Pilot Study of Humanitarian e-learning shows promising signs of performance improvements and impact

CBJ Newsmakers

MONTREAL, Jan. 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Humanitarian U, the Humanitarian Leadership Academy and MEDAIR have launched a new report that examines the impact that e-learning has on humanitarian aid work. The report “Pilot Evaluation to Assess the Impact of e-Learning on Humanitarian Aid Work” is the first of its kind to measure impact of e-learning with the purpose of improving aid delivery.

The report has found that humanitarian organisations and aid organisations need to:

  1. Ensure that appropriate training is available that will strengthen and support a learner’s experience in learning.
  2. Better educate funders to support and strengthen organisational capacity to manage and coach learning processes.
  3. Organisational commitment to the individual learning process is necessary if transfer of learning is to successfully contribute to changes to the individual learner’s quality of work.
  4. Ensuring greater value of donor support not only by increasing investment but also assuring greater influence by donors to strengthen the sector for training & evaluation.

This study serves to better understand how competency-based eLearning training programs are having an impact on humanitarian work. Specifically, in what ways the transfer of learning from Humanitarian U’s program experiences are ultimately contributing to strengthening and/or improving coordination and service delivery in the field.

This study examined the ways that training is having successful results on the work of the learners and their organizations. These include but are not limited to perception of:

  • Level of competency from learning engaged
  • On the job performance
  • Impact of training on programmatic effectiveness
  • Impact of training on programmatic efficiency
  • Feelings of personal well-being and security
  • Perception of professionalism
  • Future career advancement
  • Greater impact (lives saved)

The need for continued learning has been recognised, and now the humanitarian sector needs to take a consistent approach in training their staff and volunteers.

“With the disastrous effects of climate change leading to conflicts over arable land and water resources, the need for strengthened capabilities to respond to crisis grows stronger in the Global South. The work of Humanitarian U and the Academy responds to this need through the provision of online and blended learning that engages humanitarian workers on the ground. Understanding the impact of this type of training became paramount and of vital mutual importance to both organisations.”

Paul Gunaratnam, Humanitarian Leadership Academy

Kirsten Johnson