IDB Digital Credential Framework (Inter-American Development Bank)

Overview

The IDB Digital Credential Framework (the Framework) is the key reference tool and roadmap to recognize knowledge-building and continuous learning with digital credentials. Issued in May 2023 by the IDB Group, partner organizations, and citizens of the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region, the Framework seeks to guide the design and development of digital credentials that are understood and valued by users. It can also help partners decide what type of badge to issue, and for what purpose.

The Framework is grounded in the need to consolidate all training options within a more unified qualifications’ framework. This requires establishing clear pathways for progression between levels of qualification, includes academic and vocational routes, and includes training before entering the labor market and throughout an individual's working life. The Framework recognizes that some alternative credentials may not be accredited traditionally but may be recognized by employers as legitimate indicators with labor market value. The Framework also recognizes the importance of establishing mechanisms for recognizing and certifying skills that are acquired informally in the workplace.

The Framework:

  • Consists of a statement of principles (Manifesto), a flexible badge taxonomy, and descriptions of the various components of the framework (e.g., assessment and levels of expertise).
  • Will not stand alone; it will be supported by a system of internal and external governance, and an established set of procedures and workflows guided by tools and templates.
  • Defines requirements and standards for quality metadata for different types of badges.
  • Serves to communicate the value of credentials according to their role and function and is a manifest of principles that are aligned with the vision and mission of BIDAcademy.

The taxonomy includes two sets of credential categories: individuals and organizations:

      Credentials for Individuals

  • Performance badges are based on a robust learning experience and summative assessment of the knowledge, skills, and/or competencies required for competent performance of an occupational or professional role or a cluster of work-related tasks and responsibilities. Other organizations might term this a certification and classify it as a micro-credential.
  • Assessment badges are typically based on courses or programs that ensure the learners’ achievement of the intended learning outcomes of the course or program. They should only recognize learners who meet the performance, proficiency, or passing standard, based on rigorous summative assessment. Other organizations might term this a certificate or a micro credential.
  • Completion badges are awarded for courses and other learning experiences with structured learning objectives, such as introductory and compliance courses, where the assessment is less rigorous and more formative, such as “knowledge checks” that allow many attempts at the same questions.
  • Participation badges recognize participation in a course or learning event (e.g., webinar or workshop) that may include discussion and interactivity but does not feature a rigorous summative assessment.
  • Milestone badges recognize learning pathways and aggregated collections of other badges.
  • Flexible recognition badges are intended to support emergent and customizable ways to recognize a wide variety of achievements; e.g., specific achievements that have an impact in IDB or the region; experience in events, projects, missions, or years of experience; service to a community, educational, professional, or other, in ways not covered by the Community Professional badge; expertise informally recognized within a community, not a formal certification; awards for specific competitions or lifetime achievement; quests or other special achievements; informal recognition beyond simple participation.

      Credentials for Organizations

  • Community Organization badges recognize organizations (or groups or communities) as distinct actors who, in collaboration with other organizations, engage in community of practice activities and achievements toward socio-economic policy goals that are important to IDB and the LAC region, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These activities can include the formation of partnerships, the development of plans and other commitments, collaborative projects and other activities, and ongoing tracking of progress and sustainable renewal. The badges are issued to an official email address at the organization (e.g., info@organization.org), and will include evidence of the achievements being recognized. Community Organization badges may be complemented by Community Professional badges earned by individual employees of the organization. These badges will normally be aligned to a taxonomy of collaboration types: (1) Knowledge creation - Producing, expanding, or adapting research and knowledge products (data, publications); (2) Knowledge exchange - Dissemination, activation via events, platforms, networks; (3) Knowledge transfer and learning; (4) Knowledge adoption - Implementation, application, deployment (projects, consulting, other knowledge-based services).
  • Workshops, education, training, courses, programs, work-integrated learning - Internal (staff, students); and External (community, global).
  • Partner Organization badges - This is a flexible recognition badge that makes visible the achievements and learning resulting from collaboration with IDB while encouraging further projects.

Background

Digital badges are integral to the capacity-building opportunities offered by IDB. As of January 2023, IDB issued over 200,000 badges, with the majority awarded in the past two years. Since 2018, digital credentials (using the Open Badges specification) have become a streamlined component of courses and other learning opportunities such as workshops and webinars offered by IDB (Porto et. al, 2022).

The success of open badges depends on their adoption by three key stakeholders within the ecosystem: issuers, earners, and consumers. An important step in implementing the strategy is to establish clear principles and guidelines for creating and issuing credentials. The Framework (authors: Porto, Stella C.; Presant, Don) was developed with this purpose.

Partners

IDB - Inter-American Development Bank: Since 1959, the IDB seeks to improve lives in Latin America and the Caribbean through financial and technical support for countries working to reduce poverty and inequality. Efforts focus on improving health and education; advancing infrastructure; addressing the cross-cutting issues of gender equality and diversity; climate change and environmental sustainability; and institutional capacity and the rule of law. IDB is the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean., providing loans, grants, and technical assistance; and conducting research.

BIDAcademy: Officially introduced in 2021 as the platform that integrates, disseminates and promotes the practical and actionable knowledge generated by the IDB Group, BIDAcademy is built on more than 60 years of the Group’s experience discovering technical and cutting-edge knowledge, and strengthening the capacities of its staff, as well as public officials and citizens working in areas related to development in Latin America and the Caribbean. BIDAcademy complements the IDB Group’s loan operations, supporting the achievement of its goals to advance the region’s development. The BIDAcademy seeks to serve as the key reference source for knowledge about development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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