The meeting was opened on 30 April by the Director of the BDT Mr. Sanou after which Mr. Tenningas contextualized the working of the Group on Capacity Building Initiatives (GCBI) as based on Res. 40 of the WTDC. This was followed by the election of Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Rapporteurs, as follows:

  • Chairman:  Prof David Mellor (EUR)
  • Vice-Chair:  Mrs. Gladys Ogallo (AFR)
  • Rapporteur:  Mr. Erick Huerta (AMR)

This was followed by an information session on the various activities of the Human Capacity Building Division namely, annual activities, ITU Academy, ITC initiative (Internet training centres) and finally a report on the Centers of Excellence (CoE). 

During the above presentations the members of the group expressed the following comments and recommendations:  

  • ITU academy should feature visibly on the ITU homepage.
  • The information about the different capacity building initiatives of ITU sectors should be coordinated through the ITU Academy.
  • There is a need to rebrand perception of ITU CoE courses as paid courses.
  • It is recommended that a training path (training in progressive stages) be provided through the CoE, which “justified” the issue of achievement certificates at the end.
  • It is recommended to pay attention to regional achievements and the manner in which the CoEs in those regions have been operating. To build upon the success of what they have achieved and to avoid conflict for the regions if the manner in which they have been operating does not coincide with strategy devised at HQ.

A set of recommendations on the future strategy of the CoE derived from the Report which had been circulated prior to the meeting was presented. The group concentrated on revising the set of recommendations. The discussions did not conclude definitively on certain recommendations due to divergent views from different regions.

The main issues discussed were the following:

  • On the subject of 4-6 themes per region it was agreed that although it is important to take into account the priorities approved at WTDC it is also important to allow the incorporation of regional needs. ITU clarified that limiting the number of themes was mainly to allow the finite resources and efforts at ITU to focus on development of content and promote its re-usability. 
  • On the subject of limiting each Centre to 1-2 themes, there was no consensus as some of the participants expressed that, although specialization of Centres is desirable, this is a criterion that should be regionally defined as it depends on the ability of the Centres as well as the demography and organization of the Region.
  • It was agreed that to qualify as a “centre of excellence”, physical premises would not be a pre-requisite.
  • On the subject of capping the maximum number of Centres per region to 6, a consensus could not be reached. An alternate proposal was placed for consideration on establishing 6 CoEs globally, one for every region. Each regional CoE would have full flexibility in its manner of operating including the selection of nodes and number of nodes with the primary requirement being the demonstration of a “fully auditable and measurable quality process”. However, in the follow-up on-line discussion the HCB Division advised against this model.
  • It was proposed that best practices of regions regarding quality process and approval of Centres should be shared.
  • A definition of CoE was attempted as: “a regional organization demonstrating an auditable quality of both content development and delivery through a recognized administrative process”. 
  • The need to allocate funding for the continuity of the CoE programmed highlighted. It was stated that the ITU would have difficulties in attracting funding partners to the programme if no direct ITU funding is available.

    Proposed activities of the working group 2012-2013

    The GCBI will continue its work on line, expecting to meet at least once a year (funding should be ensured). It was agreed that the working group would focus on the following issues during the period:

    1. Training needs assessment in the Regions.  The group will assist in the development of the global training needs analysis toolkit in the following manner:

      1. Provide input to the proposed methodology
      2. Assist in the collection of data/identification of needs in their Regions
    2. Quality assurance and assessment of the CoE programme by
      1. Provide a contribution on quality parameters for assessment of Centres, content developed and activities carried out.
      2. Provide specific guidance on regional quality assurance mechanisms, and identify suitable and appropriate Regional bodies.
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