The Uganda Learning Needs Assessment conducted by the Humanitarian Leadership Academy East Africa Centre in 2016 identified capacity enhancement of local actors, including leaders as one of the priority areas.
This is not only identified as a felt need in the East Africa humanitarian sector as a way to respond more effectively to the ever-increasing scale and complexity of humanitarian crises, but also in line with the resolution 24 of the World Humanitarian Summit on localisation and contextualisation.
John Bosco is one such person or leader if you may. He hails from Karamoja region in Uganda which is classified as the most food insecure regions owing to the recurrent and prolonged droughts. John works as a Project Officer for the Karamoja Livestock Enhancement Project and in order to enhance his knowledge and skills in meeting the demands of his job, he recently signed up for the online Certificate Course in Humanitarian Disaster Resilience Leadership (HDRL) being offered at the Makerere University School of Public Health.
“I am really enjoying this short course amidst my work because it has really opened my mind in relation to disasters in our region Karamoja in North East Uganda.” – Iteo John Bosco, Project Officer Karamoja Livestock Enhancement Project (KLEP) DADO-Kaabong district
Towards ensuring that humanitarian practitioners like John are linked to contextualised and quality assured learning programs that respond to the needs on the ground, the East Africa Academy Centre partnered with Makerere University in revamping the content of the HDRL course by updating and adapting it to the needs of targeted audience.
The HDRL course targets mid-level professionals in the humanitarian and development sector. The course is structured in modules and delivered through Makerere University’s e-Learning portal. Further, its learners are required to complete a contextualised pathway on Kaya, the Academy’s free online learning platform where learners can access over 300 related learning materials.
The course also comes with an offline version which helps in addressing cited challenges such as poor Internet connectivity and high cost of purchasing Internet bundles.
Dr. Julius Ssentongo, of Makerere University, the implementing partner in this project, says that the videos contained in the Kaya course complement the listening and provide a good break from the long content.
Prior to the interest and intervention by the Academy, the enrolment for the course had deteriorated from 50 to less than 30 learners. However, as a result of the revamping exercise supported by the Academy, enrolment shot upwards to 106 with drawn from Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and other African countries with a wider reach expected through Kaya. The project’s sustainability is embedded on making it demand-driven through continuous quality improvements. Such improvements will be informed by documented feedback received from learners.