Climate Change e-Courses Benefit Countries and Produce Facilitators | World Bank Institute (WBI)

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  • For climate change mitigation efforts to have the required impact, significant capacity building efforts, and ongoing stakeholder interaction, are needed.
  • Participants in the Carbon-Finance Assist program’s e-courses are learning how to draft and implement effective carbon projects and programs. 
  • “Second generation” co-facilitators are learning to be effective online teachers in subsequent course deliveries.
(c) Curt Carnemark, World Bank.

August 28, 2012― Climate change is one of the most critical development challenges of our times. Climate change affects food security and habitations in low-lying areas, and the poor in developing countries are the hardest hit by its effects. 

New and Evolving Climate Change Instruments
The international community increasingly recognizes the need to incorporate climate change mitigation and adaptation instruments and actions into existing systems and processes.

In addition to the first generation of carbon finance mechanisms, such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), new and evolving instruments such as Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS) will also become available for scaled-up climate change mitigation action at national and sub-national levels.

A  LED strategy encompasses a set of much broader skills and range of stakeholders compared to instruments such as CDM. The number of actors involved and overall skills and coordination needed also increase with the complexity and scope of a chosen instrument.

The Varied Needs for Capacity Building
"The climate change capacity challenge needs to be addressed without delay,” says Neeraj Prasad, manager of the World Bank Institute’s (WBI's) Climate Change practice.  “Many experts are suggesting that what we are seeing in 2012 in terms of extreme weather events is a precursor of what the world could be facing as the climate changes. Small temperature increases are seen to result in exponentially high humidity levels, and both enhanced rain and heat levels.”

“As this reality strikes home, climate change mitigation efforts will need significant capacity and skills building efforts to have the required impact. A greater numbers of stakeholders will need new and additional skills built on interaction and consensus, often more wide-ranging as we attempt to engage across economies," he continues.

Timely and targeted knowledge products for capacity building are needed, as well as opportunities for ongoing stakeholder interaction. Opportunities to learn how to draft and implement effective projects and plans, with guided facilitation, will be important.

The World Bank’s Carbon Finance-Assist (CF-Assist) program, hosted at WBI’s Climate Change practice, is helping to meet these varied capacity-building challenges. This includes actively producing and delivering e-learning courses through the World Bank’s e-Institute.

CF-Assist e-Courses: Practical Applications
Through CF-Assist e-courses, participants have learned to draft and refine carbon projects and  programs. To date, more than 30 such initiatives have been supported through the CF-Assist e-courses. In addition, 14 participants have completed an exercise to guide them through the process of how to draft national Low Carbon Development (LCD) plans. The numbers will expand as the number of e-courses, participants, and trained facilitators continues to increase.    

open-quotesAs this reality strikes home, climate change mitigation efforts will need significant capacity and skills building efforts to have the required impact. close-quotesNeeraj Prasad, Manager of the World Bank Institute’s (WBI's) Climate Change practice.

In addition to the facilitated deliveries, in which learning is guided through an instructor, the e-courses can also be taken in a self-paced format. The facilitated deliveries are typically offered twice each year.

Reach and Results via Ongoing Communities of Practice
Overall, more than 750 individuals from around the world have taken CF-Assist e-courses in either facilitated (175 participants) or self-paced formats since the first course was launched in 2010. In some e-courses, the reach is global, and in other cases, the focus is on specific regions, and sometimes on individual countries.   

Alumni of e-courses are continuing the dialogue that is built into the facilitated e-course design. They can exchange concepts with their peers and with the CF-Assist course facilitators through an ongoing virtual dialogue. These online communities of practice also benefit from additional webinars and other knowledge exchange activities that help to sustain the momentum of the community.   

Participants who have successfully completed the facilitated e-courses obtain certificates and, based on the assessments included in the e-courses, have clearly demonstrated enhanced knowledge and skills. One opportunity to increase these knowledge and skills even further is available for those alumni who become "second generation" facilitators.

Second Generation Co-Facilitators
The students identified as the top graduates of their respective e-courses are invited to become “second generation” co-facilitators who are then integrated into subsequent course deliveries as co-facilitators. The goal is that this will help build the capacity for eventual local ownership of the e-courses. The e-Institute offers a short training for facilitators that equips them with the pedagogy and tips to be effective online teachers.

Olga Diukanova, one of the “second generation” co-facilitators, is a Senior Analyst with the Foundation for the Development of Environment and Energy Markets in Ukraine. She took the CF-Assist Low Carbon Development (LCD) Course in 2011.

“The course has greatly expanded my knowledge of LCD planning...and strongly supported my decision to work with energy sector models…and apply them to evaluating mitigation options,” she said.  Ms. Diukanova was selected to co-facilitate the next delivery of the LCD Course in March 2012. During the course, she completed the exercise to complete a LCD draft plan for Kazakhstan. “Designing the LCD draft plan during the course provided me with valuable skills and knowledge, which I plan to use in preparing the Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS) for Ukraine.”

The second generation co-facilitators have formed a network among themselves, in collaboration with the lead facilitators. They form a pool of facilitators who ideally will eventually be able to be commissioned to deliver the e-courses offered by CF-Assist as lead facilitators, reaching out to and offering courses with the networks in their countries.

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