ICTs, Capacity Building and Financial Institutions

According to the OECD, capacity development is the process whereby people, organizations and society as a whole unleash, strengthen, create, adapt and maintain capacity over time.[1] Capacity building needs to be distinguished from access to information. Guideline, handouts and documentation is considered access to information. Capacity building is understood here in a restrictive definition as online training courses.

Capacity building is particularly crucial for marginalized actors who can benefit greatly from these online services and increase their knowledge about specific issues in order to better participate in global negotiations and policy-making processes. One element must be notified here though. As a general comment, organizations offer much less online capacity building resources than they provided access to information. It seems not to be either the right channel or not the most pressing objective of these organizations. Membership organizations offering services to their members offer more online training courses than others. Apart from FATF, JT, WEF, MSC and G20, all organizations offer one or more online course or e-Learning program. As follows, some specific examples to illustrate the use of ICTs by some international financial institutions to provide online capacity building programs.

The international financial institutions examined here comprise of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF); the Financial Stability Board (FSB); the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS); The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO); the Joint Forum (JT); the Bank for International Settlements (BIS); the International Monetary Fund (IMF); The World Bank (WB), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB); International Federation of Accountants (IFAC); The World Economic Forum (WEF); Multi-stakeholder Consultations on Financing for Development (MSC);  and The G20.

IOSCO has developed a Capacity Building Online Toolkit for members to assist IOSCO members in their efforts to develop and implement effective regulatory frameworks for capital markets regulation. This capacity building toolkit is available only for members and access via a login. [2]IOSCO Online Self-Assessment Questionnaire is an internet based diagnostic program developed by IOSCO to assist its members in undertaking self-assessments based on the Methodology for Assessing Implementation of the IOSCO Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation (Methodology) adopted by IOSCO in September 2011. The Methodology is designed to provide IOSCO’s interpretation of the International Organization of Securities Commission’s Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation (Principles) and give guidance on the conduct of a self-assessment or third party assessment of the level of Principles implementation.[3]

Beyond its capacity training courses offered in different locations, IMF has partnered with edX, the nonprofit online learning initiative founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to offer online training. Since the launch of the program in late 2013, online courses have attracted 23,144 active participants. Of those, 6,997 government officials and 6,404 members of the general public from 184 countries have successfully completed an online course. By this measure, the program is achieving its dual goals of sharing knowledge with the general public and significantly scaling up the volume of training to member country officials.[4] IMF also offers online courses through its Online Learning programs at the IMF Institute Training Programs. [5]

By providing dynamic learning opportunities where diverse audiences can learn at their own pace and access the knowledge they need, the World Bank’s Open Learning Campus (OLC) equips individuals with the knowledge and capabilities to tackle the toughest development challenges. The OLC integrates innovations in technology and instructional design, such as open courseware, collaborative learning, games and mobile formatting to provide quality learning at a low unit cost. There are currently three schools in the campus: World Bank Talks (WBx), World Bank Academy (WBa) and World Bank Connect (WBc). First, the World Bank Talks unveils talks, podcasts, videos, briefs and games that provide a just-in-time overview of materials targeted to learner-specific interests. Second, World Bank Academy offers learning programs related to development challenges and solutions through virtually facilitated or self-directed e-courses, Massive Open Online Courses and materials from face-to-face courses. Finally, World Bank Connect enable users to engage with others through peer and expert learning and to participate in knowledge exchanges with World Bank Group staff, clients and partners. Users can Rate Courses, Receive Personalized Recommendations, Ask An Expert, Track Learning Progress, and Share Ideas Through Social Media. [6]

OECD “Development Matters” is a platform through blogs for open and informed discussions on pressing development opportunities and challenges. Drawing on contributions from policy makers, opinion leaders, experts, private sector and civil society representatives in developing and OECD countries, “Development Matters” builds a robust conversation not only between countries and a diverse range of stakeholders, but also across policy areas.[7] The objective is to help decision makers find policy solutions to stimulate growth and improve living conditions in developing and emerging economies. [8]

As discussed in this post, ICTs allow some international financial institutions to provide capacity building programs. Not all organizations offer such possibility. The examples cited above illustrate how marginalized actors can develop additional capacity remotely and at no cost.

[1] The Challenge of Capacity Development: Working Towards Good Practice (2006) DAC Guidelines and Reference Series, Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, archived from the original (PDF) on 28 April 2013

[2] IOSCO website : https://www.iosco.org/members_area/capacity_building_online_toolkit/

[3] IOSCO website : https://www.iosco.org/online_methodology/questionnaire/index.cfm

[4] IMF website: http://www.imf.org/external/np/ins/english/learning.htm

[5] IMF website: http://imf.smartcatalogiq.com/en/current/Catalog/Online-Learning-ol

[6] WB website: https://olc.worldbank.org

[7] OECD website: https://oecd-development-matters.org/about/

[8] OECD website: http://www.oecd.org/dev/