Jasmin Lilian Diab is a Canadian-Lebanese researcher, author, manager and consultant in the areas of International Affairs, Dialogue, Gender, and Migration and Refugee Studies. She recently completed two online courses on our elearning platform Kaya, and kindly agreed to share her learning experience.

Hi Jasmin! Could you tell us about yourself? What made you want to work in the sector?

I currently act as Research and Project Manager at the Lebanese Research Center for Migration and Diaspora Studies of the Faculty of Law and Political Science at Notre Dame University-Louaize in Lebanon. I also act as Reviewer and Copy Editor of ‘Refugee Review’ an international journal published by the Emerging Scholars and Practitioners on Migration Issues Network in Canada. Other positions I hold include Country Director of the Global Peace Chain in Lebanon, Operations Manager and Youth Coordinator at the Lebanon Dialogue Initiative, as well as Academic Advisor to the International Relations Internship Program of the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Having been a volunteer from an early age, working between academia and the humanitarian sector has always been a passion of mine. I believe this combination has not only allowed me to gain on-the-ground experience and a more tangible understanding of the issues I am concerned with, but has also allowed me to research, document, as well as provide policy-oriented analysis based upon real experiences.

How did you hear about the e-learning platform Kaya, and how long have you been using it?

I heard about Kaya through social media, through an advertisement on a ‘youth opportunities’ website linking to one of their courses. After exploring their website, and looking into the quality of the courses provided, I was attracted to multiple courses, trainings, and seminars in my areas of research and interest including: Migration, Gender, Refugee Studies, International Law and Humanitarian Assistance.

Which courses did you take and why? Did you find them useful?

Through Kaya, I have completed two courses: “Fundamentals of Immigration Detention” offered by the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the European Commission, as well as the “Diaspora Humanitarian Training” offered by Diaspora Emergency Action and Coordination (DEMAC Project).

I most definitely found them both challenging and useful. Both the course and training directly pertain to my line of research and allowed me to grasp concepts, specific terminology, as well as gain a clear insight into research methods, intersections and case studies from the field. The course most definitely impacted my daily research and daily work at the center I manage.

What did you most enjoy during the course? What could have been improved?

I mostly enjoyed the case studies and the interactive sessions. I believe the case studies can be expanded with more visuals, maybe a documentary, an interview, or a briefing video.

What would you say is the greatest challenge surrounding humanitarian learning today?

The greatest challenge surrounding humanitarian learning today is most definitely access. Access to humanitarian learning is the major hindrance as to why upcoming generations, practitioners, and even current scholars have not been educated on these concepts earlier, and why these concepts have yet to be universally integrated into the public morale, current international norms and standards, as well as into the mindsets and mentalities of the general public – each and every day we hear about incidents that could have been avoided if access to these concepts in both schooling and at university levels were more integrated into the curriculum at all levels.

What can organisations like the Academy do to support the sector to overcome these challenges?

Promote their courses on international platforms as much as possible, collaborate with schools and universities to hold online public sessions and lectures virtually.

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