Every year, LINGOs recognizes the outstanding learning contributions and achievements of its members and partners at an awards ceremony. This year’s winners, announced at the Global Learning Forum 2017, are truly inspirational in how they have impacted learning in their own organizations or for the benefit of the wider NGO community.
Member of the Year: Relief International
The ‘Member of the Year Award’ recognizes a LINGOs member organization that has demonstrated commitment to LINGOs’ mission: providing affordable, high-quality learning solutions to those working to improve lives in developing and vulnerable communities.
LINGOs is pleased to announce Relief International as its ‘Member of the Year’ for 2017! Relief International (RI) has been responding to natural disasters, humanitarian emergencies and chronic poverty since 1990, providing immediate relief and long-term development through empowering communities. Since joining LINGOs in 2014, RI has been building the capacity of its teams and improving staff engagement, development, satisfaction and retention.
When training staff, RI focusses on individual needs and links training to performance so that staff can perform better in their current roles as well as achieve their future professional goals. It runs an Academy that offers an orientation program as well as over 900 training courses through its Learning Management System. As one member of staff said, “The RI Academy is the best resource point and every time I visit, I read more. It has everything that new staff need to learn.”
RI believes that staff are the heart, lungs, hands and feet of an organization and they need to be kept strong with knowledge, skills and abilities not only to perform their roles but to continuously improve their performance and grow as professionals. Enabling the learning and development of staff at every level of the organization to improve its ability to respond to emergency situations with efficient and effective support using the most relevant and timely methods and techniques.
RI is delighted to receive the ‘Member of the Year’ award from LINGOs and is inspired to continue to engage its workforce through learning and development. Like many other NGOs, RI operates in continuously changing and challenging environments so ensuring that staff have adequate resources and knowledge available to them helps meet those ever-evolving needs.
Partner of the Year: Articulate
The ‘Partner of the Year Award’ recognizes a LINGOs partner organization that has made a significant contribution to the LINGOs community in terms of collaboration, localization, acceleration or delivering best practice solutions affordably.
Our 2017 ‘Partner of the Year’ is Articulate, a company that is transforming training by making e-learning development as easy as possible. Articulate is expanding access to life-changing training globally because it believes learning empowers people, and invests millions each year in e-learning as an effective way of sharing and consuming information. Articulate supports course creators, provides free content, helps connect communities and provides expert advice to solve customer’s needs.
“NGOs often work in high-risk remote environments but with e-learning they can be trained wherever they work,” said Mark Schwartz, Executive Vice President. “There are places where it would be impractical to send trainers or subject matter experts but e-learning allows for on-demand, just-in-time training to support the diverse needs of NGOs.”
Articulate partnered with LINGOs over ten years ago because part of the company ethos is to work for the greater good. It admires and supports the way NGOs are able to create and deliver great training courses with limited budgets, often in low bandwidth areas using outdated technology. Many LINGOs members have been benefitting from Articulate 360, a suite of products and services that meets the diverse needs of NGOs as they author and deliver training content.
“We’re always gratified to know that our contributions to the greater good are recognized so we are very appreciative of this award,” said Mark. “However, the real reward is hearing positive learner stories and the real world impact our contributions have made to LINGOs members and the people they seek to help.”
Rising Star of the Year: Sarah Arnason, CARE
The ‘Rising Star of the Year Award’ recognizes an individual in the LINGOs community who shares ideas, innovations and/or best practices in support of the LINGOs vision and mission.
This year’s ‘Rising Star’ is Sarah Arnason, Learning & Development Advisor at CARE. Sarah joined the organization in 2009 as a Fellow during her graduate studies in Nonprofit Management at Georgia State University, and just over two years ago became a member of their Learning and Development team. Sarah loves being in an environment that actively supports learning and a large part of her role involves helping individuals, particularly country office staff, build their management and leadership capabilities.
“Learning is critical to ensuring we are not becoming irrelevant,” believes Sarah. “My team’s work in management and leadership specifically has helped to create a common language across the organization around diversity in thinking styles, emotional intelligence, feedback tools and coaching. These are conversations I was not hearing before the rollout of our program.”
For Sarah, learning is not a choice but a necessity. “The world is changing too fast to not be an active learner! If you are not actively learning, you are going to get left behind. At CARE we know we have to build an active learning community to achieve our mission. For example, by helping individuals become better managers and leaders, we are helping teams work more productively, which in turn make us more effective at achieving our goals.”
With the help of LINGOs, CARE has doubled its online Academy usage in the last year. “The LINGOs team are always available to walk us through any challenges we have. With our very tight budget, much of what we provide our staff would not be possible without LINGOs. The most significant gift they have given me in my personal journey has been the connection with a mentor. I recommend that anyone reading this go out and find yourself a mentor if you do not have one already!”
Sarah is excited by the challenges ahead. She believes CARE still has a long way to go in e-learning, but her team has ambitious goals. “CARE has gone through a lot of change, and we have a new strategy in place. We need to take a step back, build relationships with new staff and teams, and re-orient ourselves while still maintaining our strong foundation. Mentoring, micro-learning, new technology, and better data collection and analysis are all on the horizon.”
“Receiving this recognition is a push for me to really focus and drive for impact. It’s something to live up to! Thank you LINGOs!