Project Title

Digital Workforce Development: Leveraging Digital and Distance-Learning Technologies to Build a 21st Century Workforce through Improved Career and Technical Education 

Project Year

2017   

Project Number

HRD 06 2017A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

HRD 06 2017A 

Project Title

Digital Workforce Development: Leveraging Digital and Distance-Learning Technologies to Build a 21st Century Workforce through Improved Career and Technical Education 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: General Fund 

Project Year

2017 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

57,391 

Co-funding Amount

37,484 

Total Project Value

94,875 

Sponsoring Forum

Human Resource Development Working Group (HRDWG) 

Topics

Human Resources Development 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

United States 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Canada; Chile; China; Indonesia; Korea; Malaysia; New Zealand; Peru; Philippines; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Viet Nam 

Expected Start Date

01/01/2018 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2018 

Project Proponent Name 1

Jadon Marianetti 

Job Title 1

International Affairs Specialist 

Organization 1

US Department of Education 

Postal Address 1

400 Marland Ave, SW Room 6W253, Washington, DC 20202-8401, USA 

Telephone 1

1-202 4535662 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

Jadon.Marianetti@ed.gov 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Jadon Marianetti 

Project Summary

Building on such recent initiatives as the APEC Education Strategy and the APEC Framework for Human Resources Development in the Digital Age, the United States proposes a Digital Workforce Development project that provides resources to help economies leverage digital and distance-learning technologies to build a 21st Century workforce through improved career and technical education (CTE).  The project’s first goal is to showcase CTE models utilizing public-private partnerships and competency-based education and training linked directly to employment through a series of webinars that showcase different economies’ models and culminate in a large workshop in Washington, D.C. attended by EDNET delegates, experts, and private-sector partners The second goal is to develop and disseminate promising practices and design principles in digital CTE through a paper of research and exchange of successful models to be shared with all member economies and publication outlets.

Relevance

Today’s workers across the Asia-Pacific region are finding that jobs increasingly require new and innovative digital skills and competencies. However, effective training in and delivery mechanisms for such skills are in short supply creating barriers to both gainful employment and an efficient workforce[1]. The Digital Workforce Development project’s activities, openly accessible products, and constructive collaboration will benefit project participants, HRDWG and EDNET delegates, and stakeholders in all member economies.

This project falls under Rank 1: Projects that demonstrate a direct link to promoting regional economic integration via free and open trade and investment, including projects related to:

Human development, implementation of the Strategic Plan on Capacity Building to Promote the Trade and Investment Agenda, cooperation on education, skills development, science and technology and capacity building, alignment of education and training to the regional labor market and youth employment.



[1] See recent research including: “Digital Labor Markets and Global Talent Flows,” Horton, Kerr, Stanton (2017). Also see recent APEC Project DARE and Global Competencies at http://www.apecglobalcompetencies.com/.

Objectives

Key objectives of the project are to survey the field in terms of examples of digital CTE across APEC and to develop a guide to promising practices and design principles from that research to raise awareness about digital CTE in APEC economies and improve capacity in their workforce development policies. The workshop participants will be able to identify promising practices in Digital CTE so that they can advocate and promote policies that adopt them—in accordance with their domestic policies. The workshop and guide will be distributed amongst APEC channels such as the EDNET Newsletter. The inclusionary process of the project and the workshop are intended to build support for digital workforce development strategies across the Asia-Pacific.

Alignment

Alignment - APEC: The Digital Workforce Development project will promote models for economic empowerment and training, focusing on including public-private partnerships and promoting equitable access to resources. Project activities will further such APEC goals as championing free and open trade, promoting regional economic integration, encouraging economic and technical cooperation, and facilitating a favourable and sustainable business environment. Moreover, the project aligns with 2017 APEC host Viet Nam’s priorities, especially “Promoting Sustainable, Innovative, and Inclusive Growth” and “Strengthening MSMEs’ Competitiveness and Innovation in the Digital Age.”

Alignment – Forum: The Digital Workforce Development project directly links to the first and second priority areas and actions of the Framework for Human Resources Development in the Digital Age. It provides joint regional and APEC research activities into the digital workforce development space by developing joint understanding and promising practices. Furthermore, the project aligns with the second action area of developing skills, education and training models that are concrete and actionable and ready to be adopted by various participating economies.  The project also aligns with all three priorities laid out in the 2016 APEC Education Ministerial Meeting joint statement as well as the APEC Education Strategy. Project activities and outcomes will further the objectives of the APEC Education Strategy by: “Enhancing and Aligning Competencies to the Needs of Individuals, Societies, and Industries,” “Accelerating Innovation,” and “Increasing Employability.”

TILF/ASF Justification

The activities and outcomes of the Digital Workforce Development project will directly support developing economies build capacity by highlighting promising practices in delivering career and technical education via distance-learning. Digital and distance-learning CTE provides rural and remote populations the opportunity to receive vocational training in their home communities—provided they have access to internet and computers—as opposed to having to commute to urban or commercial centers. Extending access to such programs to these traditionally underserved learners may also provide employment potential for rural communities, which generally face greater poverty and fewer economic opportunities than urban centers across member economies.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: This project will convene a series of at least three webinars showcasing promising practices from member economies that will culminate in an APEC Digital Workforce Development workshop, attended by EDNET delegates, experts, and private-sector partners and planned to be hosted in Washington, D.C. A steering committee at the U.S. Department of Education will be established from relevant offices including: Office of Education Technology, Office of Career and Technical Education, Office of Post-Secondary Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy, and the Office of International Affairs to help select the best examples of Digital CTE in the US as well as to help evaluate examples of digital CTE other economies submit. China and Korea have already offered examples they would like to highlight, and we have heard enthusiastic responses from the Philippines. There are twelve economies co-sponsoring the project and we intend to start emailing POC in each economy in January 2018 to ask for examples of successful digital CTE in their domestic context. The criteria of evaluation will be the extent to which those examples (a) fit within the scope of the digital CTE; (b) are scalable; and (c) applicable to other APEC economies. 

The webinars will include joint presentations from government officials in APEC economies and their industry or academic partners. The workshop will compile promising practices and develop design principles for economies to implement, consistent with their domestic policies. At the outset of the project, the U.S. Department of Education will do a literature review of the field to gather some initial starting points. Each webinar will include a readout of the examples discussed and the underlying themes they highlight. The workshop will take place over two days where prominent themes that were brought out in the course of the literature review and webinars are further discussed in detail through panels and or working groups who are instructed to decide on consensus language and/or guiding design principles in those areas. This will culminate in a document outlining promising practices and design principles. The guide to promising practices and design principles will be disseminated through APEC and EDNET channels and further published to promote project results and recommendations. 

As the project gets launched, an evaluation tool will be developed with voluntary compliance and follow-up reports. The evaluation tool will be developed with in-house collaboration with U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy, who will help us develop surveys for the webinars, a workshop exit survey and a 1-year follow-on survey evaluation. The surveys and evaluation tools will be sent out for comments to APEC economies. Outputs will include a series of at least three webinars, surveys after each webinar, and a workshop exit survey, and then a 1-year follow-on survey evaluation. The webinar readouts and workshop readout and exit survey will be accounted for and submitted as part of the completion report to the Secretariat. The 1-year follow-on survey will NOT be part of the final report since it will be sent out approximately October 2019. 

Outcomes: The project will lead to the dissemination of promising practices in digital CTE. The process of the webinars highlighting these practices will give participating economies the opportunity to showcase what works in their domestic system, recognizing the vast difference in approaches to education across APEC members. Should participants view a practice as potentially useful in their economy, they will already have points of contacts with regional stakeholders and companies that can implement those goals who will be able to provide information and support.

Participants will be encouraged to implement and promote these digital workforce development practices to boost rural access to greater education and training. Public-private partnerships that have innovative strategies to deliver digital CTE will be highlighted and invited to participate in the project and connect with regional and economy-level stakeholders. Economies that choose to adopt the best practices highlighted by this project should see the delivery of CTE in the technology industry, including such skills as computer coding, IT systems management, data entry, and website design, to remote populations that have been thus far left out of the digital revolution. With enhanced training in technology skills and competencies, informed by research and collaborative development by participating economies and received through digital and distance learning, graduating students and trainees will be better situated to enter the labor market and pursue career paths that may have otherwise been unavailable.

Beneficiaries: Direct participants in the Digital Workforce Development project will include delegates from participating economies, including officials from their respective ministries of education, labor, employment, training, science and technology. It is likely that APEC leads from ministries or potentially subject matter experts within their respective economies will be the main points of contact for this project. Additionally, participants from non-governmental organizations—such as Girls Who Code or the Real World Design Challenge, and academic institutions such as –WebX or Corsera, including subject matter experts, professors, researchers, or key industry liaisons, will be invited to participate in the webinar series and workshop to share their experiences and learn from participating economies. The project will also involve representatives from such industry and private sector leaders as Microsoft or Boeing to inform the development of the guide to promising practice and design principles, especially in projecting market needs and supporting program delivery. 

To be clear, until the project is approved the project team cannot reach out to the above participants because the project has not yet been funded—therefore, as soon as the project is funded, the team will utilize its steering committee to reach out to as many contacts as possible to gauge interest in the project and then concurrently decide on which projects to highlight. Efforts will be made to offer technical assistance and reach out to developing economies within APEC—for example, the U.S. Department of Education will offer to help developing economies with their presentations, will highlight travel opportunities and funding for the project workshop etc. We expect active participation of 15 participants from at least seven economies—four of which would be developing economies. We expect the workshop to have at least twelve participants. We hope that all co-sponsoring economies will send delegates and will prioritize our travel funding for female participants. 

The project will highlight the importance of women’s economic empowerment and encourage women’s participation, both in the project webinar series and workshop but also in the digital CTE programs themselves, to ensure gains are made for women. The project will attempt to engage particular NGOs who work in digital CTE geared towards women—for example Women Who Code, furthermore, the project will highlight how gender gaps in rural areas particularly affect women’s ability to participate in the workforce. Therefore, digital CTE programs, which offer more flexible schedules—both in learning and potential employment—could have benefits for increasing rural women’s participation in the labor workforce. 

The participants’ role will be to work within their domestic and regional contexts to identify, highlight, and invite participation of stakeholders who are successfully carrying out digital CTE. Additionally, they are invited to participate in the webinars and the workshop to share lessons from their respective economies. Finally, they are encouraged to contribute to the development of the Digital Workforce Development project guide to promising practices and design principles, and then identify ways to promote and incorporate those practices and principles into their respective economies, consistent with their domestic system.

Dissemination

We plan to disseminate the results via the workshop and webinars and plan to highlight the project outputs through the EDNET newsletter and HRDWG email list.  The project overseer and contract staff will also seek dissemination through the United States Department of Education’s and stakeholder organizations’ communication channels and will encourage partnering economies to do the same through their respective ministries.  The project will share the paper/study via the EDNET Newsletter, dissemination to HRDWG, and through the APEC Publication website. In addition, the project will attempt to submit the publication to journals such as the ALCoB: APEC Learning Community Builders - APCJ - e-Journal. Any report or publication output will be shared to APEC publication website to give easier access to other member economies. 

The target audience for project results and outputs will primarily be policymakers and practitioners in the CTE field, but the topics discussed will be of interest and accessible to a broad range of HRDWG delegates and stakeholders. 

All project documents and products will comply with the most current APEC publications, IP, and logo guidelines.

Gender

Partnering economies will be encouraged to highlight examples that focus on balancing gender equality in technology or improving women’s position in the labor force and we will encourage women’s engagement in the webinar series and workshop.  Women will be invited to present at the webinar and workshop and topics under consideration include such issues that impact women as flexible access to educational resources and programs, a healthy work-life balance, and reducing rural unemployment, which disproportionately affects women.[1] For instance, if economies improve practices and design principles of digital CTE, they might be able to raise rural employment rates which should positively impact women in those communities. Furthermore, efforts to focus outcomes on gender engagement will include identifying and inviting participation from such partners as Girls Who Code, a United States nonprofit organization that focuses on bringing women and girls into information and communications technology trades.



[1]Unpaid Care Work: The missing link in the analysis of gender gaps in labour outcomes.” OECD Development Centre, 2014 [http://www.oecd.org/dev/development-gender/unpaid_care_work.pdf]
 

Work Plan

Date

Proposed Activity or Deliverable

November 2017

·   Project planning start date

·   Working with counterparts within USA Government to identify key stakeholders

·   Contacting counterparts in member economies, reviewing and identifying stakeholders in their respective economies

December 2017 – February 2018

·   Background research and white paper

·   Outreach and invitations to join project team

·   Planning for virtual webinar series, including rough schedule and topics


Date

Proposed Activity or Deliverable

March – July 2018

·   Virtual webinar and working session series

·   Working with partnering economies and partners to conduct series of webinars showcasing promising practices from their economies

August 2018

·   Draft guide to promising practices and research for circulation to participants

August/September 2018

·   Preparations for workshop, including but not limited to:

o   Invitation, registration, and communication with meeting participants

o   Selecting and securing speakers and presenters

o   Working with APEC Secretariat to secure travel for speakers and participants from travel-eligible economies

o   Developing and disseminating agenda, administrative circular, and briefing materials

o   Coordinating with United States Department of Education facilities staff and service vendors

o   Developing workshop evaluation form

Late October 2018

·   Two-day workshop

·   Workshop evaluation report

November 2018

·   Workshop report and final guide to promising practices and research submitted for publication and circulated throughout EDNET

December 2018

·   Approval of guide to promising practices

·   Project conclusion

Risks

The major risks that could potentially impact the Digital Workforce Development project are difficulties engaging with partners and securing participation, technical difficulties with the webinars, scheduling issues with the final workshop. 

Partnerships and participation – To ensure partner engagement and support, and to ensure the webinars and workshop are attended by qualified participants from many economies, the project overseer will reach out to stakeholders as soon as the project receives final APEC approval and will solicit interest from our colleagues at the EDNET meeting. The project team will draw on experts and consultants from government, academia, and business as for presenters and work with EDNET delegates to incorporate partners and presenters from other member economies. 

Webinar – To mitigate any potential technical difficulties that may arise through virtual connectivity, contractor staff will work with technical POCs for participants to run test seminars a day in advance of major seminars so that we can provide support and do project run-throughs. To facilitate access to the webinars, contract staff will consider multiple occurrences of Department of Education-sponsored webinars. 

Scheduling – In terms of scheduling issues, we will plan for the workshop to be held in late October 2018 to allow for the results and discussions during the webinar series and workshop to inform the finalization of the meeting specifications and logistics.  Meeting space will be reserved at United States Department of Education facilities for the workshop, and the project will require no any external vendor bidding or contracting, as everything will be conducted through the Department and an existing technical and meetings support contract administered through our office.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Our webinars will be followed with brief online surveys circulated via email to evaluate participants’ reactions and assessment and the workshop will have a more comprehensive feedback survey done with paper at the end of the event. Indicators for project evaluation will include data regarding such topics as the participant’s likelihood to push for implementation of best practices in their respective economies, accessibility of information, and organization and efficacy of the workshop. 

Project evaluations will be based in part upon the indicators found in the Action Plan of the APEC Education Strategy, developed September 2017 in Beijing, China. We plan to ascertain baseline measurements for the indicators from the United States and participating economies at the project’s outset and during the webinar series. Such indicators might include:

1)  Number of new active partnerships between government, higher education and TVET Institutions, business and education and training stakeholders;

2)  Number of new projects collaborated among government, industry and academia to promote employment of tertiary graduates;

3)  Number of new academic and training programs that incorporate 21st century competencies and entrepreneurships; and

4)  Percentage of students enrolled in TVET programs.

A tracking survey will be sent out one year after project completion to stakeholders, inquiring whether their economies have measured progress on any of the project indicators. 

We will include descriptive statistics in the evaluation to ensure at least half of webinar and workshop participants are women and analyze results by gender to examine whether key messages are being received differently by participating men and women, and we will reach out to women leaders in education and the digital workforce as presenters and partners.

Linkages

This project aligns closely with predominant topics of interest among the HRDWG, the Labour and Social Protection and Capacity Building Networks, and other APEC fora, and the project team will solicit their involvement and contributions toward the guide to promising practices and research in digital workforce development. The project builds on the broad objectives of the Framework for Human Resources Development in the Digital Age as developed at the high-level policy dialogue in May 2017 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, as well as such current projects as a CBN initiative to identify trends in digital analytics competencies and an EDNET study into global talent skills. The project team will review workforce development tools and models from a range of private, nonprofit, and other public agencies, creating the potential for greater involvement of stakeholders. Additionally, this project promotes cross fora collaboration through the discussion of a topic that is also being addressed in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Working Group, on the importance of the digital economy, including digital literacy, for SMEs; the Policy Partnership on Science, Technology, and Innovation, on emerging capabilities and market needs; and the Policy Partnership on Women in the Economy, on integrating women and other underserved populations into digital skills training and technology careers.

Sustainability

The Digital Workforce Development project will promote innovative CTE practices to provide practical models for both developed and developing economies to enhance technological skills and digital competencies.

Participants in the project webinar series and workshop will gain insights to inform their approaches and improve their practice, and will be able to disseminate good practices shared by other participants with colleagues in their host economies.  The guide to promising practices and design principles will provide member economies with an easily accessible APEC resource for educators and policymakers across the region to review when considering initiatives to improve education and training for careers in new technology fields in a changing labor market. As the project gets launched, an evaluation tool will be developed with voluntary compliance and follow-up reports. We envision surveys after each webinar, and a workshop exit survey, and then a one-year follow-on report. 

This project’s deliverables will promote new practices and expand economies’ understanding of digital and distance learning for CTE, but it will also open avenues for further activities and research.  The United States plans to use the information in the guide to promising practices and design principles in consideration of digital and distance learning and looks forward to working with our cosponsoring and partnering economies to enhance CTE within their domestic education systems.  To this end, the United States or another member economy might consider a follow-up project to Digital Workforce Development that focuses on implementation of promising programs, meaningful monitoring and evaluation, and targeted technical assistance.

Project Overseers

Dr. Jadon Marianetti is an international affairs specialist in the United States Department of Education International Affairs Office, overseeing United States participation in such multilateral organizations as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, as well as bilateral educational relationships between the United States and China and other partners around the world.  Dr. Marianetti has substantial experience in international development, policy development, research and data analysis, contract and grant oversight, program planning and implementation, and project monitoring and evaluation.  Prior to working in the International Affairs Office, Dr. Marianetti was a program specialist in the United States Department of Education International and Foreign Language Education Office, was and a project management specialist in the United States Agency for International Development in Guatemala, and an adjunct professor. He received his PhD and MA in International Relations from the University of Florida and his BA in Political Science from the University of West Georgia Honors College, and he is proficient in English, Mandarin, and Spanish. 

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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