As with all of you, JVI staff have been working from home—in our case since Friday, March 13. We have cancelled all courses until at least the week of June 22, and are working to reschedule and recalibrate our curriculum for once the Covid-19 crisis abates.
I want to express my admiration for the nimble way JVI staff have adapted to these difficult working conditions. Many on our team have small children at home, and all are worried about friends and family members all over the world. The JVI team has shown excellent spirit, regularly meeting online to keep the institute running (bills need to be paid, after all), while working to stay in touch with participants and friends from all of our Primary and Contributing Members and collaborative partners. We had a virtual Happy Hour last week that began at 5pm and continued until 11pm!
Obviously, we are disappointed not to be hosting classes in Vienna. We are very sorry for the inconvenience and lost training opportunities this implies for officials in all the JVI countries. We hope to be back up and running soon. I am particularly sad to have to cancel the 2020 Applied Economic Policy (AEP) course, as the AEP has been running annually for at least 25 years and is a highlight of our year. At least the AEP is in good company, insofar as the Euro 2020 and Tokyo Olympics have also been cancelled or postponed. Stay tuned and follow our website www.jvi.org for regular updates!
We are also thinking about the future. Almost every country, including those in the JVI region, is now in recession, and many have come to the IMF and other partners for emergency assistance. The current downturn is very sharp, and even if the public health emergency is quickly brought under control, the next year or two will pose big challenges for economic officials everywhere. How should the JVI curriculum adapt to this new reality? What kind of courses and events will be most useful to our clients? If travel can only resume gradually, what are the options for online training to make up for lost face-to-face offerings? These questions are keeping us awake at night, at least when we are not thinking of friends and family in cities hard hit by the coronavirus. We would be keen to have your views, too, on how the JVI should adapt at this time. Please let my colleagues and me know what you think (jvi@). And stay safe, wherever you are. jvi.org
Thomas Richardson, Director, JVI