Developing Professionally, Convening Virtually

The Situation

International Budget Partnership (IBP) is a global leader in Fiscal Transparency and Accountability. One of IBP’s core strengths and contributions to the fiscal field has always been its ability to convene and facilitate strategic conversations and peer learning. However, these convenings have predominantly been in-person. In light of COVID-19 IBP had to face the reality that these in-person dialogues were going to be challenging.  

So the question IBP faced was, “How do we ensure that we can still fulfill one of our core strategic roles of supporting our partners? How can we continue our contribution to the field by delivering the kinds of rich, meaningful and impactful learning and dialogue that has come to be our trademark in a new virtual environment?”

Together, GLP and IBP designed a mobile-based learning program that would help build internal capacities of IBP and partner organizations from 20 countries. This program would allow IBP to do this important work virtually, supporting and building the capacity of some of the world’s key budget organizations in IBP’s Learning Network.  

The Journey 

The goal of this project was to build the skills and capacity of IBP staff (particularly those that engage on a regular basis with partner organizations) and partners to design and effectively facilitate virtual meetings and convenings.   

We did this by creating an online blended learning program using the Dialogue-Based Approach.  The Dialogue-Based Approach is a learning-centered, principles-focused and impact-driven training methodology. It is a democratic approach that shifts the focus from the teacher or presenter to the learning itself by inviting authentic dialogue from all voices. This attitude invites participants to use their learning in their day-to-day work, to maximize learning.

This blended learning program consisted of:

  • Daily mobile-based content with learning invitations (GLP calls ‘learning nuggets’)
  • Weekly facilitated live sessions with simultaneous translation into French
  • A toolkit filled with practical tools and resources, accessible during and after the course 

This rich learning program was offered to three (3) learning cohorts of 20 individuals: two to IBP staff and one to IBP international partners. 

The Impact 

This online blended learning program empowered IBP staff and partners to craft processes and facilitate virtual convenings for participatory decision-making, knowledge sharing, and organizational strengthening. It built the confidence of those who have to lead and convene online dialogues, enhance awareness of their needs and abilities, and promote more intentional internal and external communications. This program developed tools and offerings which fit into the complex scheduling needs and time demands of an international non-governmental organization (INGO).

With the spread of COVID-19, IBP and other organizations must adapt to this changing landscape by creating virtual spaces in which their staff and partners can thrive. IBP is excited that they and their partners now have tools, tips, templates, technology and techniques for 2021 and beyond. 

 

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For an example of a learning nugget from this course go HERE for English and HERE for French. 

For a short experience with Mobile-based Micro Learning, go HERE.

For GLP blogs written by highly experienced IBP staff, go HERE. 

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