Viewing archives for West and Central Africa

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Kaya – strengthening humanitarians’ skills

Since May 2016, Kaya – the free digital learning platform operated by the Humanitarian Leadership Academy has upskilled thousands of humanitarians globally to directly respond to crises in their localities. Kaya is providing high quality, expert led and industry recognised learning at times and places where access can be challenging.

A Kaya learner from Syria said: “As someone who faced challenges due to the Syrian crisis, such as limited access and remote management, I found Kaya’s designed courses to be invaluable in enhancing my skills and knowledge.

The platform not only helped me keep learning but also enabled me to share this knowledge with colleagues, team members, and partner staff, ultimately making a positive impact on those affected by the crisis, especially since many courses are available in different languages including Arabic.”

With over 700,000 learners from 190 countries registered on the platform; there are now over 500 learning resources available on Kaya in 12 languages at varying levels of expertise. Resources for people who have never been involved in humanitarian action to resources for people who have worked in the sector for many years.

A Kaya learner from Cote D’Ivoire said: “The learning has changed my outlook, it’s opened my eyes to some of the challenges faced by our colleagues on the ground.”

Kaya content is contextually relevant and is often updated by experts across the globe with new information as new processes are introduced to humanitarian action.

How can I access Kaya and what will I find?

Kaya is free and accessible on a phone, tablet or laptop. You will need access to the internet to sign up and find content. However, your coursework can be done offline, and progress uploaded when you have access to internet again.

Resources range from games, quizzes, and assessments to online self-directed courses and pathways, webinars, videos, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), and blended courses. Kaya users can also find registration for face-to-face workshops and events and so much more available and accessible at the learner’s time/flexibility.

A Kaya learner from South Africa said: “I believe that Kaya fosters creativity and critical thinking and for me that is an essential skill that every humanitarian needs.”

Kaya is not only helping humanitarians grow, but also supporting international, national and local non-governmental organisations (who we partner with) to share their knowledge on an accessible platform.

Another Kaya learner from Ukraine said: I’ve used the Kaya platform during my work with International Rescue Committee till October 2022. And nowadays I was really surprised to see this hub available in Ukrainian. I don’t remember any other humanitarian platform with trainings available in our language.”

Kaya resources are accessible; the platform includes a screen reader helper, a dyslexia friendly view and much more. As a learner on Kaya, you can earn certificates and showcase the certificates you receive from completing courses. Some courses award HPass digital badges, which you can add to your LinkedIn profile. These certificates and badges validate gained knowledge and encourage and motivate humanitarians to accelerate their learning and professional development.

I was really surprised to see this hub available in Ukrainian. I don’t remember any other humanitarian platform with trainings available in our language.”

What should I do now?

If you’re looking to learn something new as a humanitarian – from project management to proposal writing, understanding big concepts like cash and voucher assistance or the Grand Bargain. If you’re looking to join valuable networks such as the Women in Leadership network hosted on Kaya – sign up now.

If you’re already a Kaya learner, tell a friend about Kaya. Share one of the #KayaAppreciation posts on our social media channels or create your own.

The Humanitarian Leadership Academy remains poised to support professional growth and Kaya learners’ impact and invaluable contributions to individual communities.

We are currently supporting humanitarian responses in multiple locations - Find out more

Learning to prepare for a response: Humanitarian Operations Programme Core workshop in Cote D’ Ivoire

The HOP Core workshop begins by analysing the complex nature of humanitarian crises, with participants selecting the crises that occur in the West African region.

Save the Children (SCI) colleagues in Cote D’Ivoire (CIV), came together in Yamassoukro, Ivory Coast this month for a five-day Humanitarian Operations Programme (HOP) Core workshop facilitated by the Humanitarian Leadership Academy.

HOP Core is designed to give participants the opportunity to experience the onset of an emergency, working in teams to prepare a response. This includes understanding the context through conducting a needs assessment before preparing and presenting a project proposal for review. The central modules for the just concluded workshop were:

A desk-based simulation exercise where participants have the opportunity to put learning into practice.

Humanitarian colleagues in Cote D’Ivoire, where the training was delivered in French, also focused on cross-cutting issues such as: Conflict Sensitive Programming, Gender Equality Programming and Accountability to Affected Populations.

Twenty-four (24) humanitarians from varying job functions in SCI Cote D’Ivoire participated in this workshop including the Director of Programme and Operations, Field Managers, Area Managers, Technical Advisors and more. Reflecting on the training, one participant said:

“I appreciated the facilitator’s maitrise (mastery) of the concepts and the training methodology used, which was adapted to the level of participants for effective learning.

Tom Russell who facilitated the workshop in French said, “I am very impressed with the energy and dedication that participants are demonstrating with the task of responding to a humanitarian crisis through the simulation experience – I would love to work on a response in real-life with this team.”

group photo of people with certificates
A team photo after the rewarding workshop and appreciation from colleagues!

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eLearning Africa 2023 – conference reflections

Esther Grieder was recently selected to present at eLearning Africa which took place between 24-26 May in Dakar, Senegal. Here she shares her reflections from the event.

A few weeks ago I returned from eLearning Africa, hosted this year in Senegal, in the Abdou Diouf Conference Centre just outside Dakar.

The conference brings together a huge range of companies, organisations and individuals with an interest in how the power of technology can best be applied to education, training and skills development on the African continent, and elsewhere.

The sessions I attended included everything from artificial intelligence (AI) and the metaverse, through to the use of radio waves to transfer visual and audio content, through to the very real challenges of implementing any kind of education technology (EdTech) initiative without internet connectivity.

I was also part of a panel which presented on ‘How digital credentials are transforming skills recognition in the workplace’ (read about HPass, our digital credentialling programme for humanitarians).

Esther with fellow presenters Eiman Elmasry (ITCILO), Rita Fennelly-Atkinson and April Williamson (Digital Promise) and Mike Feerick (Alison), and Chair Rolf Reinhardt (ICoBC).

Here are my overarching conference takeaways…

The global pace of technological change versus the speed of progress towards universal internet access

Globally, the pace of technological change is now faster than most of us can keep up with, as blockchain, the metaverse and AI each take their turn as the next big thing and promise to reshape our lives.

However, in Africa where internet penetration is 43 percent (source: Statista, 2021), the priorities in terms of educational technology centre more around internet coverage, and how to ensure that children and young people have the equipment and support to develop digital skills which will facilitate their access to the modern workplace. Getting the basics in place is still very much top of the agenda.

There were some interesting presentations on technological solutions in internet-less settings. These included using digital radio to send audio and visual content (Aldred Dreyer, Digital Radio Mondiale), and the possibility to create a collaborative document on multiple devices without internet using Web 3.0 technologies (Sebastian Zug, Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg).

The digital divide

This discrepancy between the pace of technological change, and access to the internet, is creating what’s known as the digital divide.

Across Africa, capital cities typically have great internet coverage whilst in smaller towns and rural areas it’s sporadic. This means that in richer urban areas people are benefitting from each new technological innovation as it arrives and rapidly improving their quality of life, whilst rural areas lag behind.

Likewise, private schools are quick to pick up new technologies made available by start-ups and non-profits, whilst public schools are hugely hindered by red tape and administration.

Digital skills

Given the above, digital skills are clearly a priority and needed at all levels. Governments require digital skills to be able to make policies to facilitate and regulate digital industry, employers require digital skills of their recruits, and teachers require digital skills to be able to impart them to their pupils.

Digital Africa’s Penelope Terranova reported that 230 million jobs requiring digital skills will be required to be filled in Africa by 2030, with only 690,000 professional identified. 60 percent of the continent’s digital talent is concentrated in six countries.

Soft skills

Across the conference ‘soft skills’ (or interpersonal skills, power skills) was one of the strongest themes. The term ‘soft skills’ refers for example to the ability to communicate effectively, build relationships, work in teams and adapt to new situations, which for many employers are the difference between being able or unable to do a job.

Across the board, soft skills were seen as one of the key challenges that must be addressed to prepare young people for work and to enable employees to perform in their roles, with a lot of interest in how tech could be mobilised in support of the task.

Digital Africa had conducted research suggesting that for EdTech start-ups, soft skills were consistently the most sought after skills.

Sovereignty and self-determination

As we all know, the technology that is taking over our lives, for better or worse, is primarily developed by a handful of privileged individuals in Silicon Valley.

At the closing debate entitled ‘The House believes AI will do more harm than good on the African continent’, it was interesting to hear the presentation of Francisca Oladipo of Thomas Adewumi University in Nigeria, who argued that AI is a threat to African culture. She argued that the data used by AI is gathered from the most active users of the internet, i.e. those in the Global North, and therefore its intelligence is a Northern rather than an African one.

In addition as more data is gathered from the African continent and commodified, technology can be seen as yet another extractive industry making use of African resources for Northern profit.

What does all this mean for HLA and the humanitarian sector?

As an organisation focused on the provision of learning and training in the humanitarian sector, it’s clear that we need to continue to embrace the power of new technology to deliver learning. EdTech increases our reach and can provide our learners with simulations of humanitarian situations before they face them in real life.

However, it remains important for us to recognise that internet connectivity is not a given in the areas in which we operate, and that we should continue to provide learning opportunities for humanitarians in the remotest regions.

It’s also clear that we need to be preparing humanitarians for a digital future, providing them with the skills they need to navigate the rapidly changing technological landscape.

We need to support them to be able to use technology to provide better humanitarian response, as well as understand the threats posed by technology itself (cybersecurity threats, new kinds of weapons used in conflict) which humanitarians may face.

Doing so will require the humanitarians of the future to have advanced leadership and transferable skills, to be able to analyse and adapt to an ever-more rapidly changing technological context.

Ferhana Dostmohamed’s session on leadership identified five facets of leadership including ‘Embraces Agility’, a characteristic of increasing importance in a fast-changing technological landscape, and particularly for humanitarians.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an edtech conference for me without a finding related to digital credentials! Joshua Lange of Digital Financial Aid Corporation tells us that we will soon be able to attach Bitcoin to a digital credential, meaning you could potentially reward somebody’s course completion with funds for further study, or reimburse them on completion of a paid-for course. Wow!

Esther with Lucile Batiano from our West and Central Africa (WCA) Regional Centre, based in Dakar.

We are currently supporting humanitarian responses in multiple locations - Find out more

HLA’s Esther Grieder to present at eLearning Africa

We are excited to share that Esther Grieder, Global Communities and Partnerships Lead at the HLA, has been selected to present at eLearning Africa taking place 24-26 May in Dakar, Senegal. We caught up with Esther ahead of the conference to find out more.

Congratulations on being selected to speak at eLearning Africa! Tell us a little about your session and what people attending can expect to hear more about.

I’m part of a session on ‘How digital credentials are transforming skills recognition in the workplace’, which should be really interesting!

The digital credentials movement – sometimes called the open badges movement – is all about enabling people to have their skills recognised, whether their skills were gained through formal educational channels, or through life and practical work.

This session is chaired by the ICOBC and will be a chance to hear from us and three other organisations – ITCILO, Digital Promise, and Alison, about how they are approaching this in practice.

I’ll be talking about HPass and humanitarian credentials as an example of a sector-approach to skills recognition.

Could you tell us a little about how HPass digital credentials can support humanitarians?

HPass offers the ability for humanitarians to set up a free profile on which they can gather digital credentials as evidence of their skills, learning and experience, issued by over 30 organisations in the sector.

Organisations such as World Vision, War Child and Save the Children all issue HPass credentials, as do many smaller humanitarian learning providers.

HPass digital credentials are fully verifiable, and contain ‘metadata’, which describes exactly what the individual has done to earn the credential, when it was issued, and which organisation issued it.

A myHPass profile is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to your learning and development to your manager or a potential employer (it’s easily shareable via a link or on social media).

Some people find digital credentials a great motivator to pursue more learning too – you can get recognised for each stage of achievement, and the myHPass ‘explore’ feature enables you to discover a whole range of credentials you can earn!

What would you like learn more about at eLearning Africa?

Firstly, I’m really excited to hear from other participants in my session on how they are using digital credentials, so I can get some tips for us!

I’m also really excited about a workshop I’m attending on Leadership Development for Education Leaders, and looking forward to some heated debates around the learning applications of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the metaverse.

I used to work for a youth-focused organisation in Uganda, and I’m interested to hear about e-learning initiatives focused preparing young people for our fast-changing 21st Century economies and workplaces. 

What are you looking forward to most about being in Dakar?

I’m really looking forward to meeting representatives of our West and Central Africa Regional Centre in person for the first time. I’m looking forward to trying some Senegalese dishes, and hoping that the sun will be out!

Thank you Esther, we wish you a productive and enjoyable time at eLearning Africa!

About eLearning Africa

eLearning Africa was founded in 2005 and has hosted 19,242 participants from more than 100 countries around the world, with over 75 per cent coming from the African continent. More than 4,000 speakers have addressed the conference about every aspect of digital learning, training and skills development. View the 2023 conference programme.

About HPass

HPass supports the professional development of staff and volunteers in the humanitarian sector through two services: HPass digital badging and the HPass Quality Standards.

With with a fast-growing user base, HPass is becoming the go to platform for organisations looking to develop their learning and development.

HPass is a collaborative initiative founded in 2019 by Bioforce, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Pearson, Humanitarian Leadership Academy, PHAP, Humantarian Logistics Association, and RedRUK.

I’ve earned 116 certifications on Kaya and other learning platforms. Thanks to HPass I have details in a single link/embed code to all my badges, which links to my resume.
Melese Mengistu from Ethiopia, HPass Community Champion

We are currently supporting humanitarian responses in multiple locations - Find out more

Humanitarian Operations training re-imagined in Nigeria

Participants at the Humanitarian Operations training April 2023

The Humanitarian Leadership Academy on the request of Save the Children (SC) Nigeria co-created and co-delivered training to SC staff and partners from April 25 to 27.

“The facilitators took ample time to explain each slide in details, especially for the sessions on Accountability, Rapid Needs Assessment, Diseases Outbreak and Natural disaster, even the groupwork was awesome.”
HOP participant

Humanitarian operations in Nigeria are expanding rapidly with many Save the Children Nigeria staff engaging and working on development programs. The HLA developed and delivered an introduction to Humanitarian Operations (HOP) training to 31 colleagues and partners in SC Nigeria. This will help ensure a smooth and sustainable transition for the country program, and is in line with HLA’s goal of promoting localised leadership.

The training which took place in Maiduguri, Borno state in the northeastern region of Nigeria was a blended learning residential training with some sessions delivered online by SCI regional humanitarian experts.

“The training was an opportunity for Nigeria Emergency Response Team (ERT) to learn and reflect on Humanitarian Operation with topics related to Humanitarian Standards, gender equality, theory of change, centrality of Protection and Refugees Rights. The training was successful thanks to the high-level collaboration between national, regional, and international humanitarian experts”
Amr Kamel, HLA Learning Solutions Specialist who led the training

The training equipped the Nigerian Emergency Response Team (ERT) with a comprehensive introduction to technical areas and support functions within the humanitarian sector, demonstrating how they collaborate to deliver a high-quality response. Additionally, it aimed to cultivate the necessary behaviors, knowledge, and skills required to operate effectively during the initial phase of an emergency response.

We are currently supporting humanitarian responses in multiple locations - Find out more

Protection de l’Enfant en Situation d’Urgence

Appel à candidatures pour le Programme de Développement Professionnel en Protection de l’Enfant en Situation d’Urgence pour la région Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre.

 Save the Children a le plaisir d’annoncer le lancement du 3e cycle du Programme de Développement Professionnel en Protection de l’Enfant en Situation d’Urgence (PDP en PESU) pour la région Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre. Un programme conçu pour améliorer les compétences, les connaissances et les comportements requis du personnel d’intervention de la PESU. Il sera mené de Mai 2023 à Décembre 2023, 100% en français.

Il s’adresse aux professionnels ressortissants et/ou travaillant au Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritanie, Niger et République démocratique du Congo, ayant un minimum de 3 ans d’expérience professionnelle pertinente dans le domaine de la protection de l’enfance ou de la protection de l’enfance dans le cadre de la préparation / réponse aux situations d’urgence. Il concerne uniquement le personnel des organisations non gouvernementales nationales et les acteurs gouvernementaux des pays mentionnés, en priorité les travailleurs de terrain, de première ligne (animateurs, éducateurs, chefs de projet, assistants projet…).

J’ai vraiment le sentiment que le CPiE PDP m’a rendu plus confiant d’un point de vue pratique et théorique sur la protection des enfants dans les situations d’urgence. Il m’a également permis d’accroître mes capacités en matière de réflexion analytique, de conception de projets et de compréhension des composantes du CPiE.”
Dilip Raj Giri, Directeur du programme technique de protection, World Vision International au Népal.

Le personnel des ONG internationales sera éligible à condition que son organisation ne soit pas spécialisée en protection de l’enfance.

Les candidatures féminines, les candidatures du personnel d’organisations jeunesse et les candidatures de toute personne en situation de handicap sont fortement encouragées. Les candidatures seront ouvertes jusqu’au Dimanche 23 Avril 2023 (23:59 heure GMT).

Pour candidater, vous devrez dans un premier temps lire attentivement ce dossier d’Informations. Si ce programme est fait pour vous ;

  1. Veuillez s’il vous plaît remplir ce questionnaire en ligne
  2. Après avoir convenablement renseigné, et envoyé le formulaire d’inscription en ligne, vous devrez également par la suite nous faire parvenir votre CV en format PDF à l’adresse mail suivante :

Un mail vous sera envoyé afin de confirmer que votre candidature (votre formulaire d’inscription + votre CV) aura bien été réceptionnée.

We are currently supporting humanitarian responses in multiple locations - Find out more

Launch of a new podcast for humanitarians

Fresh humanitarian perspectives


We’re pleased to share our new podcast bringing you fresh humanitarian perspectives and reflections from our colleagues and network.

In the first episode, Gareth Owen, Humanitarian Director at Save the Children UK, explains the vision behind Engine 2 to build a new model of response to aid in Ukraine and beyond.

In the follow-up bonus episode, Samantha Davis, Deputy Director – Programmes and Learning at the Humanitarian Leadership Academy, shares the work taking place at pace at the HLA to drive and implement this change.

Please listen and let us know what you think – Stay tuned for more content coming soon!

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