How Can a Humanitarian Organization Reduce their Training Costs?

How Can a Humanitarian Organization Reduce their Training Costs?

The NGO world is not very different from the private corporate world when it comes to training: they are always looking for a way to cut costs, trying nevertheless to improve their bottom line by developing the necessary skills and delivering vital information to HQ and field staff, which means investing time, financial and human resources.

How do you square this circle? Isn’t there a simple and straightforward way to reduce training costs while boosting efficiency? Yes, with Online Training, which can take many formats.

The Benefits of E-Learning for NGOs

There are a number of examples – essentially in the business world – proving that eLearning is in fact lowering the cost of staff training. And research has shown that moving your training online not only allows you to allocate valuable resources to other areas of your budget, but also make the training process even more effective. The academic world has also been moving to online curricula since a number of years, at least in the West. This includes the success of the MOOC system, initiated in 2011 by Stanford University, MIT or Harvard and a few other prestigious universities.

An Easy Way to Cut Costs?

Here are three ways an organization can turn their present courses into an online curriculum:

1. Carefully assess the courses and training materials you are utilizing now to determine which ones are absolutely necessary and which ones can be omitted from your training strategy, and conduct an employee survey to do a needs analysis and determine if your current training strategy is actually effective.

2. Think about how your traditional courses can be converted to eLearning or an online blended course. To help you change, you have access to a wealth of multimedia tools and delivery formats, many of which are open source and free. As such, you have the ability to make the training experience more interactive and engaging, which can lead to a more effective knowledge/skill set acquisition and retention.

3. Offer eLearning when and where field staff needs it. Aid workers are all over the world. And it costs a fortune for organizations to have their field managers come to HQ twice a year for extra training. While modern Online training can offer courses based on the principle of “learning by doing”, through immediate integration and practice of new knowledge into their everyday tasks.

Online Training, in different formats, can offer any humanitarian or development organization the ability to reduce training costs while boosting relief worker’s performance. Whether an NGO has a staff of five or hundreds, a budget of thousands or millions, online training offers staff knowledge and skill development that can cut costs and at the same time offer effective, quality training.

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Author: Claire Colliard is the Executive Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Psychology. She has also been training humaniarian staff for the last 20 years and is now coordinating the conversion of the training material into E-Learning courses.

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