December 18, 2016 — Let's say you're a public procurement professional in South Asia being counted on to make smart decisions on how to spend government resources and revenues. Or maybe you're a newcomer to the public procurement field in Egypt who wants to gain a competitive edge. Where do you turn for guidance on procurement practices, formal professional recognition in the field, or to connect with peers facing similar challenges?
In the last few years the World Bank has provided an answer, by spearheading the world's largest initiative in capacity building for public procurement. An integrated online knowledge and learning platform offers a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) as a certificate program in public procurement in several languages, along with consulting and job opportunities, a monthly news feed, and an online professional directory, among other features.
In addition, the Bank is producing e-learning packages on its new procurement framework. Mandatory for all Bank investment project financing operations after July 1, 2016, the framework emphasizes flexibility, quality, and greater value for public spending, while enabling adaptation to country contexts. The first MOOC provides an overview of the framework, covering general considerations, governance, and essential aspects of regulations for borrowers.
In January 2017, the second MOOC, "Project Procurement Strategy for Development (PPSD)," for borrowers will be launched. Learners will be able to choose any case in the transport, power, education, or health sector to learn about the theories and practices underpinning PPSD steps. The content team based the case storylines on actual Bank experiences, selected from 26 projects under preparation in many countries.
All of this e-Learning can be accessed through Procurement iNET—an integrated platform targeted to public procurement practitioners. Procurement iNET operates on four dimensions: Information, Networking, Education and Transaction. Visitors praise the website's easy access to networking, news, and MOOCs, which can provide a competitive edge to those who already work in the public sector or intend to pursue a career in procurement. Procurement iNET's reach has spread globally to more than 57,000 members from more than 185 countries.
The Open Learning Campus offers these MOOCs as well, along with several other e-Learning offerings on procurement, to provide dynamic educational opportunities in this area for more effective development. Examples include the webinar, "PPP Procurement in India - Public and Private Perspectives" and the course "E-Procurement Learning."