Using ICT in Capacity Building for Poverty Reduction in Asia: Lessons Learned from the Microfinance Training of Trainers Course

Is distance learning appropriate for capacity building in pro-poor development strategies?
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This paper is about enhancing the operating capacities of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and increasing the number of accredited microfinance trainers by Microfinance Training of Trainers (MFTOT) course blended with distance learning. The course was launched by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), the Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) of the World Bank and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in 2005. The first course was conducted in seven Asian countries. The second course was revised on feedback from the first. The paper is a summary of the evaluation and learning from the two courses. The concepts that the paper discusses are:

  • Evolution of distance learning including the types of technology used and the distance learning models;
  • The debate about distance learning's utility for capacity building;
  • Drop out rate in distance learning.

The paper describes MFTOT in terms of-

  • The course design;
  • The recruitment of participants and certification.

It focuses on the second MFTOT encompassing:

  • Detailed profile of participants in terms of country, gender, career level and experience in microfinance;
  • The evaluation of the MFTOT under the evaluation framework, the addressing of the key elements and issues in distance learning;
  • Long term institutional building.

The paper ends with:

  • Lessons learnt from MFTOT courses comprising of the key success factors and recommendations for further improvement in terms of quality and equity;
  • The comment that distance learning can be appropriate for capacity building in the pro-poor development strategies.

About this Publication

By Setboonsarng, S. & Zhang, J.