International Financial Institutions (IFI) Education Sector Workshop makes an impact

EduNova, in partnership with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), hosted an International Financial Institutions (IFI) Education Sector Workshop on June 14th, 2018 at the Cambridge Suites Hotel in Halifax. This workshop was part of a program to help Nova Scotian education and training providers grow their ability to effectively create and co-ordinate responses to calls for expressions of interest (EOIs) and requests for proposals (RFPs).

The event, organized by EduNova and Amber Mackereth, Principal of Amber Mackereth Consulting, provided an enabling environment and a space to communicate frameworks and methodologies. It also allowed participating institutions to share contacts and knowledge of target markets as well as best practices to further grow service exports from across Nova Scotia. Representatives from IFIs imparted their perspectives and suggestions to attendees.

In his opening remarks, Craig Williams from ACOA Nova Scotia reminded attendees of the significance of IFIs, such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, noting their context and role in modern economies. “IFIs were largely born from the awareness of disparity,” he said. “This concept needs to be continued and cannot be taken lightly,” he added, then saying that IFIs are responsible for the provision of education to those who may not have had these opportunities before.

Martin Baptiste, Fei Yu and Craig Williams

This introduction set the scene for the day’s presentations, reminding attendees that participation in programs funded by IFIs related to education is not only a business proposition, but an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people who may not otherwise have been able to access such services.

Craig Williams, Carolyn Cudmore and Sisera Simon

Presenters and guests included expertise from both within and outside of Canada including:

  • Martin Baptiste, Senior Operations Officer from the Caribbean Development Bank in St. Michael, Barbados;
  • Paula Cook MacKinnon, Principal of MindBloom Consulting, Nova Scotia;
  • Craig Williams, Private Sector Liaison Officer for Nova Scotia from ACOA Halifax;
  • Suzanne Johnson, Manager from the International Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University in Truro, Nova Scotia;
  • Amber Mackereth, Principal of Amber Mackereth Consulting from Ottawa, Ontario;
  • Marlene Power, International Project Manager from the Marine Institute of Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • María Fernanda Prada, Senior Associate in the Education Division of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C.;
  • Sisera Simon, Head of the Education Development Management Unit of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States in Castries, Saint Lucia;
  • Carolyn Cudmore, Trade Commissioner for International Financial Institutions at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C.;
  • Hugh Wilkinson, Founder and Principal of Coral Hill LLC in Portland, Maine; and
  • Fei Yu, Deputy Representative of the Asian Development Bank (North American Representative Office) in Washington, D.C.

All presenters were highly qualified to offer advice in the area and were keen to share their knowledge, information about their own institutions and countries and suggestions of how attendees could add and create value in this area.

Wendy Luther, Paula Cook MacKinnon, Suzanne Johnson and Marlene Power

The recurring impression from the workshop was that there are a multitude of opportunities for education initiatives funded by IFIs for those who are prepared to actively go out and seize them. This is significant, as taking hold of these opportunities can also make a meaningful impact on the lives of the people who need it most.