Interview with Vanessa McCulloch, Communications Director, Committed to Good.

Could you tell us a bit more about your organisation, Committed to Good?

Committed to Good (CTG) is a specialised Human Resource Management and Project Management provider, offering a rapid and cost-effective service for the humanitarian and development communities.  A pioneering private sector company, CTG began in 2006 set up specifically to staff humanitarian and development projects; we have worked in more than 25 fragile and conflict-affected countries, and have placed more than 20,000 staff, all over the world, taking full responsibility for their safety and wellbeing.

CTG recruits, deploys, and manages the right people with the right skills to implement humanitarian and development projects: from setting up and running Ebola clinics in Liberia to rebuilding local infrastructure in remote regions of Afghanistan.

Our goal is to enable change and we believe in the positive ripple effect of our work. You can see our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals across all of CTG’s operations. We offer secure and decent work, actively push for gender equality and integrate global, ethical standards of business to strengthen local institutions.

In particular, through our FemaleFirst initiative, CTG is making a real impact on women’s empowerment and employment. Our ambitious goal is to hire at least 30% women by 2030, creating new jobs and challenging stereotypes of where women can and should work. We’ve recently published a white paper ‘Women, Work and Economic Development’ which explores the opportunities and barriers to women’s decent employment within the humanitarian and development sectors, and most importantly how to overcome them.

Why did you decide to create your own Kaya portal, CTG-Learning?

We are always looking for new avenues through which we can support our staff. We wanted a platform where we could not only host our own learning content (essential information for our consultants for pre-deployment for example, or how to access our counselling support) making it as straightforward as possible for our consultants to access all the needed information but where they could also access other learning that could assist them in their humanitarian or development roles.

Screenshot of the CTG-Learning portal

Screenshot of the CTG-Learning portal

What made you choose Kaya?

Kaya’s mission to enable people to better prepare for, respond to and recover from crises through free learning really resonates with CTG – we want to support our staff in the field as best we can, and providing them with free access to e-learning specifically catering to the situations they are faced with was incredibly appealing.

The Humanitarian Leadership Academy and Save the Children are well respected, the quality of the courses, the fact that there are different language options (it would be great to see more language options), the calibre of the organisations who put the courses together, the variety of learning options – that it’s not just courses, but offers pathways and games and now Virtual Reality; the fact that we can host our own content; that we can track which of our consultants have taken the courses; that the content is in line with the courses that we insist our consultants take before deployment from Safeguarding Essentials to COVID-19 education; that you don’t have to have an internet connection but can download courses on your mobile or device – are just a few of the reasons!

What has been the response so far? What kind of courses are the most popular?

It’s early days but we’ve received a positive response from both clients and consultants. The COVID-19 courses are critical for our teams to keep enabling change safely and we have created a section on CTG-Learning that shares the Kaya courses on the pandemic while also highlighting the other wellbeing courses and resources. We want our teams to remain physically well but to also look after themselves mentally. As women’s empowerment and tackling gender bias is a key goal of CTG’s, we really like the virtual reality aspect of the Safeguarding course and the Challenging your Gender Assumption game  – great ways of putting people in somebody else’s shoes.

Screenshot of the CTG-Learning portal

Screenshot of the CTG-Learning portal

What would you say are the greatest challenges surrounding humanitarian learning today? What can organisations like the Academy do to support the sector to overcome these challenges?

Access – which we believe Kaya is doing well, as the courses are free and you have the app to overcome connectivity issues (it’s not always possible to have internet when working in remote locations). Languages – it would be good to see a wider range of languages available in these courses. And in our role, we continue to challenge the gender bias around what jobs are and aren’t suitable for women – we would like to see more work and messaging around women’s empowerment and gender equality in the humanitarian/development context, there’s still so much to be done in the battle against gender bias, in the pursuit of SDG5.

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