A reflection on The Certified Digital Finance Practitioner Forum

Categories : Blog


Author: Cleo Turner

This month of November 2022 we are incredibly pleased to be hosting the second cohort of the CDFP Practitioner Forum. This follows the success of the pilot cohort that took place between August and September 2022.

The three-year CDFP journey requires students to achieve a minimum of 110 course credits before they may begin the final leg of the programme. In this final stage – the Practical component, students apply their learning through a variety of activities, be it a more rigorous piece of work such as a research paper or a series of blogs, the objective is to show their knowledge and understanding of relevant topics (under the umbrella of Inclusive Finance), to delve into and engage with existing content. In doing so, positioning themselves as Inclusive Finance Professionals.

The Practical component is designed as a self-paced journey. Unlike the structured courses, there are no milestones. As a result, we have witnessed many of our CDFP students getting ‘stuck’ during this last leg. In designing the Forum, we hoped to provide a solution by creating a condensed version of the Practical component. A structured, time-bound environment architected with milestones and sequential steps.

The CDFP Practitioner Forum offers an assistive environment to those who are struggling to generate the self-motivation required to complete the Practical activities through the regular channel. This has been successfully proven through our pilot run where we certified 47 students out of the 80 students who enrolled.

Magan Jugurnauth, one of these such graduates has described the Practitioner Forum as a “forward looking initiative.”  Noting that “all of us (Practitioner Forum participants) had accomplished most of the CDFP journey but got somehow distracted with our daily lives and did not give the practical activity its due place in the CDFP journey to be certified. This has been accomplished through the Forum. Without it I am not sure how much more time I would have devoted to crossing the finish line. The six weeks of effort pays off.”

This is a testament to the design of the Forum which adopts the point system present in our courses. It includes a mix of asynchronous and synchronous learning activities and weekly engagements, serving to simplify the Practical journey. The Forum’s second run has seen an increased interest with an incredible 162 enrolments.

Each week students are given the opportunity to earn points, building up to – working toward, the final submission in week six. During the six weeks, a coach is present to clarify uncertainties and to gently guide and encourage students as they work on their Practical activities. A key differentiator in the Forum is the increased opportunity for peer engagement and with that encouragement, unlike the standard Practical component which requires impetus to come from within, the Forum is characterised by group momentum, making this a great opportunity for those who require practical hands-on guidance and direction.

Mike Chiwaya described the Forum as a “game changer.” This is echoed in Willam Diaz-Alvarado’s description of the Forum as an “opportunity to conclude the Certification process that due to different circumstances was probably stacked for many of us.”

Based on the success of the first run and the positive feedback we received, we are looking forward to seeing many more CDFP certifications through the Forum, both from the cohort currently underway and from future runs.

To those who successfully completed the pilot cohort, you are deserving of a huge congratulations, we as Digital Frontiers Institute are proud of you and commend the commitment you made to the Forum.

We are eagerly expecting many upcoming graduations of Certified Digital Finance Practitioners!

To learn more about the Certified Digital Finance Practitioner Forum, send an email to cdfp@digitalfrontiers.org.