are requesting financial assistance, please include your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include details of your relevant professional and educational background; reasons for your interest in the course; and why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: i.e. how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country? Financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries.
  7. Application fee or proof of payment (€100 – non-refundable – see methods of payment).

Please send the complete application package by e-mail to admissions@diplomacy.edu or by post to:

DiploFoundation
Anutruf, Ground Floor
Hriereb Street
Msida, MSD 1675, Malta

Please note that by sending your application package, you are confirming that you have read DiploFoundation's Privacy Policy. Please note that DiploFoundation will process and share your personal data with third parties (including the University of Malta) for admissions and academic matters, administering finance, and administrative purposes in accordance with the Privacy Policy.


Cancellation Policy

Diplo reserves the right to cancel this course if enrolment is insufficient. In case of cancellation, Diplo will notify applicants shortly after the application deadline. Applicants who have paid an application fee may apply this fee towards another course or receive a refund.

Contact admissions

DiploFoundation (attn Tanja Nikolic)

Anutruf, Ground Floor
Hriereb Street
Msida, MSD 1675, Malta
 
Tel: +356 21 333 323;
Fax: +356 21 315 574
admissions@diplomacy.edu

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