Strategic Plan 2017-2020

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 this Strategic Plan for the period 2017-2020 in a spirit of openness, collaboration, accountability and transparency.

This Strategic Plan builds on the achievements of the ICDE Strategic Plan 2013-16, draws on an analysis of key trends, and is further informed by consultations with members and key stakeholders.

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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.

Developing the Strategic Plan

This Strategic Plan was developed with the involvement of the ICDE membership. Open online consultations with members were held in spring and autumn 2016. Key external stakeholders were subsequently consulted. In November 2016, at the Presidents’ Summit in Sydney, leaders of ICDE member organizations discussed the draft strategy and recommended priorities. The ICDE Executive Committee developed the final Strategic Plan taking into consideration input from the entire process.


ICDE’s actions are guided by the following values:

  • ICDE believes that the needs of the learner must be central and advocates for student success.
  • ICDE is member-focused – ICDE is a global organization which involves members in decision-making, in cooperative action and in cooperative problem solving.
  • ICDE is transparent – members are able to follow the activities and decisions of ICDE.
  • ICDE aims for global and gender balance in its structures and activities.
  • ICDE believes that education is a universal right and should be available to all.

ICDE is a non-governmental organization (NGO) having consultative partnership status with UNESCO with which it shares its key aim – the attainment of quality education for all – as stated in UNESCO’s Declaration of Learner’s Rights and Responsibilities.[1]


To be the global facilitator for inclusive, flexible, quality learning and teaching in the digital age.


To advance the interests of its members, ICDE works to:

  • Promote greater quality educational opportunity for all in the name of personal and societal development.
  • Further the acceptance of a wider range of learning modes.
  • Drive innovation and development in flexible educational provision.
  • Provide opportunities for professional interaction.
  • Encourage sharing of good practice and knowledge exchange.
  • Encourage and support linguistic groups and networks at national, regional and global levels.
  • Encourage ways to incorporate disadvantaged students in all educational provision.
  • Promote intercultural cooperation and understanding.

Context and trends

Three global trends are observed to have significant impact on the knowledge future: 

  • globalisation
  • technology
  • demography  

These trends can have possible huge impact (positive or negative) on developments, for example policies for a wanted future, like the Sustainable Development Goal 4, (SDG 4), Education 2030: ‘Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all’. As agreed globally, the SDG 4 will be followed up by governments and international organizations with concrete plans, actions and monitoring to have significant achievements. However, one will expect that major (mega)polices supporting the implementation will be necessary – like megapolicies for openness, flexibility, innovation and collaboration.

There are important developments in the global trend picture relevant for flexible education which give a strong signal for changes:

  • While digitalisation is penetrating companies, organisations, services and societies in large parts of the world, the commercial interest in education, e.g. as investments in Ed Tech or new commercial educational services, increases at a very high speed. As an example private investments in Ed Tech tripled from 2011 – 2015 reaching 4,5 billion USD in 2015.  The global market for eLearning is expected to increase from 155 billion USD in 2015 to 255 billion USD in 2017. This rapid development puts the direction of educational development and key values as education as a public good under pressure. 
  • What before was in the margins, open and distance learning, is now going mainstream in large parts of the world, materialised as online, blended, open, flexible, technology enhanced and e-Learning. Convergence is here, followed by increasing competition (and collaboration) and diversity in higher education. While this is the main trend, the situation in some regions will provide a different picture, e.g. in parts of the south.
  • Digital transformation is challenging the relevance of educational institutions and services all over the world, so also for ICDE members and those that have been in the distance and open field for a long time. While digitalisation is penetrating all fields and all regions, the pace and situation is different among regions, between developed and developing countries and within nations.   
  • Skills and the relation education - employment, is becoming an increasingly hot topic around the world and in different contexts. The new SDG 4 puts utterly pressure on massification and the relevance of sustainability for education, to achieve the SDG goals.
  • Lack of resources or lack of understanding of the concept of online, open and flexible education is observed in some parts of the world as a major threat to scalable quality higher education both on a national and institutional level, and therefore also as a threat towards SDG 4.
  • Quality, quality assurance and accreditation have become more important than ever and are top priority issues – having the alternative in mind. 
  • New developments as OER and MOOCs have been championed by ICDE member institutions, e.g. Athabasca University, Canada, coining the term MOOC in 2008, and Maryland University College introducing an OER based curricula up to Bachelor degree, August 2015.
  • Through new methodologies and concepts becoming mature, such as learning analytics, Big Data, MOOCs and new online education systems, a real shift to adapted, personalised learning and assessment – with great progress for student success – is becoming realistic, though – it is not a quick win or low hanging fruit. Cognitive technologies and artificial intelligence can stimulate innovative changes for quality learning, and also post e.g. ethical challenges that have to be considered. This development opens up for pedagogical changes and improvements in a number of other areas, e.g. curriculum content and learning design. Open University, UK, provides an annual overview “Innovating Pedagogy”, exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers.
  • In the report “Online Education: A Catalyst for Higher Education Reforms” (2016), [2]the MIT Online Education Policy Initiative suggests that education is on the brink of a revolution caused by convergence of outside-in and inside out research. Ref. the figure below. Collaborating on learning-related work across disciplines through an integrated research agenda could yield powerful advances in optimizing online learning experiences, the report suggests.

ICDE – state of play

ICDE is a true global association with a proud history back to 1938 for promoting inclusive, affordable, access to quality education. The partnership with UNESCO goes back to the 1960ies, and ICDE has been generously hosted in Oslo by the Norwegian government since 1988. Today ICDE is a well governed, effective and slim managed global association with activities in all regions of the world, binding together for joint efforts north-south, west and east. 

While the needs for quality education never has been bigger, important gaps exist – holding back billions of the world’s population. The enrolment for quality higher education must at least more than double the next 15 years to meet the demand.

Through a number of policy actions during 2015 the global education community could agree on the Education 2030 Framework for action, and hereunder integrating online, open and flexible education as an important cornerstone in leveraging quality higher education at a global scale. The Framework for action “Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all” states:

“By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including universities” (Target 4.3) and

“A well-established, properly regulated tertiary education system supported by technology, open educational resources and distance education can increase access, equity, quality and relevance, and can narrow the gap between what is taught at tertiary education institutions, including universities, and what economies and societies demand. The provision of tertiary education should be made progressively free, in line with existing international agreements.” (Target 4.3, point 43).

For the first time the world has got an agreed educational agenda comprising all countries – developed and developing, and all levels of education, including higher education.

Seen together with the outcome of the Paris[3] and Pretoria[4] Forums in 2015, and also other SDGs as well as other parts of the Framework for action, these policy documents create a basis for ICDE´s activities the next years, moving from policy to actions.

In 2016, when the ICDE Strategic Plan is developed, consulted and agreed, ICDE has a number of ongoing initiatives, the most important are:

  • Quality, to contribute to a UNESCO led initiative for quality enhancement – the main international conference to take place in 2018. Enhance and strengthen ICDEs work on quality by establishing a quality network in all regions.
  • To establish an overview of models for online, open, flexible and technology enhanced higher education, based on case studies and foreseen/emerging new models
  • The ICDE Global Doctoral Consortium - to support and connect doctoral students in the research field related to online, open, flexible and technology enhanced learning.
  • Visionary leadership for digital transformation.
  • Establish a community and opportunities to engage for individual members.
  • Several actions to support the development, take up and outcome from Open Educational Resources.
  • Facilitate collection, co-creation and co-curation of resources for members and stakeholders interested in online, open and flexible education.
  • Prepare reports and briefs for sharing hot topics and key developments.
  • Preparing four key conferences:
  • ICDE – Symbiosis International Conference to be organised in Pune, India, March 2017.  “Main theme: Unleashing the potential of ODL - “Reaching the unreached””.
  • ICDE Presidents’ Summit 2017 to be organised by UNIT and hosted by Université Lorraine, France 22-23 May.
  • Visionary Leadership for Digital Transformation – policy forum to be organised in collaboration with UNESCO and the project D-Transform at UNESCO HeadQuarter in Paris 24 May
  • The 27th International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) World Conference, hosted by Contact North and takes place at the Toronto Sheraton Centre Hotel from October 17 – 19, 2017. Main theme: “Teaching in The Digital Age – Re-Thinking Teaching & Learning.”
    • ICDE works to strengthen north-south collaboration between institutions – to support knowledge exchange and development in the south hemisphere, particularly.
    • To further develop Open Praxis as a sustainable quality scientific journal, towards a unique global quality scientific journal.

The Strategic Plan was discussed and revised during the ICDE Presidents´ Summit 2016, 20-23 November, organised by Charles Sturt University, Sydney, Australia, November. Main theme: “A New Era of Leadership and Quality: The Business of Open and Distance Learning 2020.”

Partnership is a key aspect with ICDEs work, to partner up to increase impact of shared goals. Partnership is an element in all above mentioned actions and key partners are UNESCO, CoL and other international associations on the field of online, open and flexible education and more.

ICDE has had a good membership development since 2011 (About 100 % increase in Africa, Asia, Arab states and Europe, about 30% in North and South America and Oceania/Australia.) The numbers by end 2015 were:

162 institutional members, compared to 155 in 2014, 147 in 2013 and 104 in 2012; 19 associate members – an increase of 5 since 2012; 93 individual members, compared to 62 in 2014, 37 in 2013 and 32 in 2012; and 8 honorary individual members. New from September 2016: 130+ Doctoral Students.

ICDE has members in all regions of the world. Including the association’s membership, the outreach to countries is above 100 and institutional outreach is assumed far above 1000. Faculty and staff connected to these institutions are hundreds of thousands – and enrolled students in the size of 10 million or more.

ICDE is organised as a “two chamber organization” where the Executive Committee leads ICDE and the Board of Trustees oversees the governance and maintain the employer responsibility for the Secretary General.  The Secretary General leads the daily operations and the Permanent Secretariat which is located in Oslo, Norway. The Election Committee prepares and leads the elections of the Executive Committee which the members elect by electronic voting every second year. 

In 2016 42 % of the funding of ICDE comes from membership fees and other revenue from members, 12 % from external funding and sponsoring of projects – and 46 % is support from the Norwegian government as an annual grant. 

ICDE challenges

When ICDE moves into a new, strategic period – it has to build on its strengths:

  • ICDE has a good, global brand. It is visible and present on relevant issues and has a high level of competencies and expertise.
  • Through orchestrated actions for sound policies, ICDE and its member organizations have demonstrated flexibility and capacity to show direction, influence and suggest actions for the education community.  
  • ICDE has a clear voice to support development in countries and regions which need global support to achieve the Education 2030 goals. 
  • ICDE and its membership carries high specialism in quality online and distance education. 
  • Through years ICDE has demonstrated sound governance and management. Transparency, openness, accountability and partnerships are key features of the ICDE brand.
  • ICDE has a strong core – the executives, selected institutions, organizations and ICDE staff are in the lead of actions and are committed to tasks.
  • ICDE has demonstrated strong capacity, will and capability to deliver on agreed objectives and actions.

One should also take note of the main findings in the membership survey 2016:

  • ICDE has a very good/good standing among members in all categories.
  • Many members in all categories want to engage more.
  • ICDE has room for improvements/changes to work on.
  • Almost all members would very likely, quite likely or likely recommend ICDE to another colleague.

Important challenges have to be addressed the next few years:

  • While there is a convergence going on between distance and campus based education, online, open and flexible education is going mainstream. This is an opportunity, but also a challenge for ICDE to address as a change area and an area for improvement. ICDE and its members could achieve more and better through partnerships and membership of mainstream universities, institutions organizations and networks. Hence while digital transformation is challenging the relevance of educational providers all over the world, there is an uneven situation between regions, between developing and developed countries and within countries which can be summarized in those that have, and have nots. ICDE has to address this in its policies and actions to have inclusiveness and a better distribution of infrastructure, quality of services, competencies and skills for digital transformation.
  • The concepts for online, open and flexible education has the potential to improve and support all levels and sectors of education, and ICDE needs to take a holistic approach and responsibility to facilitate increased uptake of quality online, open and flexible where appropriate and relevant.  
  • The Norwegian government has provided a reliable, long term, generous support for ICDE, a funding which is success critical for hosting a small, efficient secretariat in Oslo, Norway. Membership, events and projects have brought in additional crucial resources to have achievements on strategic objectives.  However, the development and needs have bypassed the current level of funding and resources and new sources have to be found for ICDE to keep up with developments.
  • The global education agenda is so ambitious, demanding and challenging that goals and successful actions are not within reach without collaboration and partnership with relevant actors and organizations, when relevant and appropriate. In fact, the situation in relation to agreed goals among governments, is so serious (e.g. targets for secondary education for Africa south of Sahara agreed to be reached by 2030, will first be accomplished after year 2100) that UNESCO has issued a warning: “Education needs to fundamentally change if we are to reach our global development goals”  
  • The access to expertise, competencies and excellent scholars offer the opportunity to facilitate thought leadership in selected and core areas, however, it has to be facilitated and organised.
  • Through a focused agenda, ICDE can improve and facilitate engagement and promotion of members. Laboratories for future quality learning could be promoted, virtual research centres as collaboration platforms could be facilitated, knowledge hubs to be supported and shared.
  • ICDE should continue to build global presence and representation, promote the global perspective, but also be focused and specific on fields and issues where ICDE can make a difference. Avoid unnecessary replication of what others do, rather partner up with others and share. 
  • While being global, representing the members interest is crucial under the new Education 2030 agenda. Connecting to regions, regional interest, international associations and facilitating collaboration and knowledge sharing activities is success critical.
  • ICDE should foster a collaborative agenda on selected, prioritised areas.
  • While the brand is strong, ICDE is not known or recognised as broad as it should be. Information and communication profile, functions and outreach have to be improved to support the new directions and objectives, and to harvest opportunities and foster good governance, sound management and to build ICDE.
  • ICDE as organization is not well adapted to the new Education 2030 agenda and the recent developments in technology enhanced learning, and has to renew itself to be more relevant as a membership organization with improved structure, activities and services. 

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.

In the following the expected outcome and strategies for each strategic objective will be defined. Take note of that a few, specific objectives are defined for each strategic objective. These prioritized specific objectives will be the basis for each year’s prioritized activities, set in bi-annual activity plans.

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

Expected outcome:

To build on the already accomplished policy endeavour, integrating online, open and flexible education as an important cornerstone in leveraging quality higher education at a global scale towards 2030. (ref. 2030 Global Framework for Action: “Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all”, Sustainable Development Goal, SDG, 4, target 4.3, point 43 (ref. the paragraph ICDE – STATE OF PLAY, ICDE 2016).

ICDE will voice this global commitment and promote inclusive quality flexible education as a prerequisite to increased access, equity and student success in education.


  • Advocate for innovation of all education in the direction of sustainable flexible and open learning provisions. Globalization and digitalization of society require continuous development of competencies and skills, and enables lifelong flexible learning as a key to economic and human development and growth.
  • Advocate focus on student success.
  • A shifting focus from access to education to access to success for all students demands more knowledge about success rates, proof of concept and learning efficiency in different contexts. Learning analytics opens up for differential student support and increased learning outcomes, and ICDE should facilitate collaboration, research and knowledge sharing in this field.
  • Address the need for access to quality lifelong learning for humans in crises, refugees and people in conflict zones. Address access to quality education for women and girls.
  • To continue the work towards a global understanding of quality in education where online, open, flexible and digital supported learning is an integrated part of higher educational provision and also in wider education across levels and sectors.
  • Address the need and measures for closing the digital divide.
  • Address key stakeholders with methodologies and concepts for quality development and sharing of evidence based practise.
  • Enable a network of global experts on quality in education to produce concrete knowledge and insight reports on quality digital, open and flexible education.
  • Facilitate intelligence, monitoring and trend reporting on relevant issues.
  • Facilitate hearing the students’ voice. Students must be seen as a part of academic, quality and governance organization. Promote robust learner support systems that take demographic trends into consideration.
  • Promoting the social dimension of open education (finding ways to enhance/provide better access for online learning to specific groups and to disadvantaged people).
  • Candidate actions are:
  • Quality – support the UNESCO initiative, build ICDE capacities and activities.
  • Models for online, open, flexible and technology enhanced higher education.
  • Based on models, consider benchmarking and ranking of institutions and service providers on different aspects.
  • Research and innovation, in particular the Global Doctoral Consortium, Insight briefs, the role as curator and broker for partnerships on R&I collaboration, consider virtual collaboration hubs/centres. Open Praxis.
  • The role as curator and broker to have easy access to relevant good practice. 
  • Contribute to quality OERs as a part of mainstream education. 
  • Events, see SO 3, to support SO 1.

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.

Strategic objective 2: To nurture leadership and good governance.

Expected outcomes:

Increased understanding and capacities of requirements for good governance, leadership and management for quality online, open and flexible education. ICDE member institutions to demonstrate relevance in quality education.


  • Surveys, studies and events to increase understanding, knowledge and support for visionary leadership and good governance for digital transformation.
  • Facilitate and support thought leadership for visionary leadership and good governance for digital transformation.
  • Facilitate a prominent role for presidents, vice chancellors and rectors, e.g. trough good practices, knowledge sharing circles etc.
  • Consider actions as:
  • Policy events in partnership with relevant stakeholders to set directions and improve frameworks.
  • Leadership circles/communities for front developments and relevance.
  • Curator, co-curator and co-creator and broker for relevant services, offerings and actions.

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.

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

Expected outcomes:

In order to be “The global facilitator for inclusive, connected quality learning” ICDE needs to practise what is preached and foster vibrant and engaging virtual networks among members. Collaboration and partnerships for increased added values, seeking synergies from investments and actions, internationalisation and promoting global citizenship are key words. Broad and regional access to relevant, topical and vibrant events by ICDE members and partners. Participation should be possible in different modes, e.g. virtual, when needed.

New and enhanced member services need to be developed to support member’s activities and for ICDE to stay relevant as a global membership organization with clear membership benefits.


  • Seek and develop the added value of a global network through concrete projects, research exchange and knowledge sharing.
  • Support and facilitate beneficial internationalisation for members.
  • A variety of events considering contexts: Bi-annual ICDE World Conferences, annual leadership events – Presidents’ Summit, localised ICDE and partner regional and international conferences, global big issues/hot topics events implemented regional/local, think tanks and focused events on burning issues.
  • Facilitate appropriate tools for virtual collaboration and connect members through increased engagement and participation outside of onsite meetings, events and conferences. Ref. SO 4.2.
  • Consider concrete enhanced services such as:
    • Facilitation of student mobility and academic exchange.
    • Facilitate training and workshops to be undertaken virtually and/or by local means.
    • Content and resource curation within the field of online, open and flexible education.
    • Platform for evidence based actions: Short and sharp briefs of great exemplars of innovators addressing “these are the ways to deal with open and flexible learning and these are the contextual reasons”.
    • Facilitate webinars and member’s meetings at conferences and events.
    • Develop guidance, tutorials and institutional policy advice for members.
    • Develop and evaluate the ICDE Operational Network.
    • Establish focal points in different countries across regions.
    • Regional networks to strengthen and support specific regional needs in advocacy, quality and hands-on development
    • Connect members and suggest “buddy system” for new members
    • Influence governmental bodies on behalf of member institutions in various regions and countries
    • Monitoring (what is happening at the global level)
    • Service/consultancy: high level advice to member institutions on strategy etc.

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 and consider partnerships with private actors.

Strategic objective 4: To build ICDE membership.

Expected outcomes:

  • ICDE to be inclusive for all education, basic, secondary, TVET, tertiary, doctoral.
  • ICDE to represent the new flexible and digital age.
  • A renewed ICDE with a well-functioning membership structure, fee system and organization.
  • Good leadership and governance for ICDE.
  • A more effective, flexible and relevant ICDE.
  • A consolidated, democratic, open, transparent and accountable ICDE.
  • Increased trust in ICDE as a professional and well-governed global body.
  • Increased trust in ICDE as a membership-focused global organization.
  • A rebranded ICDE according to the new Strategic Plan.
  • A more sustainable ICDE with a more diverse revenue base.


  • Adapt a relevant ICDE to its future directions and membership: Renewed organization, membership structure and fees. Clarify the eligibility, role and structure of different types and levels of institutions, agencies and governments, companies/Ed Techs, networks, associations, individuals and doctoral students.
  • Clarify and implement benefits available for members only.
  • Increased relevance, productivity and effectiveness in ICDE leadership and management.
  • Recruit and retain members with an interest in digital, open and flexible education.
  • Fundraising.
  • Information and communication to support all strategic objectives.
  • Good digital infrastructure and digital services for ICDE membership activities and collaboration.
  • Candidate actions to consider are:
  • Change of the ICDE membership structure to better adapt to lifelong learning and new entrants.
  • Change of the fee system to be modernised and adapted to the new situation in education.  
  • Adapt ICDE better to regional needs and to facilitate collaboration between regions and associations.
  • Change the organization to increase direct influence and participation from the members.
  • Establish task forces, target groups and working groups, and facilitate networking and other work formats where appropriate.
  • Consolidate the role of ICDE as information and communication facilitator, curator, co-curator and broker.
  • Review the needs for digital tools to support the new strategic plan.
  • Annual plan and targets for fundraising.
  • Annual plan and targets for membership recruitment and retention.

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.

The Strategic Plan


The Strategic Plan set the objectives and the priorities for the next 4 years. The bi-annual Activity Plan sets the specific objectives, activities, initiatives and projects. Initiatives and projects are described in a general way and may continue over several years. The ICDE Executive Committee approves the annual priorities in the Activity plan which are operationalised by the ICDE Permanent Secretariat.

The structure of the planning leading to concrete actions is:

N. Strategic objective (Approved in the Strategic Plan)

N.N. Specific objective (Approved in the Strategic Plan and the Activitiy Plan)

N.N.N.  Action: Project, initiative or activity. (Approved in the bi-annual Activity plan). Priorities are approved annually together with the annual budget by the Executive Committee.

The strategy process and the Strategic Plan are preparing ICDE to meet with future challenges, go in the wanted direction and meet with agreed goals. However, the future is not certain, the context and challenges develop and change. Flexibility is therefore needed by the Executive Committee in setting the annual priorities and when needed revisit the strategic priorities.

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

The description of objectives and possible actions are 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.


[3] The Global High Level Policy Forum organised by UNESCO in partnership with ICDE in Paris June 2015 issued the Paris-Message: “Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education for the Future We Want. From Statements to Action: Equity, Access and Quality Learning Outcomes.”

[4] The High Level Policy Forum in Pretoria, South Africa in October 2016 organised by ICDE in partnership with UNESCO, CoL and OEC, was hosted by UNISA. The forum focused on regional perspectives and issued the Pretoria media release: “How online, open and flexible support learning will support a sustainable future - a call for action”


Past Strategic Plans:

Download the Strategic Plan 2013-2016


Last Updated on Friday, August 17, 2018 02:32 AM