In light of COVID restrictions on face-to-face learnings, NIRAS developed extensive e-learning modules to support the GIZ Civil Society in Uganda Support Programme.
Almost one full year before the COVID pandemic reared its head around the globe, shuttering schools and blocking public gatherings, NIRAS was contracted to develop educational materials and deliver training courses across Uganda for civil society organisations (CSOs). Part of the GIZ-funded Civil Society in Uganda Support Programme (CUSP), the intention is to improve the knowledge and skills of civil society players (including but not limited to CSOs, trade unions, and informal youth civil society groups) so they can become more efficient at what they do.
Jointly funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), CUSP aims to create an enabling environment for CSOs, increase their participation in governance, and strengthen their ability to advocate on behalf of Ugandan society and interests.
Although initially standardised in-classroom trainings were developed for nation-wide implementation, the NIRAS project team switched to a blended-learning approach during COVID to facilitate continuous learning progress despite strict lockdowns and restrictions.
Our communication team is always available to support the participants with any challenges they might have.
The NIRAS team has developed interactive online trainings for eight highly relevant topics: resource mobilisation; internal governance; lobbying & advocacy; leadership; mainstreaming; results-based management; financial management; and computer skills. The first module Resource Mobilisation was launched in September 2020 with 40 participants, followed by two courses in Internal Governance and Lobbying & Advocacy with 50 participants each. These initial trainings have been a huge success with a completion rate of over 70%. Close to 50% of the course finishers are female CSO staff members. By the project’s close in December this year, at least 1200 people are expected to undergo the training.
This has been one of the most enriching and practical courses I have done in recent years. It’s very relevant, challenging and empowering. … It has enriched my work as a chief executive of a growing organisation, accredited trainer and a mentor.”
Interactive e-learning sessions of six hours per week, which include educational interviews, diverse explanations, tools and tests, are hosted on the GIZ digital learning platform atingi (which means “to achieve” in Esperanto). In addition to working through the online content, participants are asked to submit weekly practical tasks which have to be done offline to apply the new theoretical knowledge. In addition, the NIRAS team offers offline or in-person 1-on-1 coaching and feedback to the weekly tasks from training professionals as well as weekly consulting hours for participants to discuss individual or organisational challenges.
This month, four further courses are starting: one five-week course on Leadership, a second round of Resource Mobilisation as well as second rounds of Internal Governance and Lobbying & Advocacy.