A renewed focus on continuous innovation aims to upgrade the learning offer
"It felt like being on a rollercoaster: everything was moving fast, very fast. It was a little bit scary in the beginning, yet great fun by the end!"
- Giulia, ITCILO staff member
In January 2020, we were back from holidays and ready for business as usual. A large programme of Social Protection training activities was due to be delivered mostly through face-to face events to be held in Turin, Italy, and around the world.
Of course, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no one would be able to move from their homes. Yet, the global need for capacity development and stronger social protection systems was more tangible than ever.
Throughout 2020, we continued serving our constituents, our beneficiaries and the active learners of the Diploma for Social Protection Analysts. Building on the experience we acquired during previous blended courses, which mix in-person and distance learning, we made all existing training activities available online.
The result was an exceptional year, a year that not only allowed us to continue our work, but also to increase our outreach. We built the foundation for a new future. In 2021, we will focus on continuous innovation to upgrade the learning offer.
“It's been a great learning journey! I had the chance to learn from the best team of experts about the main benefits of having a robust set of social protection schemes to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality."
- Luciana Campiello, course participant
Since participants could not come to our campus, we entered their offices, homes, and sometimes even their cars! A worldwide cohort of 1,302 social protection professionals (a 56% increase compared to 2019) from 163 countries gathered online to attend one of our 48 learning activities delivered throughout the year. They learned from each other and created new and, hopefully, long-lasting friendships across five continents.
In 2021, we plan to maintain the same number of online learning activities, in addition to face-to-face events (hopefully available again soon!). This combination of learning options will allow a continuous expansion of our community of learners, regardless of travel.
Transforming in-person courses into online courses was only one part of our ongoing innovation process.
We work with a large coalition of international organizations to share knowledge and coordinate efforts towards further enhancing the response to the global crisis. Each organization is working hard to address the issue of COVID-19, and their contribution is essential to extending the scope of our learning activities. We appreciate working together, comparing know-how, discussing new approaches and learning from each other, all of which benefits our learners.
We draw on the live repository of resources, best practices and learning with regard to social protection, including current responses to the pandemic. We rely on a broad team of social protection experts to provide e-tuition and e-coaching on a range of core intervention areas. The ITCILO's Social Protection Team spares no effort to plan, develop and coordinate the activities, ensuring that each and every participant benefits to the fullest from their learning journey.
“What a timely and rich course. Excellent opportunity to learn alongside brilliant minds and change-makers. Thank you!"
- Naureen Chowdhury, course participant
To quote an ILO colleague and former participant, Paul Ogomba, "the future is hope."
Our goal for 2021 is to continue shaping up a better future by doing what we do best: sharing knowledge, experiences and ideas and creating new partnerships.
40 learning activities, both online and face-to-face, are already available here. More will be added, if needed, because we believe in flexibility and adaptability. In 2021, several participants are due to graduate from the Diploma for Social Protection Analysts, and more will embark in this demanding, yet rewarding, journey.
Finally, in September 2021 the Academy on Social Security will take place both online and face-to-face. Many challenges are ahead of us, but we believe that every contribution to the improvement of the social systems across the world is worth the effort!
Contact us at SPGT@itcilo.org