E-learning is increasingly being embraced as the most convenient way to access learning. Individuals are now able to take up courses at their own pace. It is also becoming the preferred mode of learning for many organisations as it is efficient and cost effective.

While online platforms offer numerous opportunities for learning, the content needs to be provided in a language and context that is familiar to the learner to maximise on the relevance, understanding and retention of the information. Contextualisation seeks to customise existing learning materials while taking into consideration linguistic and cultural backgrounds, as well as making use of local case studies and images that resonate with the learner.

The current Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) pathway on Kaya has been designed with a global outlook and draws learning from various humanitarian actions and disaster scenarios across the world.

To make this course more accessible and relevant to an East African audience, the East Africa Academy Centre in collaboration with Kenya Red Cross Society hosted a one-day workshop on June 22nd, 2018, with the aim of bringing together practitioners across East Africa to collaboratively review the content then identify sections that need to be contextualised and localised.

The new e-learning pathway will seek to adapt case studies and scenarios relevant to the East Africa context as well as have local humanitarian experts sharing their knowledge and experience on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, instead of the international experts that the local audience may not relate to.

The workshop brought together a cross-section of East Africa stakeholders drawn from the Academia such as Ardhi University in Tanzania, Makerere University in Uganda, Masinde University of Science and Technology (MMUST), University of Nairobi, Rongo University in Kenya and practitioners from Uganda Red Cross Society, Kenya Red Cross Society, Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA), Inter Agency Working Group(IAWG), and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency(ADRA).

The participants concurred that there is need to have relevant examples of disasters in East Africa that individuals can relate to as they take the course.

“There is need to have relevant examples of disasters in East Africa that individuals can relate to for example instead of talking about disasters like tsunamis to refer instead to floods which happen more frequently in East Africa,” said Dr. Mlenge Mgendi- Ardhi University, Tanzania.

The participants also gave useful suggestions on how to restructure the content so that it has a better flow from one section to the next.  It was also noted that in future we will need to include topics to cover new emerging crises that have the potential of happening in East Africa.

We look forward to the launching of the East Africa Disaster Risk Reduction and Management pathway on Kaya in the coming months.

Follow the conversation on Twitter at #localisingDRRM.

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