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Managing Risk for Development – Through a New World Bank MOOC

Sheila Jagannathan's picture

In the past two decades while the world has experienced global integration, technological innovation, and economic reforms, there has also been financial turbulence and continuing environmental damage. As the world changes, a host of opportunities are constantly arising, and with them, appear risks both new and familiar.  These risks range from the possibility of job loss and disease, to the potential for social unrest and natural disasters. This is the topic of a new World Bank Group MOOC illustrating how risk management can be used as a tool for development by helping to minimize crises but also unlocking important opportunities.

The importance of meaningfully engaging individuals with knowledge and learning that can improve their and their communities’ lives is a core value of the World Bank Group, and we can think of no better way to do that than to present learning opportunities that synthesize best practice and relevant evidence. The goal of this learning is not theoretical, but rather of providing individuals with the capacity to navigate the changes in their own lives with greater certainty, thereby leading to more positive outcomes.
This four-week course, Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development, is based on the World Bank’s flagship report: the World Development Report 2014, Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development. So far, we have over 20,000 learners from 111 countries registered for the course. This course is free and open to any and all interested – including development practitioners, policy makers, students, and the general public. It is designed specifically for the developing world, and is accessible to those with or without a background in risk management.  We encourage those without a background in the topic to join us and learn how the management of risk can improve development outcomes. 
The course is designed to be interactive.  It will guide you through expert videos, a game, and several animations to identify critical gaps in risk management and to move from being a “crisis fighter” to becoming a proactive and systematic risk manager. You will learn to see opportunity over crisis and plan accordingly— a skill we believe to be of utmost importance in a world in constant flux. Beyond the examples discussed in expert videos, a new game developed for the course allows participants to make their own risk management choices, trying to balance short-term growth with long-term development in the context of risk while animated cartoons illustrate the course’s key ideas in a fun, engaging way. The World Bank is excited to provide such learning opportunities for the thousands of participants from over a hundred countries currently registered for the course. Participants will explore risk at individual, family, community, and national levels as well as consider the private sector and the international community’s contributions to risk management.
The MOOC format is a relatively new one for learning that provides a great opportunity to work collaboratively.  It is open to anyone and everyone and, as a result, is indeed massive with many participants from around the world. You will quickly find like-minded individuals, and we encourage you to work together with them towards the completion of the learning activities.
But the learning doesn’t stop there. One of the greatest outcomes of the MOOC format is that some of these connections will carry over well beyond the duration of the course. You will find, hopefully, a growing professional and personal network that will help you navigate social and economic change in your own life.
So join us beginning June 30th, 2014 for this open course on Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development, which has been jointly developed by the World Bank Institute’s Open Learning Campus and the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency. To register for the course, simply follow the link, and you will be guided through the registration process. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Photo credit: Amir Jina

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