The JVI and the IMF Institute for Capacity Development (ICD) delivered for the first time virtually the flagship course on Macroeconomic Diagnostics (September 14–25). Lecturers experimented with new delivery modalities integrating recorded lectures available on the edX platform into the program, illustrating core concepts with COVID 19-related examples, and encouraging participants to apply the knowledge they were acquiring to their home country data.
As in medicine, the success of any economic policy depends heavily on whether the policymakers are able to identify accurately a country’s economic weaknesses, which is itself a pre-requisite to designing an effective treatment. The two-week virtual course on Macroeconomic Diagnostics equipped participants with the tools to do so. Participants learned how to assess: the current state of a country’s economy; the fiscal and monetary policy stance; financial stability; sectoral vulnerabilities; and the medium-term outlook, especially the sustainability of external and public debt.
A Hybrid Training Approach
As in the face-to-face course, specific practical tools for use in day-to-day macroeconomic analysis featured prominently in this virtual course. In the workshops, core theoretical concepts were applied to data from Georgia. COVID 19-related examples increased course relevance for participants applying newly acquired techniques to assess output gaps, decompose GDP growth, and estimate the future path of debt using the latest home country data.
The pre-recorded lectures available on the edX platform were used to cover the more theoretical aspects of the course, while the live sessions were dedicated to interactive and practical exercises. Drawing on previous JVI experience with virtual training, the course made extensive use of numerous interactive features, such as polls, discussions, and country case studies. Participants appreciated this hybrid approach, which allowed for significant learning gains. They also expressed an eagerness to deepen their knowledge of specific topics by applying to more advanced JVI courses on economic analysis and forecasting.
Tatiana Evdokimova, Economist, JVI