Drive your Organization’s Vision with Learning Advocates

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.

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Curation, Complexity, Collaboration and other Curious Learning and Capacity Building Trends

Last week, we opened the Global Learning Forum at the InsideNGO 2017 conference by discussing the trends affecting learning in international NGOs (INGOs). While many of the 120 participants in the session had specific responsibilities for learning or capacity building in their organizations, it was also exciting to see a diverse group of HR, finance and compliance professionals engaged in the discussion.

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Making Learning More Scalable with Humentum

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.

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Creative in Conflict: Project Management Training in Syria via WhatsApp

The war in Syria has created one of the most challenging environments for NGOs to operate in. Financial resources are extremely limited, communication networks are poor and electricity is in short supply. The security situation has forced almost half the population to flee to safety which means there are fewer skilled people left in Syria and those trying to enter the country face numerous risks and problems. As a result, NGOs are in desperate need of project managers but are struggling to recruit or train them.

Marifah for Social Entrepreneurship in Turkey decided to tackle this problem by utilising one of the most reliable free communication tools it has access to: WhatsApp. With the organizational motto, ‘Creative Investment in Creative People,’ they came up with the idea of providing training in Project Management for Development Professionals (PMD Pro) using WhatsApp to engage trainees directly through their phones or computers.

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2017: A year of increasing reach

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.

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A new way to learn PMD Pro

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.

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