USAID Awards Timor-Leste PROBETO to IIE

WASHINGTON, DC—The Institute of International Education has been awarded the Programa Bolsu Estudu ba Timor Oan (Scholarship Program for Timorese) by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  The program will be known as PROBETO, based on its acronym in the Tetun language.

The five-year program will support East Timor’s economic and social development by providing academic and professional training to Timorese individuals. The program will directly assist participants in acquiring knowledge, skills and capacity to support the country’s National Development Priorities and USAID/Timor-Leste’s strategic objectives. IIE will use its strong scholarship management expertise and direct experience working in Timor-Leste to develop the human, technical and leadership capacity of project participants, partners and staff.  Through a range of degree programs, leadership development activities, English language training, and alumni activities, IIE will equip participants with the skills to advance the country’s social and economic development.

Applications for the first round of scholarships are due on April 26, 2013.  For information on eligibility and how to apply, visit the PROBETO program website.

“The Institute of International Education has had a longstanding commitment to improving the lives of people around the world through education and training,” said IIE President and CEO Allan Goodman. “We look forward to working closely with USAID in furthering their commitment to the social and economic development of East Timor.”

Timor-Leste is a country in transition. While the country’s shared oil and gas revenue from the Timor Sea could bring in as much as $15 billion over 20 years, Timor-Leste is struggling to recover from violence and upheaval in 2006 that shook the country’s political and social foundations and significantly set back development efforts. The Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) has determined that the demands of a growing country and a new democracy require a more highly skilled workforce, especially youth, to address the gaps within industry, government agencies and other organizations, and meet the needs of changing economic, political and social systems as it progresses. Cultivating a skilled workforce ranked as one of the GoTL’s 2010 national priorities.

The overall purpose of PROBETO is to provide training and technical services required to strengthen the base of skilled, high-performing professionals in institutions in Timor-Leste.  These individuals and entities must be able to implement and support policies; exercise equity, accountability and transparency in managing public resources; provide better service delivery; participate more actively in and contribute more broadly to the country’s economic and social development; and generally impact all of the USAID priorities sectors, thereby leading to a more functional society. PROBETO will include opportunities for long-term degree, and short-term certificate training in the U.S. or within the region, with expectations that participants will return home better equipped with formal qualifications as managers, civic and government leaders, subject matter specialists or entrepreneurs, and will be knowledge resources in the workplace.

To support the management of the program, IIE has set up a field office in Dili, the capitol of Timor-Leste. Under the supervision of PROBETO’s Chief of Party, Leesa Kaplan, the field office will be responsible for outreach, recruitment and selection, monitoring of in-country and third-country training, pre-departure activities for U.S.-based training, and alumni activities. 

IIE has more than 50 years of experience managing scholarship programs in Southeast Asia, including the ongoing U.S. Department of State Fulbright Program in Timor-Leste and the previous Ford Foundation Timor Lorosae Scholarship Program. IIE’s regional offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Hanoi, and Bangkok, and our affiliate office in Jakarta, will also help IIE meet the unique needs of various partners and students in the region.

For more information, please contact Susan Fickling, email address:

About the Institute of International Education

Founded in 1919, the Institute of International Education (IIE) is a private nonprofit leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. In collaboration with governments, foundations and other sponsors, IIE creates programs of study and training for students, educators and professionals from all sectors. IIE remains one of the world’s largest and most experienced international education and training organizations, and is committed to delivering program excellence to a diverse range of participants, sponsors, and donors. For over 80 years, IIE has been a leader in the area of scholarship and training programs for Latin America. In the early 1930s, the IIE established a separate Latin America Division in New York, and opened its current Latin America regional office in Mexico City in 1974. Among its key services, IIE /Latin America administers programs spanning a number of strategic areas in higher education, including Scholarship Management Programs, Youth Training and Outreach, Educational Advising, English Language Testing and Alumni Networks.


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