International relief agency, Samaritan’s Purse, has 20 Learning Advocates around the world inspiring local staff to learn, develop and drive the organization forward. Theresa Decker shares the secret to their success.
At Samaritan’s Purse, one of our organizational principles is to “serve with excellence.” We believe that Learning Advocates who are empowered and well-resourced will be the drivers for our organization’s vision, not us. Our job is simply to set them up for success by putting the tools, information, and skills in their hands. That’s what we’ve been doing for the last seven years, and we now have Learning Advocates around the world who can identify and meet their office’s unique needs and knowledge gaps.
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.
The uncommon timespan is no accident. Beginning on November 25 (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women), and ending on December 10 (International Human Rights Day), the 16 Days campaign delivers gender equality to the doorstep of human rights – one inextricable from the other.
With thousands of organizations around the world participating in activities, sharing resources, and calling for change, the 16 Days campaign founds a sustained conversation about gender-based violence and human rights.
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.
Guest post by CEO Chris Proulx, about the expert panel he’ll be moderating at LINGOs’ Global Learning Forum!
Overhyped? Or a misunderstood innovation in learning?
Since their launch in 2012, massive open online courses (MOOCs) have generated lots of buzz, controversy, and investment. Much of the attention around MOOCs has been focused on their disruptive qualities – enormous scale, big data – against the landscape of higher education and other traditional educational models. I lived through that frothy discussion during my last couple of years as CEO at eCornell and have a few bruises to show for it.
As the debate around their role in learning continues, MOOCs and other higher-volume, higher-engagement online learning models have quietly been making inroads into private and social sector organizations. There, they’re being used to explore innovative solutions to complex problems, build broad-based skills for next generation workforces, develop leadership teams, and more.
At the LINGOs Global Learning Forum in October, we will be exploring MOOCs’ implications for learning and capacity building in the global development and humanitarian sectors. We’ve invited four experts who are leading the way in terms of innovation and application of MOOCs. Together, we’ll unpack several of the more vexing questions regarding what works and what doesn’t.
Probably the biggest knock on MOOCs has been low completion rates and mixed levels of learner engagement. But you will be surprised what you’ll hear from some of our panelists about what they are seeing in their metrics. Chris Pirie will talk about a MOOC at Microsoft that had an over 80% completion rate. Clint Korver from NovoEd and Nick Martin from Tech Change will share innovative approaches to technology and pedagogy that are driving social learner engagement in a range of courses: How does the design of successful MOOCs differ from that of traditional courses? Do we need high-charisma experts to lead them? What role can facilitated post-course networking play?
Taking advantage of the theory of cognitive surplus, MOOCs are potentially powerful tools for developing the wisdom of crowds into truly co-created new solutions. Sheila Jagannathan from the World Bank has been leading the Bank’s effort to develop open MOOCs on complex challenges related to climate change, citizen engagement, and the evolving role of public-private partnerships. How can we bring new ideas to our organizations for scaling up learning options for beneficiaries, donors, partners, and the engaged public?
The scale opportunities may be different between large and open public courses like the World Bank’s and smaller cohorts for internally-focused courses (aka the SPOC). So, what have we learned about the production and business models to make each model viable depending on the use case? There is a range of options available today for content development formats and delivery platforms, as the field has been expanded well beyond the better-known Coursera and EdX platforms. Microsoft, the World Bank, Stanford and others are leveraging different partners and platforms to deliver more courses and reach diverse audiences. Which will be the right choice for your organization?
In the Forum panel, you’ll get the information you’ll need to begin implementing your own MOOC at your organization: The panelists are prepared to share the inside story on their lessons learned as well as their aspirations for the future of this course format and how it can be applied in our sector. Through LINGOs alone, we can reach over 200,000 employees of international NGOs and hundreds of thousands more at local partnering organizations. Let’s brainstorm on how we can build increased engagement and highly scalable courses from our collective expertise that will benefit our broadest base of stakeholders.
This October, Heifer International will host the LINGOs Global Learning Forum at the Heifer Global Village in Little Rock, AR. We asked our host to share a bit of information about Little Rock. Here’s what Holly Dunning, Heifer International’s Manager of Talent Development, had to say:
First things first: Arkansas is that diamond in the rough that you want to keep secret. But because I am proud of living here (and terrible at keeping secrets), here are some of my favorite things about the Little Rock area, just in time for the 2015 LINGOs Global Learning Forum:
1. The landscape is unforgettable, and much has been invested in creating some of the U.S.’s most beautiful biking paths near the city. One of my favorite rides takes me over the Arkansas River via the Big Dam Bridge, the nation’s longest specially-built bicycle and pedestrian bridge. The River Trail system here allows a rider to ride for hours and hours if their legs will allow it.
2. From the Heifer Village complex, you can walk downtown to Little Rock’s vibrant River Market district. If you prefer, the trolley will also easily get you downtown, and the driver provides a great historic tour of the sites and buildings as you pass them. The trolley will also take you to the Argenta district, just across the Arkansas River (which, by the way, is a stone’s throw from the Heifer headquarters).
5. Food. If you haven’t tried southern fare before, Little Rock is the place to do it! My favorite all-around restaurant is a seafood joint called Flying Fish. A great dinner-and-show option is South on Main, and Natchez serves up local Southern.
And finally, if you’re giving yourself a few extra days in the area:
6. You may have spent your childhood impressing your friends with your ability to spell it, but have you ever seen it? I’m talking about the Mississippi River, which is two hours due east of Little Rock (in Memphis).
7. And if you can swing it, head north to check out the fall colors in the northwestern part of Arkansas. Have you ever been to Vermont in the fall? No? Well now you won’t have to wonder what it is like. Fayetteville is a beautiful drive from Little Rock. While you are there, visit the Chrystal Bridges Museum of American Art – it really is one of the finest in the nation. Another great town to stop by if you’re taking a few extra days is Eureka Springs, which is a small art community nestled in the Ozark Mountains. If camping and hiking is more your thing, Arkansas has some of the best. Another popular spot in Arkansas is Hot Springs – the name says it all, and it’s only about an hour and a half south of Little Rock.
In sum, in addition to attending the LINGOs Global Learning Forum this year, I do hope you will add in an extra day (or three, or five) and visit other parts of Arkansas. I am looking forward to seeing you all in October!