As year-end approaches, this newsletter is an opportunity to reflect on a very unusual year. While it clearly brought its fair share of challenges, it also confirmed to us that, with limited travel opportunities, and as we’ve always advocated, local and frontline actors should be at the centre of any emergency response as well as longer term development initiatives – and they should be empowered as such rather than be seen as mere supporting acts. Our vision has always been to support local organisations and individuals at the forefront of unfolding emergencies and provide them with the tools to take charge of those responses. Our data shows that we are headed in the right direction and getting closer to achieving our objectives.

Since April, we have seen a continued and steady growth in the number of learners accessing our platforms and we expect to reach 280k users on Kaya and 12k users on HPass by the end of the year – a massive achievement which we couldn’t have foreseen at the start of the year. While in itself not surprising given the need for a lot of organisations to pivot to online learning, we’ve also noticed a significant uptake from individuals located in “fragile” countries. 64% of our Kaya community are located in countries that are on the High warning and Alert classification of the Fragile State index and 60% are in the Very High / High risk category of the INFORM Risk Index. On the opposite side of this spectrum, 20% of our community is located in OECD countries. These are all positive steps in the right direction.

We also noted that some locally built courses, such as BLAST DRRM in the Philippines – provided by the local network Code-NGO – are in the top 10 completed courses for November, showing the strength of the platform in the Philippines but more importantly that contextually relevant content is what our learners are seeking. Ensuring that we continue to build and share locally appropriate courses is going to be key to building a sustainable community of learners that can take a lead in humanitarian response.

In addition to numbers of users, our course offering has also greatly diversified over the year and with the launch of Humanitarian Operations Programme (HOP) in French, we have been welcoming a significant number of new users located in Francophone countries, and recently added our first course in Japanese!  We have ambitions to increase additional languages on Kaya, something which will be a priority, and will actively focus on in 2021.

We’ve also tried new ways to reach our community, be it through our very successful webinar series or through trialling out new technology to reach “offline” communities using mobile phones, an evaluation of which should be published early next year.

And no retrospective of 2020 would be complete without mentioning the Learning Technologies Awards we received:

·         The Field Managers In Emergencies, Learning and Development (FIELD) programme, a ground-breaking, free capacity strengthening programme created by Save the Children UK and World Vision, won two Bronze Awards for ‘Excellence in the Design of Learning Content – Public & Non-profit Sector’ and ‘Best Online Distance Learning Programme’.

·         Safeguarding VR, an immersive training experience created in partnership with Bodyswaps, won a Bronze Award for ‘Most Innovative New Learning Technologies Product’.

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