Before 2018, the main emphasis of the Centre used to be on individual-level capacity development with focus on face-to-face training. The 2018-21 strategy framework set the stage for the diversification of the service portfolio to better harness digital learning and collaboration technology and applications, in response to the ILO’s renewed focus on institutional capacity development.
During the 2018-19 biennium, the Centre expanded its distance-learning outreach and developed a suite of advisory services to complement its training activities. The Centre also invested heavily in learning innovation, introduced digital credentials relying on block chain technology, piloted Augmented and Virtual Reality (AVR) applications and launched new training products on future foresight techniques, big data mining, and artificial intelligence.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pace of transformation of the Centre’s service portfolio accelerated in 2020, characterized by a shift in emphasis from face-to-face training to online learning, a stronger focus on institutional-level and system-level capacity development services and the rollout of AVR technologies.
The 2020-21 outreach figures show that with the new portfolio structure, the Centre can reach more than 50,000 learners per year with training – twice the number achieved before the 2020 crisis.
2022 saw a major expansion in the number of participants reached by the Centre, either directly with learning services or indirectly by way of institutional- and system-level capacity development services. In total, 208,795 people benefited from the Centre’s various services.
In 2022, there was another large increase in the number of enrolments for the Centre’s training activities. Compared to 2021, the total number of learners grew by a further 20 per cent. This was driven by a further large increase in the number of distance learners and supported by the recovery of face-to-face training activities. The figures indicate that, as per the strategic plan, the Centre is rebuilding its face-to-face training base gradually, while at the same time pushing ahead with the expansion of its universe of online learners on the back of a suite of new online learning services.
The outreach of the Centre has not been limited to participants in learning activities but also expanded to other groups of beneficiaries from the ILO constituency. ILO constituents were among the primary beneficiaries of the growth drive. The results show that digital technology can be a pathway for reaching a larger number of beneficiaries from the ILO constituency in a cost-effective manner.
The online learning services of the Centre continued to enjoy high demand. Online learners were quick to take advantage of free self-guided distance-learning courses produced by the Centre, accessible 24 hours a day in different languages via the Centre’s eCampus.
Self-guided distance learning was for many participants the first point of contact with the Centre, followed by participation in a tutor-supported course that involved multi-hour sustained learning effort.
The Centre reached learners across the globe. Mainly on the back of its online activities, the Centre further expanded its outreach among learners, including citizens of middle- and higher income countries. Next to health and safety concerns, the fast-rising cost of air travel slowed down the recovery of campus-based face-to-face training activities. However, field-based face-to-face training activities picked up more quickly in the second half of the year, with the focus on countries involved in development cooperation projects implemented by the ILO or directly by the Centre.
As a result of online learning opportunities, the Centre reached more women and more younger learners. A breakdown of the participant universe by age cohort reveals that online activities enjoyed strong uptake among younger learners, both men and women, while face-to-face training activities were more likely to be accessed by male mid-career professionals.
The overall participant satisfaction rates with the learning services of the Centre were high. The average score was 4.49 on a scale from 1 to 5.
The end-of-activity knowledge acquisition rates monitored by the Centre show that in 2022 more than 8 out of 10 participants demonstrated increased knowledge at the end of training activity.
The improvement in learner performance rates , externally evaluated by a team of researchers, showed that more than 9 out of 10 former participants (94%) were able to apply the newly acquired knowledge in their work setting. Fifty two per cent (52%) of all respondents provided concrete examples of knowledge application.
In 2022, The Centre issued 26,514 digital credentials that were viewed by more than 30,500 people.
The year 2022 has been another one of fast growth for the Centre, continuing along the fastforward growth trajectory seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2022 has reconfirmed that the new operational model of the Centre is successful. The Centre is well on track to achieve or overachieve its biennial performance targets in terms of both outreach and impact. In particular, its universe of online learners has continued to expand rapidly and, at the same time, the number of face-to-face trainees has started building back.