We are in constant dialogue with our constituency to be informed of their ongoing reform efforts, and to understand who is leading the change. The aim of our capturing activities is to put forward a learning program that best suits individual and institutional needs, and responds to the ongoing change endeavors. Besides working closely with the region to identify those needs, we prepare our program while also taking into consideration our role as a knowledge hub and the value that we are able to provide to our constituency.
SUPPORTING REFORM EFFORTS OF OUR CONSTITUENCY THROUGH LEARNING
Working closely with the region and beyond
Consultation and close communication with our constituency is at the very heart of the design of the CEF learning program. At the annual meeting of our Governing Board we talk with ministers of finance and governors of central banks to listen and learn about reform efforts in the region and get their feedback on our previous work.
We capture institutional change endeavors through consultation with our regional representatives within ministries of finance and central banks – the CEF Coordinators. They represent a group of professional focusing on strategic human resource management and talent development. They not only help us capture the reform efforts in their countries but also share their insight on who are the leaders of change in their countries, key stakeholders who embark on the challenging processes to make reforms happen.
To design the specifics of our various thematic priorities, we communicate closely with other key liaison officers across the CEF constituency: members of the Program Development Committee on Central Banking; representatives of tax administrations; local coordinators of our certification programs; and experts advising us on the delivery of our learning activities.
We partner with a variety of institutions that share our commitment towards the region’s reform efforts: multilateral and bilateral agencies, knowledge institutions, and peer organizations.
Using opportunities to capture specific needs of beneficiaries during learning activities
We carefully listen to the finance officials throughout the learning cycle, which not only improves the learning process itself but also gives us valuable feedback on our program priorities. We typically engage finance officials as knowledge providers at learning events and we seek their feedback on our program before, during and after the learning events to learn about the possible bottlenecks they face when pursuing change and to identify the existing knowledge gaps.
We aim to support the finance officials on their learning journey and help them realize what kind of experiences and practices they could share with other practitioners. We capture these experiences as a valuable learning source.
Matching our work with the IMF’s technical assistance
Our activities are complemented by technical activities (TA) provided by the International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Affairs Department (IMF FAD). We function as a hub for two IMF FAD advisors in public financial management and revenue administration for South East Europe.
IMF technical assistance missions help us pinpoint the needs for learning and knowledge sharing among the practitioners. Many of the courses are co-delivered by the IMF advisors, who contribute content that is strongly informed by their mission.
SUPPORTING CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT THROUGH LEARNING AND PUTTING EMPHASIS ON LEADING THE CHANGE
Working closely with our constituency to support capacity development through learning, raises the bar for learning at the CEF in two key aspects. The first is the need to be equipped with knowledge and skills regarding theories and approaches to capacity development, and the second relates to the theories of learning combined with appropriate learning approaches, methods, and tools to be blended to make learning happen.
There are enormous transformations going on in the modern-day digitalized and globalized environment, which compels us to try out and offer new learning modalities. In our effort to be on top of innovations, we are progressively making use of innovative learning approaches. Today, we are able to connect those who share passion for certain topics in communities. Using a webinar format, we organize short online gatherings around common topics and share it with a wider interested public. Making use of bite-size learning products, we provide short learning sources – learning nuggets – from topic experts, usually in a video format that is widely accessible. To immerse deeper in topic areas, we design knowledge sharing and learning events that combine face-to-face gatherings with online activities (blending learning events).
In capacity development, apart from developing and strengthening knowledge and skills, it is increasingly important to recognize what role incentives and governance play in bringing about the expected change. Believing in the transformative role of learning, we deliberate also non-technical factors when designing any capacity development initiative. We consider how to strengthen coordination; improve communication among officials; support knowledge sharing; lead change, and how to strengthen relationships, while always taking into account our role as a knowledge hub.