Dec 12, 2022

CEF Learning Events Make a Difference

Sedat Shehu, Manager of the IT Infrastructure Division at the Ministry of Finance, Labor and Transfers (MFLT), Kosovo* has been participating in several CEF learning events since 2010. Just this year, he attended four on IT auditing, knowledge sharing and presentation skills, online learning methodologies and tools, and policy drafting and negotiations in line ministries. The last two events were delivered as part of the EU-funded multi-beneficiary project “Structural Reforms Better Integrated Within Fiscal Frameworks” (FISR2). We talked to Sedat and here we share his impressions and learning takeaways from the CEF learning initiatives.

Could you describe your experience with CEF events.

I was impressed with the way how you organize online training. I have participated in many online training courses organized by other institutions but I haven't seen this kind of participant engagement before. Using your online learning management system was a new experience for me.

I like your learning portal. It is very well organized: the content is well structured, the videos are nicely incorporated into the portal, and the quizzes show how much we have learned. Also working on assignments in Zoom group sessions with participants from different countries has been an effective way of sharing ideas, experiences and knowledge.

For instance, in the IT Auditing: Practical Guidance online course we discussed recommendations on how to use IT auditing methodologies and controls, and how to select the right questions during the design of questionnaires for auditing. I am not an auditor but I have been audited many times, and this course made me better understand the importance of performing audits and how it can help an organization improve the security of information and reduce the related risks. 

In the Online Learning Methodologies and Tools course, I learned about the roles of facilitator and organizer, design methodologies, and various tools (Miro, Mentimeter, Google Jamboard, Google Forms) for conducting online training in order to actively engage participants.

The Policy Drafting and Negotiations in Line Ministries workshop helped me understand how to structure sentences and write clear and specific statements that are simple and easy to understand. In addition, I learned how to write reader-focused policies by using specific short sentences with precise words and active voice. Furthermore, we learned about effective negotiation skills required to become a better negotiator and to achieve the desired outcomes.

How will you apply the knowledge gained at CEF events?

I have already taken an initiative to implement some of the knowledge that I have gained in my organization. Together with my colleagues who attended the same event we reviewed our IT policies and procedures based on the guidelines from different frameworks and standards mentioned in the training, such as ISO/IEC 27001, 27002, NIST Security Framework, ITIL, and COBIT. We also used some of the tools recommended to test our webpage security and generated reports on the findings and gave recommendations on what should be improved.

I am also a part-time trainer at the Kosovo Institute for Public Administration, where I am teaching two courses: IT service management frameworks and IT security. That is also why I choose the CEF courses “Online Learning Methodologies and Tools” and “Knowledge Sharing and Presentation Skills”, where I gained a lot of knowledge about presentation methods and tools, and improved my skills as a trainer. 

As a member of the team that is developing the public finance management strategy, I saw the opportunity to improve my skills in writing, which is why I picked the “Policy Writing and Negotiation” course.

What would you recommend for the CEF to develop further?

I think that the CEF is doing a great job by organizing events on the topics of managing public finance. I would like to recommend to organize also events on topics related to IT service management, IT risks, and cybersecurity. Nowadays most administrative processes have been digitalized and automated, and officials lack on proper knowledge and skills to identify risks from cybersecurity and find appropriate controls to deal with them. 

What is the main benefit of attending CEF events?

Attending the events organized by the CEF has had a very positive impact on me. The main benefit has been the opportunity to learn something new and gain knowledge for my professional development. I have also met new people of different professions and from various countries, and shared knowledge and experience with them. 

What would you recommend to others who are thinking of applying to learn with us?

I strongly recommend to consider applying and participating in the CEF learning events. You will have a unique chance to learn and have fun at the same time. 

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.