Activity Plan 2017 - 2018

ICDE: Action for global facilitation for inclusive, flexible, quality learning and teaching in the digital age 

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Founded in 1938, the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) is funded by a grant from the Government of Norway, other donations and membership fees. Its Secretariat is located in Oslo, and operates under Norwegian law.

ICDE has been and will continue to be a global force for lifelong, open and flexible learning. To meet the new global challenges presented by the knowledge intensive economy and digital transformation, ICDE has developed its Strategic Plan for the period 2017-2020 in a spirit of openness, collaboration, accountability and transparency. This Activity Plan is based on the Strategic Plan and cover the period 2017-2018.

Activities, initiatives and projects that are described in this Plan are activities that are initiated or ongoing in 2017-2018. Initiatives and projects are described in general and may continue over several years.

The structure of the Activity Plan is:

  • N.         Strategic objective
  • N.N.     Specific objective
  • N.N.N.  Action: Project, initiative, event or activity. Actions for 2017-2018 are listed under the relevant Strategic objective.

The description of actions is brief. More insight on actions may be found on the ICDE website where information on projects and other actions will be published when appropriate and possible, or by directing an enquiry to the ICDE Secretariat.

Strategic objectives for ICDE 2017-2020

The following strategic objectives have been set for 2017-2020:

  1.  To promote quality digital, open and flexible education.
  2. To nurture leadership and good governance.
  3. To develop cooperation, collaboration and networking among members through enhanced services.
  4. To build ICDE membership.

Priorities 2017-2018

  • Quality Enhancement in Higher Education
  • Leadership for digital transformation
  • Research and development
  • Increase ICDE´s relevance, modernize and upgrade the organization


In the following the activities for each strategic objective will be defined.  The activities operationalize actions, initiatives and projects under a few, specific objectives defined for each strategic objective.

Strategic objective 1: To promote quality digital, open and flexible education.

Prioritized specific objectives:

1.1. Contribute to successful initiatives for quality enhancement and have specific achievements in ICDEs own work on quality through the establishment of a quality network. Collaborate with world educational organisations such as UNESCO.

1.2. Establish a league table for digital, open and flexible educators by 2019.

1.3. Contribute to successful development and utilisation of Open: Open Education Resources, Open Licensing, Open Access, Open Learning and Education, Open Knowledge, Open Source, Open Innovation and Open Policy.

1.4. Promote best practice among ICDE members.


1.1.1.      As partner with the UNESCO led initiative for Quality Enhancement in Higher Education for Sustainable Development, regional events 2017-18 and international conference 2018.

1.1.2.      The ICDE Global Quality Network established by mid-2017.

1.1.3.      A state of the art report on online, open, flexible and technology enhanced higher education – learning and teaching in the digital age by early 2018.

1.1.4.      Deliver the study” Models for Online, open, flexible and technology enhanced higher education”. Consider follow ups by end 2017, including consider a league table.

1.1.5.      Follow up on R&D, in particular Learning Analytics, adaptive learning.

1.1.6.      R&D briefs on selected topics.

1.1.7.      Deliver a feasibility study of Global Open Library for Higher Education by mid-2017. Consider and implement possible follow ups by end 2018.

1.1.8.      As partner with the UNESCO and CoL led initiative for the second OER World Congress, regional events 2017 and global conference September 2017, Slovenia.

1.1.9.      Issue the bi-weekly ICDE newsletter.

Strategic objective 2: To nurture leadership and good governance.

Prioritized specific objectives:

2.1. Summit for policies for visionary leadership for digital transformation in May 2017.

2.2. Stepping stones for leadership for digital transformation and an inclusive framework for good governance to be facilitated by 2018.

2.3. A leadership scheme to be developed by 2019, implementing findings from 2017-2018.


2.1.1.      Visionary Leadership for Digital Transformation Forum, 24 May, Paris, France, ICDE in partnership with UNESCO and D-Transform.

2.1.2.      Feasibility study for leadership scheme by end 2017.

Strategic objective 3: To develop cooperation, collaboration and networking among members through enhanced services.

Specific objectives:

3.1           A variety of internationalisation activities and services relevant for members stepwise established, both virtual and onsite based. Project and funding brokering including all educational players.

3.2           Continue to develop biannual World Conferences and facilitate a variety of International conferences, local and special focused events. Consider to change the annual Presidents’ Summits to a leadership summit organised at the same place every year. Partner for regional events, with International Associations, where exists.

3.3           A vibrant and well-functioning ICDE Global Doctoral Consortium by 2020, to be midterm evaluated by 2018.Facilitate collaboration on application for grants, fundraising and sponsoring of joint activities.


3.1.1. Change oriented program for ICDE functions and services adopted by mid-2018.

3.1.2. Web curation and co-creation (information resources) on special topics for experts and for newcomers

3.1.3. Open and targeted webinars

3.2.1. ICDE - Symbiosis International Conference: Unleashing the potential of ODL - “Reaching the unreached”, 10-11 March 2017, Pune, India

3.2.2. ICDE Leadership Summit 22-23 May 2017, Nancy, France. “Leading Learning Analytics”.

3.2.3. ICDE World Conference 17-19 October 2017, Toronto, Canada: “Learning and teaching in the Digital age”

3.2.4. ICDE Leadership Summit 2018

3.2.5. Consider a world/international summit on lifelong learning to be organised 2019/2020.

3.3.1. Global Doctoral Consortium established as a sustainable initiative by end 2018.

Strategic objective 4: To build ICDE membership.

Prioritised specific objectives

4.1. Welcome all educational players, in particular traditional higher education institutions entering digital supported learning and teaching.

4.2. Renew ICDE membership structure, fees and organization by end 2018 for being a better global facilitator for inclusive flexible, lifelong learning and teaching in the digital age. Clarify the specific membership benefits.

4.3. Review the needs for digital tools and services to support the new strategic plan by end 2017 and invest and implement by 2018.

4.4. Better branding of ICDE by end 2018.

4.5. ICDE promotion and representation in all regions and xx countries by end 2018.


4.0.1. Fundraising for 30% annual increase in financial resources by 2020.

4.0.2. Elections of three Executive Committee members by end 2017.

4.1.1. Membership campaign 2017 – 2018 for 30% increase in ICDE institutional membership and 50% increase in individual membership.

4.2.1. Renewed ICDE membership concept by June 2017.

4.3.1. Feasibility study of the ICDE needs for digital tools, resources and services by end 2017.

4.4.1. Branding campaign initiated at the latest by end 2017.

Monitoring and review

The annual budget allocates available resources to the prioritized objectives and activities defined in the Strategic Plan.

The annual budget is decided through a process, whereby the Executive Committee agrees to a first draft submitted by the Secretariat, and submits this with the corresponding funding request to the Norwegian Government. The annual budget and activity plan should be approved by the Executive Committee no later than 1 month before the end of the current fiscal year.

Performance according to the strategy, the annual budget and the current Activity Plan, is reported twice a year, preferably during the first quarter and the third quarter. On the basis of these reports, the Executive Committee reviews progress and determines possible adjustments.

Further information

insight on actions may be found on the ICDE website where information on projects and other actions will be published when appropriate and possible, or by directing an enquiry to the ICDE Secretariat. 


Past ICDE Activity Plans: 




Last Updated on Wednesday, February 01, 2017 06:42 AM