Oxfam - WASH emergency training

Disasters and humanitarian emergencies are increasing in magnitude and complexity. This presents a major challenge to NGOs that respond to these emergencies.

Historically, the training of humanitarian workers has been via face-to-face workshops but this method of delivery is expensive, unsustainable and not always suitable for some field contexts. Therefore, there is a strategic desire to shift away from classroom training techniques to a more modern and flexible delivery that may have a wider outreach.

For this reason, Oxfam GB (on behalf of the Emergency Capacity Building Project (ECB)) selected Walkgrove to develop two bespoke e-learning courses. The first, Technical Project Management (TPM), is aimed at giving public health engineering staff a broader understanding of technical project management. The second, Information Education Communication (IEC) in WASH emergencies, aims to provide health and hygiene staff a broader understanding of IEC in WASH emergencies.

Both programs adopt a scenario pathway/decision-based theme with each step in the process incorporating the following features:

  • Information on the step, within the context of the whole process
  • Why the step is important and how to do it
  • Try: the functionality to try an activity relating to the step and the main scenario
  • What if: An activity that requires the learner to apply their skills to a different scenario

The TPM course incorporates three indicator gauges (depicting the key indicators of quality, cost and time) visible on screen. These are linked to the decisions that the learner makes on the ‘Try’ activities and cumulative scores are maintained within the module. These gauges are unique to each module; therefore scores are not carried forward to the next module.  Gauges are reset to zero, thus giving the learners a fresh start when they begin the next module.

This ‘dial reset’ function is achieved via a fictional review meeting with the learner’s line manager at the end of each part of the main scenario. At this meeting (which reflects real life), the situation will be summarised, together with any corrective action needed to return the situation to optimal level – thus giving the learner a clean slate at the start of the following module.

What the client had to say:

“In addition, I'd like to take a moment to comment on the quality of the product, they're some of the best I've seen. As an ex-educational coach, I was very impressed by the pedagogy and workflow. I was wondering where you got them created, and the time and costs involved? If you are able to share this information, that would be greatly appreciated. Again, congratulations on a great product”.

“…These courses are very interactive, so you feel like you are in a classroom with a teacher, brainstorming things. It is very interactive and also very challenging.”

“What is fascinating about this one is that the supervisors like Amina and other technical supporters respond to questions as if the learner did really ask the questions. It is almost like a real life scenario.”

Download as PDF
Award winning e-learning training humanitarian workers in WASH emergencies globally