Are MOOC’s The Key to Inspiring an Interest In Sustainable Development?

The World Bank is on a mission to increase awareness and interest in economic development. Part of this will be a new free online course that will teach participants about financing for development in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Their last course was a huge success with nearly 32,000 people registered to take part. The new course will focus on addressing the challenge of finding the additional $2.5 trillion each year that is needed for developing countries to achieve the SDGs by 2030. This course comes at a time when political uncertainty surrounds a number of foreign aid and trade flows from the U.S, UK and Europe.


Speakers include K.Y. Amoako, president of the African Centre for Economic Transformation; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former finance minister; and Andrés Escobar, deputy finance minister for Colombia, as well as managers from the World Bank and representatives from foundations and the private sector.


The course is made up of four sessions covering an introduction to financing development, public finance, private finance and the role of multilateral development banks.


Interestingly 60% of participants from the last course were from emerging economies and only 4% World Bank Staff, signalling a broader interest in the development sector. This provided the course with diverse thinking and a plethora of perspectives, moving away from western ideas on developing and encouraging a more grassroots approach.


The aim of this new course is to encourage more young people to engage with the content, especially those who have graduated recently, left school or are seeking guidance for a future career path, whether that’s in the UK, US and Europe or in developing countries themselves. E-learning provides access to information that would previously have been impossible for those in developing economies, and will undoubtedly encourage more people to take an active role in shaping their country’s economic future.

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