What is the aim?

To improve the individual and institutional capacity of policymakers and other officials in understanding the basics of emerging tech and the policy aspects related to the development of new technologies.

Why do it?

Policymakers and other experts need to have a basic understanding of the new technologies, and the policy implications from a multidisciplinary perspective (including security, economic, development, and legal issues). It is by considering the various angles that policymakers can make informed decisions.

What are typical outputs?

Improved understanding and capacity, and the ability to ask the right questions when it comes to how technology is being developed. Ultimately, this leads to stronger institutional capacity.

How is it delivered?

Many courses can be taken virtually. The value-added of online training is the opportunity to interact and learn from participants from other countries or regions.

How easily can a country do it themselves?

Governments can consider tailor-made training based on their institutional needs or can support the participation of officials in taking existing courses.

What good practice guidance is available?

  • In order for officials to gain the most benefit from online training, they need to be encouraged and supported by their institution to allocate the time required for their training, as part of their work.
  • Capacity building is also more effective if it a part of an institution’s policy for furthering the education of its officials.
  • In order for the training recipients to continue benefiting from the knowledge generated during the training, it is recommended that the training resources and materials remain accessible for the participants indefinitely.
  • Online or blended learning combine the possibility of advancing one’s knowledge, with the flexibility that online courses offer in terms of schedules.
  • Self-paced courses are a good option for participants who need maximum flexibility; however, lecturer-based courses ensure better course completion rates.


The cost of a training program depends on the course chosen.


Most online courses are between 4 and 8 weeks in duration. Training (and duration) can also be tailored to the organization’s needs.

DiploFoundation is one of the leading global organizations providing capacity development in digital policy to policymakers, diplomats, and other practitioners. Diplo courses are well known for their asynchronous and lecturer-led methodology, and for the hypertext system of annotations, which enables participants to build discussions directly on the lecture texts. Diplo has been providing online training since 2002.

In 2019, Diplo launched the course on Artificial Intelligence: Technology, Governance, and Policy Frameworks in response to the growing demand for capacity development on various aspects of AI. The course builds on Diplo’s own ongoing research in the area, and covers terminology, historical and philosophical background, technological basics, key players and forums, governance and regulation of AI, socio-economic aspects of AI, AI and security (including cybersecurity and lethal autonomous weapons systems), and AI and human rights. The course offers a broad overview of social, economic, human rights, and ethical implications of AI with a focus on the needs of diplomats, policymakers, and other interested audiences. It discusses the policy implications and the debates within various international organizations and between countries. It also touches on important topics related to competition and cooperation between countries and regional and global AI governance.

Three other long-standing courses offered by Diplo with a focus on emerging tech are:

  • An Introduction to Internet Governance, which looks at technological developments from interdisciplinary angles;
  • Internet Technology and Policy, which includes dedicated sections on emerging tech including big data, blockchain, IoT, and augmented and virtual reality;
  • Cybersecurity, which also covers the security and cyber-diplomacy implications of the emerging tech, such as AI and lethal autonomous weapons, IoT and smart environment, virtual reality and 3D printing, as well as protocols like QUIC, DNS over HTTP and TLS, or Delay/disruption tolerant networking.