The Challenge of Learning in the Humanitarian Sector
Date Friday, Nov 25 Time – Room Charlottenburg I
When does the humanitarian sector make time for training? How can the staff in responsible roles be supported and become engaged in their development?
In this session we focus on strategies which cater to the training needs of the staff in the humanitarian sector. What has worked in practice, what has failed? How can we use ICT better? And – perhaps most importantly – how can we design well for learning technologies, widening access, participation and engagement, often on a limited budget?
Senior Adviser E-Learning, International Trade Centre, Switzerland
Shaun Lake started in the training business as a training officer in 1989. Early in his career he began experimenting with different media such as video to enhance the learning experience. It soon became clear that the Internet could provide a new avenue of delivery. It made sense to move from video and workbooks to something that resembled this on a learning management system.
He formed a company in 2000 that offered online diplomas and courses for the logistics industry. This opened up opportunities for young people to access high quality accredited education from their homes.
He then took up the challenge to launch the SME Trade Academy at the International Trade Centre in Geneva. The ITC is a multilateral agency which has a joint mandate with the World Trade Organization and the United Nations and it focuses on helping small businesses in developing countries to participate in global trade. The Academy currently has more than 120 courses and supports around 150 000 enrolments per year.
Communications and Membership Lead, Fabo Learning Community / hosted by DanChurchAid
Passionate about the intersection between technology for impact and learning, Lan is currently the Communications and Membership Lead at Fabo Learning Lab. She works with capacity strengthening of member organisations of the Fabo Learning Community, a global network of NGOs. Her areas of responsibility include communications, outreach, and member engagement and mobilisation. Using learning technology as a platform for change, Fabo Learning Lab creates opportunities for NGOs to leverage digital learning tools to support their programmatic work.
Lan has an academic background in Social Anthropology, Political Studies and Communications for Development, and has worked as an advisor and communicator for almost two decades. Her professional experience spans from the corporate world to the UN, and more recently the NGO sector.
MOOC Production Coordinator, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
Cibelle has a background in audiovisual, with several years developing instructional video content for the online university course providers Edx and Coursera. She combines learning strategies with multimedia options and works at the intersection of organizations, teachers, learners and video producers.
She's currently coordinating a Mooc (Massive Online Open Course) which is the result of a partnership between both Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Zurich and EPFL) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to develop innovative solutions for a greater impact of humanitarian action called Engineering Humanitarian Action (EHA).
This Mooc is being developed with the aim of helping humanitarian organizations to equip their workforce with a holistic understanding of ICT. Acquiring these skills will allow humanitarians to adapt to new needs, better assess risks and opportunities and to make informed decisions.
Senior Associate Director of Online Program Development, Brown University, United States of America
Melissa Kane is the senior associate director of online program development in the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning at Brown University. She provides strategic vision to the creation of online graduate degree programs and leads a cross-functional team in the development of priority online initiatives.
Under Melissa’s guidance, her team is the driver for course development of Brown’s first online Master of Public Health program for The School of Public Health. In her five years at Brown University, Melissa has held positions of increasing responsibility including lead instructional designer and associate director of learning design. She has designed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Johnson & Wales University and Brandeis University and has been the recipient of a university teaching award at Brandeis.
Most recently, she teaches Principles of Learning Experience Design (online) at Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies (GPS). Melissa provides learning experience design consultations and speaking engagements in both the public and private sectors of education and learning & development across the United States. She received her Ed.D. from Northeastern University, her M.S.Ed. from State University at New York in Oswego, and her B.A. from Colby-Sawyer College.
Humanitarian Action in the Digital Age, Cibelle Avelino
This presentation will provide an insight into the design of a MOOC for the digital up-skilling of the workforce of humanitarian organisations. It also shows how collaboration between academia and non-profit organisations can promote continuous learning beyond the needs of a single organisation.
The use of technology and digital services, products and solutions creates a variety of opportunities and challenges, and digital transformation has changed the way people work. Investing in people's digitisation is investing in people's lives.
Most humanitarian organisations are already engaged in digital transformation, and to respect the “do no harm” principle, they need to responsibly deploy new technologies centred on the needs of affected populations.
Teaming up to meet this challenge, EPFL, ICRC and MSF are developing an ambitious digital up-skilling initiative by producing two Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) to help humanitarian organisations equip their workforce with a holistic understanding of ICT - including data protection, cyber security, digital supply chain, new technologies, and geopolitics. Acquiring these skills will allow humanitarians to adapt to new needs, better assess risks and opportunities and to make informed decisions.
The MOOC is designed for a wide audience of humanitarian workers without any particular IT background but with a certain responsibility in the field and HQ (middle - senior management, legal advisors or individuals involved in humanitarian diplomacy) holding a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree and having at least 2 years of professional experience.
Starting with basics about how computers, networks and the internet work, it then allows the audience to better grasp the technical aspects of information security and data protection, cybersecurity as well as new technological trends (artificial intelligence, blockchain, etc). Links to the day-to-day humanitarian work will be fostered through case studies and interviews with practitioners
The course is developed in the framework of a unique partnership between EPFL, ETH Zurich and the ICRC under the program “Engineering for Humanitarian Action”, an academic and humanitarian collective endeavour to bring the benefits of science and technology to people affected by humanitarian crisis.
- Design an upskilling initiative that promotes learning in a whole sector beyond the needs of a single organisation.
- Create meaningful collaboration between the academic and the non-profit sector.
Democratising Learning Technology and Learning Experience Design, Lan Tan
In this presentation we will share and discuss how we can democratise and decentralise the design, development, and delivery of learning interventions both within an organisation and across civil society organisations globally.
How can we empower staff in civil society organisations to design and develop engaging and effective online and blended learning?
As an international NGO, capacity building of staff, partners, and beneficiaries is a big part of DCA's work. This training is increasingly taking place as online or blended learning. Moreover, DCA hosts and supports the Fabo Learning Community, a global network of 30+ civil society organisations, who gain access to a learning management system built on Moodle (fabo.org), a community of practice, and a specialised unit (Fabo Learning Lab) that supports the design and development of engaging online and blended learning experiences.
In this session we will share and discuss how we can democratise and decentralise the design, development, and delivery of learning interventions both within an organisation and across civil society organisations globally. In Fabo Learning Lab, we work towards both these goals by providing staff in DCA and the Fabo member organisations with the tools to create learning content online as well as support on how to design engaging online and blended learning flows.
After a short presentation of Fabo and the Learning Lab, the talk will focus on how we can provide equal access to learning technology and lower the barriers both financially, technologically and in terms of design and production of learning interventions. We will share examples and cases from our organisation (DCA) and the Fabo Learning Community.
Participants will leave with cases that illustrate how the design of online learning content was democratised and integrated throughout organisations by providing access to a learning platform, open-source tools, community support, and access to a specialised learning unit. They will find transferable lessons learned on how to support staff in developing their capacity to create online and blended learning across organisations of different sizes and with different capabilities.
- Integrate learning and development with the organisation by allowing and supporting employees to create learning content, online communities of practice and knowledge hubs.
- Support equal access and ability to design and develop learning globally.
- Use open-source tools to democratise learning content creation.
Solving the Challenge of Training-Of-Trainers Programmes Using the Digital Workshop Method: Case Study in the COMESA Region, Shaun Lake
This presentation is about how technology can be used to enhance the training experience and improve the effectiveness of training for semi literate participants based in rural areas in Africa. The methodology is also effective in enabling local trainers to continue with the workshops after a relatively short training of trainer session. The presentation demonstrates the power of storytelling to get across difficult topics such as harassment and corruption.
Research undertaken by International Trade Centre (ITC) in 2019 at 4 selected borders in the COMESA region highlighted a lack of knowledge among small-scale cross-border traders (SSCBT) with regard to the purpose of border controls. This, combined with a flawed understanding of formal border crossing procedures and enforcement mechanisms, led to poor compliance with border measures that was often resolved through bribery, and which sometimes led to harassment or conflict.
Informal border crossings were no solution. In addition to the various dangers faced by traders, particularly women, crossing informally in rural areas, the lack of record-keeping necessarily implied by informal crossings prevented SSCBTs from participating in the formal economy, excluding them from access to finance and various other commercial opportunities.
ITC’s training needs analysis resulting from this research thus identified the need to design and implement a comprehensive training programme to raise awareness and educate SSCBTs, not just on the procedures and conditions of formal border crossings, but also on the resources available to them and their rights as traders. The course, then, would be both educational and motivational.
However, in addition to dealing with a sensitive subject matter, the conditions to deliver such a programme were challenging. Not only did the target audience, the SSCBTs, have low rates of both literacy and digital inclusion, but their work and family duties (many of them being women with children) also left them with limited time to attend lengthy workshops. Moreover, given the budget allocated, the scale envisioned for the training and the desire for long-term sustainability, it was impractical to send ITC trainers to deliver the training in person. And yet, although local traders’ associations were present at each border, local training resources and the capacity to deliver training programmes were mostly inexistent.
The solution found was twofold. In its initial phase, it involved the development of standardized multimedia learning materials by ITC in combination with local experts to provide a pedagogical backbone to the training intervention. In the subsequent phase, it involved the capacitation of the local traders’ associations to deliver training using the learning materials developed through several “training-of-trainers” sessions, held both remotely and in-person. Thus, while the training contents would continue to be centrally managed and certified by ITC, the local partners would be empowered to run training sessions at will.
The training programme was developed according to ITC’s “digital workshop” methodology, which places participants at the centre of the learning experience by using digital presentations focusing on interactive discussions, knowledge checks, scenario exercises and video elements. By using such standardized digital presentations developed by ITC and loaded onto hardware to be viewed in areas with no Internet connectivity, a common level of quality could be ensured throughout the various training sessions that were held, nearly always with no ITC representative present. As additional supports, trainers were provided with printed trainers’ guides to which they could refer when unsure about how to conduct or lead a certain training activity.
Given the target audience’s limited literacy and time available, particular emphasis was placed on video storytelling and verbal interactivity. Besides some documentary-style videos, efforts were made to develop drama-style videos resembling the soap operas popular in the COMESA region (and featuring well-known local actors), which helped to secure the interest and engagement of not just the SSCBTs, but the wider public as well.
During the programme’s implementation phase, over 100 trainers were capacitated at 8 different border posts in 5 countries. The training programme is also available in an e-learning format, hosted free of charge.
- Learn about the digital workshop methodology that assists capacitated trainers to deliver in a standardized manner.
- Use storytelling and drama to communicate, motivate and teach a difficult-to-reach audience.
- Use interactivity to engage with an audience in the form of knowledge checks and discussion questions.
- Use the digital workshop methodology to place the participants at the centre of the learning experience when conducting in-person workshops.