DisasterReady.org Releases Results of Online Learning Program that Addresses the Humanitarian Crisis in Syria

February 23, 2018

DisasterReady.org Releases Results of Online Learning Program that Addresses the Humanitarian Crisis in Syria

More than 13,000 humanitarian aid workers take free online training to improve the quality of humanitarian response in and around Syria
SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Feb. 23, 2018 - The Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed by cloud-based learning and human capital management software provider Cornerstone OnDemand (NASDAQ: CSOD), in partnership with Mercy Corps and the International Rescue Committee (IRC), today announced the results of the first phase of its OFDA-funded program, Investing in Syrian Humanitarian Action (ISHA), which has provided online learning to more than 13,000 aid workers, allowing them to more effectively respond to humanitarian needs across Syria.

The conflict in Syria is one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent time. More than half of the country’s population have been killed or forced to flee their homes. In an effort to support the humanitarian effort in Syria, members of DisasterReady.org (a Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation program) partnered with Mercy Corps and IRC to design and implement a new technology-based learning program providing free, online learning resources and courses in Arabic and English to strengthen the knowledge and skills of the large community of humanitarians, volunteers and field staff delivering assistance in Syria.

The DisasterReady team consulted with Syrian humanitarians to create and source sector-specific learning pathways, videos, online courses and simulations, mobile courses, job aids and materials on 22 topics specifically designed for aid workers in the Syrian crisis to include in the ISHA Online Learning Program, which went live in December 2016. In January 2018, the team launched a mobile app for ISHA learners, enabling them to view courses on their mobile devices and to download and take selected courses “offline.” The mobile app has been critical to reach learners with limited or no access to the internet, as well as those who could only access the internet via their mobile device.
The results of the ISHA Online Learning Program have far exceeded original expectations, and have helped provide humanitarians the skills needed to provide assistance to communities across Syria. Results to date include:

  • 13,050 learners in five key countries, including Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey

  • 4,912 learners in Syria

  • 99,150 online course registrations

  • 21,126 online course completions

ISHA will continue to provide support for all learners using DisasterReady, and will source new content, as well as explore opportunities to collaborate on new content development projects pending funding availability.
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“Through this project, we have discovered that there is significant interest among relief workers in and around Syria to connect with others and develop new skills,” said Tina Bolding, Director of DisasterReady.org. “The ISHA online learning program has proven that in the direst of circumstances, there is tremendous value in maintaining an individual’s sense of purpose.”
“One of the reasons this project was so successful was the time we invested upfront in the region asking humanitarians working in and around Syria about the types of learning resources they needed most,” said Stacy Guidera, ISHA Project Manager for DisasterReady.org. “Based on their feedback, we took extreme care to develop the most relevant training in their native language with topics and scenarios contextualized to the current situation in Syria.”

“Access to many communities in Syria is so difficult that they have for years only been served by newly-established local relief groups,” said Wendy Guyot, ISHA Project Director for Mercy Corps. “At Mercy Corps, we knew it was essential to connect the aid workers to resources that would support them in doing this important work. They may be alone on the ground, but the entire humanitarian community is behind them and this is just one way we can support them.”

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