Thirteen years ago, a few people representing what would become the six founding members of LINGOs starting holding weekly conference calls. They had been recently thrust into new roles by their organization—challenged to improve their internal learning and training capabilities with a specific emphasis on how to better use technology. Each of them felt excited, unsure about, and unprepared for the task. At the time, most international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) had small or non-existent learning and development (L&D) departments, and the use of e-learning and other technology-enabled learning was even rarer—despite the obvious opportunity of using it to reach the thousands of NGO workers living and working in remote and hard-to-reach locations around the world.
A guest post by Terver Kuegh, PM specialist at ACF Nigeria
Action Against Hunger Nigeria is using a social learning platform called Curatr to improve the capacity of many of its field staff. Curatr enables organizations to deliver online courses and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). The platform is built around proven gamification principles and allows users to learn from, and with, other people. Curatr also allows the facilitator to monitor individual activity and progress, hence making learning more measurable.
Learning can be a challenge in conflict situations and this case study focuses on north east Nigeria, where Boko Haram attracted international outrage after 276 or so Chibok girls were kidnapped from their school in 2014. The region has witnessed widespread displacement and heinous violations of human rights since 2009, plummeting it into a deepening humanitarian crisis. According the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, up to 2.1 million people fled their homes at the height of the conflict, 1.9 million of whom are currently internally displaced and 200,000 or so who are in neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger. In the three most affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, almost 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, more than 50 per cent of them children.
As we transition into 2017, it feels like our collective work to improve the lives of vulnerable people could not be more critical as we live in an increasingly complex and volatile world. At LINGOs, we see our part is to help you meet the challenges you face by empowering you to empower others. In 2016, we welcomed more new members to our community than any year except 2011, demonstrating the need and desire to work together around shared challenges. And more proof—the number of people accessing courses and other resources doubled over 2016 which means that more training is being delivered than ever before. We also reached new audiences with innovative products that are available in an increasing number of languages, including Arabic, and increasingly in mobile and low-bandwidth formats. For our learning community, it really was a year of reaching out and making an impact across the world.
This is a guest post by Vanessa Lucius, American Refugee Committee
For some, education is their only hope towards a better future. Here’s an inspiring story about Abdalla, an office cleaner at ARC Khartoum, who’s using his passion, motivation and access to free learning via the American Refugee Committee’s “ARC Learning Education and Development System (ARC LEADS) to transform his life and the lives of others for the better. This story was originally shared by American Refugee Committee.
As we step into the end of the year, most of us will begin reflecting on the hard work we’ve been putting into driving learning and development in our organizations over the last ten months. Not only does this set the tone of our strategy for next year, but it also forces us to ask ourselves some important questions. How do we get more staff enrolled in courses on our LMS? How can we improve the online learning experience? What kind of new courses can we offer to motivate them to want to continue their learning journey?
This post was originally published on Humanitarian Leadership Academy’s blog.
The PMDPro Starter Toolkit is a mobile responsive website that has been created by LINGOs, working together with Plan International, PM4NGOs and the Humanitarian Leadership Academy. It aims to extend access to the tools and techniques of professional project management to small national and local NGOs.
A guest post by John Cropper, Director of Capacity Building Solutions
How do you help people doing good to do it better? This has always been one of the main challenges with training NGOs in project management. Most NGO staff working on projects work long days and often long nights. They spend a lot of time in communities, on the road and in difficult and often hard to access locations. In addition, they often have to respond to multiple and often unpredictable demands ranging from humanitarian crises to unplanned visits from HQ or donors. It is like juggling but with an ever varying number of balls in the air at the same time.
A message from Ross Coxon, Director of the Learning Collaborative
I would like to thank Heifer for their generosity in providing us with such an amazing venue and such great hospitality, as well as thank all the other agencies who have hosted us in the past. We really appreciate a chance to see your working environments and learn a little bit more about your wonderful organizations.
GLF Attendees have asked LINGOs to set a date and location for next year’s GLF so they can start planning. Before we can do that, we need a host.
It is a long and proud tradition that a LINGOs Member hosts the Forum. Would your organization consider joining Heifer International, PATH, FHI360, MercyCorps, TNC, CRS and CARE as members who have hosted a LINGOs meeting?
Hosting the GLF can be a fun and rewarding experience! The LINGOS team does most of the heavy lifting, with help from the Planning Committee.
You are eligible to host the meeting in 2016 if:
-you would like to host the LINGOs family
-have access to a facility that can host up to 140 people
-have an amazing logistics person who can work with us
Please reach out to me directly if you are interested or need more information. I look forward to your responses, and we are already getting very excited about the coming year and the Global Learning Forum 2016!
A message from LINGOs CEO Chris Proulx about the 2016 LINGOs Co-Creation Agenda
Two weeks ago at Heifer International, 100 learning professionals gathered at the LINGOs Global Learning Forum to engage, discuss, and share their ideas for how to continue to use learning to improve the effectiveness of organizations in the international development, humanitarian, conservation and social sectors.
As part of the conference, we facilitated an interactive brainstorming to identify the top priorities around which the LINGOs community could co-create new solutions in 2016. We invited participants to submit their ideas for projects that would make a difference to their organizations, make a difference to the sector, and have deliverables that could be created in 2016.
We are still looking for input from members of the community who could not join us the Global Learning Forum. You can provide us with your ideas for projects in the LINGOs Online Community.
So far, we have been reviewing and summarizing the input from the brainstorming session. The top five priorities of the community so far are:
- Digital Badges: Credentials that transfer with employees from organization to organization mapped to a list of competencies with evidence the competencies have been retained.
- Professional Competency Frameworks: Shared competency model (80% solution) – with focus on tools/resources/guidance for implementation for your organization – for common key field positions.
- A Platform for Field Practitioners: Common knowledge/Tool/Sharing L&D platform with user-generated content and best practices organized around topics such as Environment, Economic, Poverty reduction, Health/public health, Agriculture, Food safety, Disaster relief, Gender, Civil society, Education, Water security, Sanitation, Technology.
- An Excellence in Leadership curriculum with certificate: Create a peer mentoring network among NGO senior leaders. Group existing courses into a cluster for organisation leadership (on and offline). Develop a learning path and a certificate aligned around core competencies.
- Marketing/Branding playbook for rolling out online learning: LMS marketing toolkit and do-it-yourself resources.
We are looking for your continued feedback, ideas, and suggestions for how your organization can contribute to any of these project priorities. The LINGOs staff is reviewing each of these highly ranked initiatives for which ones can be worked on in the coming year. We are considering factors such as: other related resources and initiatives in the sector, potential for reach and impact, existing resources within our member organizations, staff resources, and ability for quick wins. We will have more information before the end of the year on how to join working groups for 2016. Until then, keep sending us your ideas, feedback, and contributions.