Microfinance Training of Trainers 6 is now underway. Participants in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, and Japan gathered at their local connection sites for the first session on Thursday, as they were welcomed and introduced by moderator John West, Asian Development Bank Institute, at Tokyo Development Learning Center.
A record 47 Japanese participants have registered in Tokyo this year from government, private sector, and NGOs. An unprecedented 150 participants are are participating in the course from Africa—Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda.
Four video conferences are to be held through October. Participants were told to follow the provided roadmap for a schedule of learning and to use their workbooks and CD‐ROMs, and that their tutors would be assigned in the coming week. They were instructed to use Moodle in order to access and submit assignments, and to take advantage of the opportunity for networking through the trainer community.
Dr. Manupipatpong Worapot, ADBI Tokyo Director of Capacity Building and Training, gave opening remarks, mentioning the advance of information technology, web, and high-tech tools in today’s world, and how mobile banking was taking off thanks to expanding use of mobile phones, and stressed the need to develop best practices.
Tokyo Development Learning Center Manager Ryu Fukui welcomed participants to the program, explaining that more than 500 registrations were received from 48 countries. He expressed hopes that participants would enjoy the blended learning course, a combination of different medium tools used to achieve high-quality learning, and to exploit the opportunity to form potential human networks.
MFTOT6 coordinator Naomi Koike has been managing the program in cooperation with Senior Distance Learning Consultant Ziping Zhang. Koike explained the blended Distance Learning approach and rules of study for the course, and briefed participants on Moodle and other administrative issues.
Microfinance specialist Stuart Rutherford, an independent researcher and consultant in financial services for the poor, specializing in south and southeast Asia, provided an introduction of the general purpose of microfinance. The international expert described his financial services cooperative SafeSave, which pioneers ultra-flexible savings and loans services for the urban and rural poor.