Project profile — Commonwealth of Learning - Institutional Support 2012 - 2015


COL - Commonwealth of Learning (47025)
2012-06-25 - 2015-12-31
Global Affairs Canada
MFM Global Issues & Dev.Branch

Country / region 

• Tuvalu (2.22%)
• Papua New Guinea (2.22%)
• Fiji (2.22%)
• Solomon Islands (2.22%)
• Tonga (2.22%)
• Kiribati (2.22%)
• Samoa (2.22%)
• Nauru (2.22%)
• Vanuatu (2.22%)
• Africa, regional (42.28%)
• America, regional (24.42%)
• Asia, regional (13.32%)


• Education policy and administrative management:
Education policy and administrative management (11110) (25.00%)
Education facilities and training (11120) (10.00%)
Teacher training (11130) (10.00%)
Educational research (11182) (5.00%)
• Basic Education: Basic life skills for youth and adults (11230) (10.00%)
• Secondary Education: Vocational training (11330) (10.00%)
• Post-Secondary Education: Higher education (11420) (10.00%)
• Basic Health: Health education (12261) (10.00%)
• Agriculture: Agricultural education/training (31181) (10.00%)

Policy marker 

• Gender equality (significant objective)
• Environmental sustainability (cross-cutting) (not targeted)
• Participatory development and good governance (not targeted)
• Trade development (not targeted)
• Biodiversity (not targeted)
• Climate change mitigation (not targeted)
• Climate Change Adaptation (not targeted)
• Urban issues (not targeted)
• Desertification (not targeted)
• Children's issues (not targeted)
• Youth Issues (significant objective)
• Indigenous Issues (not targeted)
• Disability (not targeted)
• ICT as a tool for development (significant objective)


This grant represents Canada’s institutional support to the Commonwealth of Learning (COL). COL uses these funds, along with other donor funding, to achieve its mandate. COL’s mandate is to help governments and institutions expand the scope, scale and quality of learning by using new approaches and technologies for open and distance learning. COL applies open and distance learning to programs in grade schooling, teacher education, higher education, skills development, farming and the development of healthy communities. Canada’s support to COL contributes to finding durable solutions to education challenges and improving the quality of learning in developing countries across the Commonwealth.

Expected results 

Expected intermediate outcomes for this project include: More learners, particularly girls, have access to quality learning opportunities at the secondary level through the introduction and expansion of open schooling; More teacher education and training institutions use open and distance learning (ODL) methods to provide quality training and continuing professional development; Higher education institutions have ODL policies, systems, and materials in place to provide quality education to increased numbers of people, particularly women and marginalised communities; More Virtual University of Small States in the Commonwealth partner institutions collaboratively develop and deliver relevant courses through the use of appropriate open and distance learning methods, including eLearning strategies, as per the Transnational Qualifications Framework (TQF); Organisations and institutions increase equitable access to quality technical and vocational skills development through flexible and blended approaches, particularly for the informal sector; Marginalised rural communities negotiate and access development resources in a sustainable manner through the use of gender sensitive open and distance learning, and as a result of partnerships between government, civil society and the private sector; and More and better learning opportunities about community health and development are in use, particularly by women and youth in resource-poor communities.

Results achieved 

Results achieved by the Commonwealth of Learning through the support of the Government of Canada and other donors for the period 2012 – 2015 include: (1) 26 institutions in nine countries improve the quality of their teacher education through integration of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT); (2) a total of 5,486 teachers and teacher educators trained on various aspects of Open and Distance learning (ODL), including the development and use of OER; (3) 25 teacher education institutions in 9 countries in 3 regions enhanced the quality of their curricula through the development and use of new materials, including OER; (4) open schools in 12 countries have extended their reach with the diversification of the curriculum through the introduction of 18 Technical/Vocational Education (TVE) subjects; (5) ten countries offer Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC) programmes that are registered on the Transnational Qualifications Framework (TQF), allowing for recognition of courses and programmes across borders; (6) ten institutions use gender-inclusive OER to offer 11 programmes and six are registered on the TQF; (7) TQF is referenced against CARICOM (Caribbean region), ASEAN (Asia region), EQF (Europe/Mediterranean) region, SADC (Southern African region) and Pacific (Pacific region) Qualifications Frameworks, covering 31 small states; (8) over 1,000 persons in Bangladesh started selling their products in the market following non-formal skills and business training; (9) 17 newOER skills training courses have been produced and used in all four Commonwealth regions; (10) more than 750,000 users listened to community development/health learning programmes, with research in India and Malawi showing changes to health-seeking behaviour; and (11) over 52 health programmes were produced and aired in multiple sites in ten countries in three Commonwealth regions.

Budget and spending 

Original budget $0
Planned disbursement $0
Country percentages by sector
Type of finance Aid grant excluding debt reorganisation
Collaboration type Multilateral
Type of aid Core contributions to multilateral institutions
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