2001: Conducted a detailed survey in 7 representative G77 developing countries (DCs) to study the problems and issues in their education systems and identify their training and ICT needs.
- Key Findings / Challenges:
1. Developing countries (DCs) most pervasive economic and social challenge – the increasing numbers of youth who are having difficulty entering the workforce and establishing themselves in sustainable careers.
2. Unemployment is high yet organizations are reporting difficulty filling key positions. So the immediate problem is not the number of potential candidates, but a talent mismatch.
3. Many employers are skeptical about young people's abilities to apply the skills they learn in colleges to the practical challenges of the workplace.
4. Traditionally, the provision of skills has been the responsibility of educational and vocational training institutions and is too often detached from practical applications in the workplace; this, plus lack of expert instructors, redundant teaching methods, no way to authenticate teacher training or qualification, lack of accurate monitoring of learning achievements, high cost and a lot more similar issues are churning out "UNDERPREPARED DEGREE HOLDERS" without the relevant job skills as dictated by needs of the labor market.
5. Unfortunately DCs lacks the appropriate human and economic resources to build competent and cost-efficient skills development programs.
6. The extent to which ICT is embedded in society is growing exponentially and as such the need to have more qualified and relevant ICT skills.
Also identified the key barriers to e-learning in the developing countries:
7. HIGH COST: While there are a number of good schools and a lot of free e-learning resources available on the internet, really good content from professional content developers is very expensive and not accessible to the underprivileged - same is the case with good schools.
8. ACCESSABILITY: Most e-learning content providers require credit card purchase that the underprivileged usually do not have.
9. LACK OF AWARENESS: A lot of people in the developing countries are not aware that e-learning is a viable alternative to learning.
Since 2002, ICWFD has made it possible for over 3 million underprivileged students across the world to gain access to high-end IT & Professional Development training for FREE!
2013: ICWFD signs an agreement with Skillsoft the world leader in e-learning content and increases its library to over 3000 state of the art IT, Desktop and professional development employability courses.
2012: An online and email survey of those students who had received free courses was conducted. Overwhelming feedback from nearly 700 thousand students was collected and collated. The results showed that utilization of ICT skills is contributing to the education, livelihood and leisure of E-SKILLS360 certified beneficiaries as well as their immediate family and friends. In addition, 73% of those who utilized their E-SKILLS360 skills at work found that it had completely changed the way they performed their jobs and that 33% of the unemployed E-SKILLS360 beneficiaries becoming employed and 61% of the already working beneficiaries upgrading their position and/or working conditions.
2011: ICWFD signs an agreement with Mindleaders to increase its library to over 2000 IT and Professional Development courses.
2010: NY, USA, Feb 2010 - ICWFD granted Special Consultative Status by United Nations ECOSOC - The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), at its Substantive Session of Feb 2010, adopted the recommendation of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), to grant Special Consultative Status to "International Commission on Workforce Development". This status opens the door for ICWFD to actively engage with the ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with United Nations Secretariat, programmes, funds and agencies and to actively participate in the work of the Council which will allow ICWFD to consult with Member States and the UN system and effectively implement the provisions of the consultative relationship.
2009 - October 16: ICWFD's e-Skills360° program is endorsed as a United Nations Global Alliance for ICT & Development (UN-GAID) Flagship Partnership Initiative.
2005-11: Major World leaders, Ministries and companies across the G77 launch workforce development and youth empowerment programs leveraging ICWFD's initiative.
2005 - Tunis 18th November: Inspired by the enthusiasm of UN Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan and the positive reception of the general public for the $100 laptop per child concept introduced by UNDP, the International Commission on Workforce Development (ICWFD) announced that a basic computer literacy course worth over US$ 300 will be given FREE with every laptop distributed in the G77 developing countries.
2005 – September 15: 1 UN PLAZA, NY, NY USA –– In a key step to mark the beginning of a new era in the field of education, ICT and skills development in the Developing Countries, the UN ICT Task force and the International Commission on Workforce Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to distribute job skills and training to the G77 countries.
2005 – April: United Arab Emirates based Etisalat Academy (www.eacademy.co.ae), a division of Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (www.etisalat.ae), sponsored 500,000 Information Technology and Professional Development E-Learning courses to be disseminated in the region through various Telco's.
2004 – March: MCIT adopts the Easy Learning Initiative in Egypt. (Cairo, Egypt- MCIT, ICWFD, Etisalat Academy & RITSEC) In accordance with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology "MCIT" continuing efforts to build the Egyptian Information Society.
2003: Signed an agreement and negotiated the price barrier with a leading e-learning content provider to provide 240 IT and business courses. (The same e-learning courses that were commercially sold @ US$100 - US$540 each in the US, were made available at negligible costs to sponsors who would sponsor them and distribute them for FREE to people in marginalized sectors of the G77 developing countries).
2002: Developed the technology platform together with encryption and compression of the course content to address piracy and low bandwidth issues in the developing countries and make it easy for the course to be delivered in those regions.