Multi-country - iClick: The Future of Capacity Development through E-learning
Primary thematic focus: Sub-national capacity development: local solutions, national strengths
In a Nutshell:
The Natural Disaster Risk Management Program (NDRMP), jointly offered by the World Bank Institute and Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative, consists of distance learning courses that promote proactive disaster risk management practices The program has been implemented since 2006 and online courses are still ongoing.
A click can make a difference. We are living in a digital world where new knowledge and technologies have become accessible to more people. The advancement in technology paved the way for knowledge sharing and learning. The existence of new media technology transforms the delivery of knowledge. The powerful use of internet unlock the gates to new form of learning which is e-learning - an innovation which maximizes the use of information and communications technology. Recognizing a growing need for strengthening the capacities of local government and other organizations to participate in the disaster management processes, in 2004, the World Bank Institute developed a series of online courses under the Natural Disaster Risk Management Program that promotes proactive approaches to disaster risk management and has partnered with the National Disaster Coordinating Council in customizing these online courses to suit local conditions.
The NDRMP consists of comprehensive and specialized e-learning training courses which builds the capacities of local government decision makers, policy makers, city managers, administrators, planners, disaster management practitioners, as well as to enhance the effectiveness of disaster risk management practices at the local and community levels through awareness raising and knowledge building in specific areas of disaster risk management. Throughout 2006, the online courses were delivered internationally by Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative. Since then, EMI offers these courses with the continuing support and guidance from WBI. The high level of interaction in the online courses provides a way to create an online community to foster the exchange of contacts, information from the alumni and even the sharing of sound practices in DRR community. More than 500 participants from government, non-government, civil society, academic and international development organizations from around the globe were trained under this program. It provides a setting for knowledge sharing and learning exchange activities that promote horizontal learning.
An innovative way of learning for development practitioners who want to learn from fellow practitioners in order to acquire knowledge and skills they need on managing disaster risks. EMI offers a very exciting, flexible, interactive and efficient means to deliver its training courses by providing an online learning environment platform such as the Moodle. Moodle is very popular among educators around the globe as a tool in creating interactive and dynamic websites for the learners. The courses have very innovative features including a discussion forum (DF) where participants from all over the world meet and share views and experiences including sound practices from their localities. Subject matter experts who have vast experience in disaster risk management provide valuable inputs in this virtual classroom activity. It contains learning tools such as presentations, videos, case studies from various countries and reading materials that facilitate learning processes.
Results and Critical Factors:
The integration of e-learning courses added a value to traditional learning. Over a thousand of participants were able to participate in the online training courses and over 500 have successfully completed the program. The present courses offer an alternative educational model and have shown that the short-term online training can achieve useful levels of knowledge and skills in disaster risk management (DRM). The flexibility of the programs offer professionals an opportunity to study at their own pace, participate actively in on-line discussions, accomplish assignments and share information with their co-participants. Online discussion forums provide students to view another student’s answer and learn through the exposure to different paradigms. It’s a good practice to combine new opinions from their opinion to generate new ideas and a new perspective.
Through the NDRMP distance learning courses, individuals can acquire and strengthen their capabilities towards improved disaster risk management at their own pace in a very cost-effective manner and at the same time offers a more participative environment where most participants can speak up and express their opinions and ideas. Another character of web-based learning is the ability to adapt to the learning style of its learner, therefore recognizes the unique capability of individual to learn. It accommodates multiple learning styles using a variety of teaching methods geared to different learners. Testimonials from participants have proven the effectiveness of these e-learning courses. One testimony is from a United Nations Development Program DRR Advisor in Lesotho said that: “For me, I can say that the course specifically CBDRM came as a savior to the DRR project in Lesotho.
In November 2009, we conducted community-based risk assessment in 3 districts with the view of using the results to design, fund and implement some CBDRM pilot projects. I am glad the CBDRM course came at the right time. I will now use the knowledge acquired from this course to confidently design and implement our CBDRM pilot projects”. E-learning has been recognized globally and considered an innovation in the world knowledge and learning.
Name of Primary Contact Person: Jesus Dominic Dizon
Title of Primary Contact Person: Training Assistant
City: Quezon City