Many development practitioners around the world do not have easy access to cutting-edge learning. Available courses are usually not customized to local realities and potential participants have no budget to travel to a central location. Many struggle with problems similar to their peers in other developing countries but they have no platform to connect with each other and get feedback on their issues and concerns.
To address these challenges, the World Bank Group (WBG), is creating the e-Institute, a global platform for development learning. The e-Institute, led by the World Bank Institute (WBI), will bring in expertise, learning and knowledge from across the WBG and its partners. The WBI is a global connector of knowledge, learning and innovation in development, and a leading facilitator of capacity development.
The e-Institute will offer development practitioners a virtual learning classroom to share high quality learning and knowledge resources. These will draw heavily on the expertise of the World Bank and its partners, and the practical experiences of practitioners themselves. Taking advantage of new technologies, this learning experience will be affordable, innovative, and practitioner-focused. By exploring the “how-to” of policy reform and proven good practices, it will be customized to local needs, thus reach out to a broader audience at country and regional levels.
For learners the e-Institute offers easy access from home, office, or Internet cafes and reduce the need for travel to on-site training locations. Participants can take courses while on the job and immediately apply the good practices and lessons learned to local development challenges. For partner institutions, the e-Institute provides cost-effective training options that have strong quality controls and the potential for replication and scale.
Learning activities can take the form of structured learning via self-paced and virtually facilitated e-Courses, as well as immersive learning experiences using Second Life and serious games. These are strengthened by informal learning through on-line learning communities that provide interactions between peers and experts on a continuous and just-in-time basis. Over time the e-Institute will be the “go to place” for development learning, which will include a comprehensive curriculum with certification, executive development programs, and a content network.
The e-Institute will reach out directly to policy makers, civil society organizations, media, parliaments, private sector, academic, and youth – the key “stakeholders for change”. The e-Institute will also collaborate with key partners including national and regional training institutes and networks, think tanks, and universities.