Seminars, Webinars, & High-level Events

Joint CEF - ICD Webinar on Online Learning

October 27th, 2021


The IMF-Middle East Center for Economics and Finance (CEF) and the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development (ICD) held a joint webinar titled “IMF Online Learning: Shaping the Future of Capacity Development” on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.


Mr. Paulo Drummond, Director of the CEF, delivered the opening remarks. The event was moderated by Mr. Mohamed Belhaj, Senior Economist at the CEF. The panelists included Ms. Oana Croitoru, Deputy Division Chief in ICD, Mr. Matt Di Carlo, Capacity Development Officer in ICD, and Ms. Emanuella Fernandes, Program Officer in ICD. The webinar also benefited from the participation of superusers who shared their experience with online learning. The superusers were Ms. Entesar Eldaly, Economist from the Ministry of Finance, Egypt, and Mr. Radouane Guermane, Economist from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Morocco.

During his introductory remarks, Mr. Drummond indicated that the webinar is part of the CEF’s efforts to mobilize and leverage the IMF’s wealth of knowledge and experience in economics and finance and to enhance communication and visibility. He highlighted that the CEF strives to better tailor its learning program to the needs of the Arab countries by developing blended learning, peer-to-peer learning, online Arabic courses, and regional case studies. He added that blended learning combining different modes of training (recorded, face-to-face, and hybrid) is the way forward.

Ms. Croitoru emphasized that the pandemic has put online learning in the spotlight. The IMF online learning program contains over forty free online courses, more than 121,000 active participants and 60,000 successful completions on edX. About a dozen courses are being added every year in different languages, including Arabic, English, French, and Russian. The courses are offered throughout the year, with on-demand accessibility for the learner’s convenience. In that spirit, she stressed that the courses are always free of charge, available anytime and anywhere to both government and non-government participants.

Mr. Di Carlo discussed the details of the IMF online program. From the Arab countries, there are 9,430 active learners, of which 5,569 are government officials. He mentioned that 4,872 successfully completed the online edX courses, of which 3,600 are government officials. Mr. Di Carlo emphasized that participants’ satisfaction and learning gains in these courses are positive. He announced that, in addition to online learning on edX, ICD has recently launched microlearning videos on YouTube where recordings are modular in designed, with the ability to support blended learning in the future.

Ms. Fernandes explained how to participate in online courses and further highlighted the microlearning channel. She indicated that the microlearning videos are always accessible through YouTube and that listeners are free to skip to specific videos of interest, allowing them to quickly focus on their knowledge gaps. Ms. Fernandes informed the audience that government officials can easily access online courses (here: and the microlearning channel (here:

Ms. Eldaly and Mr. Guermane then shared their online learning experiences. Both underscored the usefulness of the courses as practical and interactive, and appreciated the opportunity to meet and share knowledge with other government employees from the region on the course platform (edX). They hoped to see more courses on timely topics like digitalization and climate change, as well as more opportunities to interact with fellow participants after the course ends.

The floor then opened for a discussion with a diverse audience from the region, comprising public sector officials and academics.